“Alcoholism”, “Alcohol dependence”, “Alcoholism” – this is the periodic drinking of alcohol in order to experience its mental effects, and sometimes also to avoid malaise resulting from its withdrawal.
The essence of this disease is therefore mental and physical dependence on the narcotic substance, which is alcohol.
Mental addiction is the need to drink alcohol to make you feel better.
Physical dependence is manifested by an increase in alcohol tolerance, loss of control over alcohol consumption (inability to stop drinking at a predetermined time), as well as palimpsests and the occurrence of Alcohol Abstinence Syndrome after alcohol withdrawal.
Alcoholism is a primary disease. This means that it is the cause (substrate) of many other diseases (somatic and mental).
Alcoholism is a fatal disease. If left untreated, it inevitably leads to death. However, there are few diagnoses in death certificates – alcoholism. Usually it is a somatic symptom of alcoholism, eg cirrhosis of the liver, etc. When considering the essence of alcoholism, it is worth remembering that it is a disease and should be treated like any other very dangerous disease. Unfortunately, it is often treated in moral terms.
To this day, many people view alcoholism in moral terms. it is a sin that, like leprosy, destroys mind and body. For many people, it is evidence of weak character and moral decline. Many people do not recognize the need to treat alcoholics. However, whether someone likes it or not, alcoholism is a disease, a non-culpable disease. It has its own statistical number and definition (it is included in the list of diseases recognized by the WHO).
Related article: what is alcohol detox?
The essence of this disease is, as in any other disease, decaying from health. It is not sudden, but it lasts for years, rolling the body and psyche like a worm apple. It has a beginning, a course and an end.
The onset of alcoholism is hard to pinpoint. Because the line between social drinking and sick drinking is very fluid. It depends on many factors, and each person reacts differently to alcohol. Hence, there are people who for many years do not feel physically the effects of drinking, the degradation of the body is sometimes negligible.
It is the same with mental functioning. There are people who, despite their addiction, function relatively properly, defend themselves against mental degradation, and there are also those who, as a result of prolonged drinking, can only stay in the psychiatric ward.
There are also those who function reasonably well on the outside, function professionally, e.g. someone who acts as a specialist doctor, operates, gives prescriptions … special school level.
The social level of addicts is also different. There are those who have a job, a home, a family, but many have already lost it all and live under the bridge. It is very difficult to say that someone who has a job, a house, a car, a social position, some other intellectual level, an organism still undamaged, that he is an alcoholic. Society and alcoholics themselves more eagerly perceive the latter – the homeless, physically and mentally handicapped by drinking denatured alcohol.