How to deal with alcoholism?


What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism is defined as a chronic illness that manifests itself as a disorder of behavior. It is characterized by the repeated usage of alcoholic beverage to an extent that exceeds dietary use or compliance with social customs of the community and interferes with the drinker’s health or economic or social functioning."

It is obvious that the majority of social drinkers, and even some who drink to drunkenness, are not alcoholic. So what distinguishes alcoholics from other drinkers?

A normal drinker has control, and although some may purposely or inadvertently become drunk on occasions, they can stop or discontinue drinking whenever they want to.

An alcoholic, on the other hand has lost control.

Once he has had a drink he continues to drink even though he may wish to stop, thus has lost the ability to choose in the matter of drinking. But how does one become an alcoholic?

Why do people become alcoholics?

It is apparent that alcohol alone is not responsible for alcoholism, for many people use it all their lives without becoming alcoholic.

Usually a combination of physiological, social and psychological factors are involved. Especially the tensions and strains of the present complex human society seem to be a major factor.

In order to obtain relief from the stress of modern day living or fill the vacuum in their lonely lives, many turn to alcohol.

For example, how common is it to see a man who does not want to go home after work and must have a few drinks in order to relax and put himself in a better frame of mind or a woman who must brace herself with several drinks to cope with strains of the day.

They feel that alcohol is a required part of daily living. Herein lays the danger.

For whenever anyone regularly feels the need of a drink, it is a warning that that person may be drifting toward the whirlpool of alcoholism.

The person may become dependent upon alcohol as a cripple does his crutch. It fills a need and one develops a strong compulsion to satisfy that need.

Soon one does not drink necessary for fun, but to put oneself in a different state of mind, one which is more tolerable than life without it.

Once this dependence on alcohol is established, one becomes an alcoholic.

How to know you are an alcoholic?

Of course, most heavy drinkers will say that they can stop anytime they want. They will deny that they feel a need for alcohol.

Nevertheless, they continue to drink excessively despite the urging of friends and relatives.

If a person is honest with themselves and really cared for the welfare of others, they would be concerned about how much of an influence alcohol actually holds over them.

But you may ask, how can l know if I am an alcoholic or not?

Consider the following test: For a period of at least six months set a limit on the number of drinks that are to be taken on the days one ordinarily drinks.

That number should not exceed three or be less than one. Absolutely no exceptions are to be made during the testing period.

By exercising self-control normal drinkers do not find it difficult to limit their number of drinks, but an alcoholic finds it next to impossible to do so.

Therefore, if a person fails this test, whether he or she will admit it or not, he or she is one of the fast growing crowd of alcoholics

What should an alcoholic do?

If one should discover that one has trouble controlling is drinking, then what? Do not rationalize or make excuses.

Admit that the use of alcohol has become a problem, and then do something. Actually there is only one thing to do:

Stop using alcohol altogether! Get it out of the house. Avoid company and places where it is served."

Acknowledge that controlled drinking is presently impossible, so abstain completely. It is generally agreed that this is the best way to lick the problem.

This is because with few exceptions those who have tried to control their drinking have only gravitated to compulsive drinking. This seems to be the nature of alcoholism.

So now is the time to give this matter serious consideration, not later. Especially if others who care for you have expressed concern over your heavy drinking.

They probably have something to be concerned about, so listen. Do not be stubborn. Accept help from others.

Remember, insensitivity about one’s drinking and making excuses will not make your situation any better.

Unless the problem is addressed now, it will drive you deeper and deeper into an abyss with only but two outlets: miserable life or death.

For example, the effect of alcoholism at its worst is seen by the number of drinkers roaming the streets in rags, sleeping under bridges and begging for money.

Some of these persons have slid into this oblivion after holding good professional careers.

To you probably, it is inconceivable how a respectable human could sink so low.

But most of these people failed to seek help or take action when it was practical to do so.

So remember NOW is the best time to take action, when one has a measure of control left.

Make changes to your drinking habits, before it is too late!