Many people don’t. Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, is a complex brain issue in which the mind and the body become dependent upon alcohol. Confusion, shame, and stigma make understanding alcoholism difficult. Would someone choose to become dependent upon alcohol? What could possibly cause someone to drink that way? Why can’t they just stop? Alcoholism is perplexing to those who have it, those who don’t have it, and those who are trying support their loved ones in treatment.
How Does Alcoholism Develop?
Alcoholism starts from a few different places. First, it can be genetically inherited. Alcoholism or a tendency towards chemical addiction can be passed on through generations of family. Genetic predisposition is always a factor in alcoholism. Alcoholism can also develop because of a pre-existing mental health condition. Mental health disorders like personality disorders and mood disorders have a higher risk of substance abuse including alcohol. People find relief in the effect of alcohol and turn to it as medicine. Lastly, alcoholism can develop due to the excessive abuse of alcohol. However, this source is controversial. Two people can drink in a similar problematic way and only one of them will develop a chemical dependency.
Is Binge Drinking A Form Of Alcoholism?
Binge drinking and alcoholism are not the same. Over time, binge drinking can lead to the development of alcoholism, but it is not a guaranteed lead. Binge drinking is a form of alcohol abuse, however, which can have underlying issues similar to alcoholism. Though genetics and co-occurring mental health conditions aren’t as prominent, someone might struggle with low self-esteem or difficulty managing their lives.
Why Can’t Alcoholics Stop Drinking?
Excessive alcohol consumption impairs the brain in many ways including key functions like judgment, considering consequences, and quantification, like knowing how much is too much. Alcoholics essentially lose their natural autonomy in choosing to stop drinking. There are also factors of physical dependency, as well as psychological dependency, which keeps someone from stopping drinking. According to their brain and their body, they need to drink.
Can Alcoholics Really Stay Sober?
Millions of alcoholics around the world have found a recovery program which works for them. By going to treatment, seeking long term therapy, and creating lifestyle changes, they do not need alcohol any longer. Having identified their underlying causes for abusing alcohol, treating their co-occurring mental health conditions, and finding new meaning in life, they are freed from the bondages of alcoholism. As long as they continue to work their program, they can stay sober for the rest of their lives.
If you are struggling with alcoholism, there is hope. You do not have to struggle alone. Avalon Malibu can provide the healing you need to find peace in your life, free from a dependence on alcohol. For a confidential assessment and information on our residential treatment programs, call 1 888-958-7511.