This question has long been asked around the world, many people wonder whether alcoholism is a disease or if people who abused alcohol were just bad people. Even up to the early twentieth century, it was generally accepted that alcoholism is not a disease. However, more recently the concept that alcoholism is a disease which requires professional support has drastically changed the way we view the condition. It’s now widely accepted to be a disease, with this acceptance comes more understanding of the condition and in turn more effective professional support for those who are suffering.
Why is alcoholism a disease?
Many of us regularly consume alcohol, it’s easily accessible and socially accepted. But when does it change from light, social drinking into a destructive disease? Alcohol is of course an addictive substance, just like prescription or illegal drugs. The effects that excessive alcohol produces can be devastating, from physical deterioration and long-term mental health issues to destroying relationships with loved ones. Whether you’re suffering with an alcohol dependency or an instilled addiction, the effects are just as damaging.
The theory that alcoholism is a disease became widely accepted due to Alcoholics Anonymous effectively promoting it along with the ’12 step’ process, encouraging people to understand that there needs to be a healing or even a curing process to overcome the disease of alcoholism. With more and more scientific research taking place each day, the theory of ‘why is alcoholism a disease?’ can be furthermore supported by neurologists detecting physical changes in the brain due to alcohol abuse. This change in perception has encouraged more people to seek help with alcoholism as the stigma around it has lessened. It’s also urged governments to provide more medical assistance and additional support to overcome alcoholism; we believe these are fantastic steps towards helping those who truly need it. Alcoholism is a disease not a choice.
How do you know if you’re addicted to alcohol?
For many people, alcoholism is a progressive addiction. Starting with frequent consumption leading to a physical and then psychological dependence, those struggling with alcoholism tend to feel relaxed about it initially. Once withdrawal symptoms begin to present themselves, in addition to health problems, these individuals can quickly spiral out of control. In some cases, alcoholism can stem from stress, underlying mental health issues or post-traumatic stress disorders; there can be many other factors.
When you’re addicted to alcohol, you’ll be fuelled by the consumption, continuous cravings can drastically affect your behaviour. Those with an underlying cause, or what they believe to be a reason to abuse alcohol, will perceive drinking as a form of escapism.
Any severity of alcohol dependency is dangerous, this is why it’s imperative to seek support from a recovery centre like ours. It doesn’t matter if you’re living with alcoholism or innocently consuming alcohol, now is the time to act and live a life free from alcohol. If you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one having an alcohol addiction, we can help you to determine whether you need to seek additional support or not. Has alcohol become a necessity in order to function? Ask yourself or your loved one these common questions to help identify alcoholism:
- Do you struggle to stop drinking?
- Do you drink alcohol alone during the day?
- Do you find it difficult to talk about your alcohol consumption?
- Do you regularly experience any mental health issues such as anxiety or depression?
- Are you experiencing any health problems linked to your alcohol intake?
- Have any family members or friends commented on your drinking habits?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when your alcohol intake is reduced?
If you or your loved one have answered yes to any of the above, then we urge you to seek help at an alcohol rehabilitation centre like ours at Nova Recovery. Our comprehensive treatment programmes are completely personalised to suit your unique needs. By combining a mix of holistic and therapeutic approaches, we can design an effective addiction treatment to benefit you greatly. We focus on both your physical and psychological attachments to alcohol when delivering our treatment programme. From detoxification to therapy sessions and wellness techniques, our aim is to help you achieve a long-term recovery whilst avoiding any potential relapses.
Alcoholism is not a disease, or is it?
Despite the positive movements we’ve described, there are still some individuals out there who believe alcohol is not a disease. These individuals suggest there’s not enough evidence to prove that alcoholism is a disease, and also that classifying it in this manner may encourage alcoholics to become disempowered and believe that they’re suffering from an incurable disease so continue to drink anyway. It has and will continue to be a problem if those struggling to overcome alcoholism are convinced that their behaviour is out of their control, they’re simply using the term disease as an excuse to continue their alcohol abuse.
It’s difficult to define, alcoholism is unlike any other type of disease. There are numerous individuals who are alcoholics and have managed to stop drinking without any real support. Of course, this doesn’t really happen with other diseases, the individual can’t just psychologically decide to end their disease.
Rather than debating whether alcoholism is a disease or not, we should be discussing whether the notion of alcoholism as a disease is helping or hindering those who are suffering with it. It’s evident that many people have been encouraged to seek support under the belief that alcoholism is a disease, they’re given a structured recovery programme to follow which generally have high success rates. However, on the other side, people may feel disempowered by the thought that alcoholism is a disease resulting in low recovery rates. So, is alcoholism a disease? It’s a difficult question to answer definitively, but one that we should continue to openly discuss.
If you’re struggling to overcome the challenges of alcoholism, then please get in touch with us today on 0147 530 3039. We’re ready to help you turn your life around for the better.Back to all posts