What Is An Alcoholic?

Are You  Or Anyone You Know An Alcoholic?

An alcoholic is anyone who suffers from the disease of alcoholism. Alcoholism is a physical condition whereby the body of an alcoholic has become physiologically dependent on alcohol. Although there can be many mental and emotional issues that can stem from alcoholism, psychological issues are not the underlying cause of the disease of alcoholism. Alcoholism is a physical condition and the active alcoholic is in the throws of a true physical addiction.

Like many other diseases, alcoholism is progressive and can become deadly. If left untreated, an alcoholic is at risk of developing serious health problems. Alcohol affects all the organs in the body, particularly the liver, heart, and pancreas. It also affects brain functioning and, in extreme cases, can cause brain damage.

Alcoholics can not control their drinking habits and will often drink compulsively.  Even when an alcoholic attempts to have only one or two drinks, they will typically find it impossible to stop and will wind up drinking much more than they anticipated. Once an alcoholic starts drinking, there is little they can do to manage how much alcohol they will consume at any given time.

Sometimes it’s not always easy to identify an alcoholic from your typical social drinker. Both the social drinker and the alcoholic drink alcohol for the same reasons. Alcohol elevates the mood and makes people feel good. The primary difference is that the social drinker can ultimately decide when to stop drinking while the alcoholic can not.

There are some alcoholics that may be aware that their drinking is problematic. They may have tried to quit on their own but have failed at their attempts. Unfortunately, many alcoholics will suffer from feelings of hopelessness and depression due to their inability to quick drinking on their own. Other alcoholics will simply deny that they have a drinking problem whatsoever. Alcoholics can come up with a number of excuses to justify their drinking, i.e. blaming it on work, stress or a relationship. Their denial can be so powerful that they simply can not see how much their drinking is causing negative consequences in their life.

To learn more about alcohol dependency and tolerance, please click here.

©2011 Signsofalcoholism.org


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