When you have the facts about alcoholism, then you know exactly what you're dealing with and are capable of making better choices. The more educated you are about alcohol addiction the better chance you have of overcoming it successfully. There are a lot of misconceptions on this topic that can be confusing, so it's important that we clear them up.
Alcoholism is a multifaceted condition which is one of the reasons it is so difficult to treat and challenging to understand. It has a biological, environmental, behavioral, emotional, social, psychological and spiritual component and all need to be addressed simultaneously or one will undermine the others.
One of the most stunning alcoholism facts is its extent -- alcoholism affects about 18 million people throughout the United States alone. The impact of this fact is striking as well -- it has a price tag of nearly 100 billion per year due to factors such as loss in production, health and medical care, motor vehicle accidents, violent crime and social service programs. Nearly 100,000 American people lose their lives to alcohol related causes each year.
Another very alarming fact about alcoholism is its crippling impact on the roads of America. Nearly half of all traffic fatalities in the United States are alcohol-related.
Alcoholism is divided into 2 categories: dependence and abuse. Dependence is more severe and harder to overcome because of withdrawal.
Alcoholism is a type of drug addiction. There is both physical and psychological dependence. Symptoms of physical dependence include an overwhelming need, or compulsion to drink, the inability to stop or control one's drinking, the need to drink larger amounts of alcohol in order to get the same effect (called tolerance) and withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shakiness and anxiety when alcohol intake is interrupted, and evidence of alcohol-associated illnesses. Psychological elements may consist of things like the need to drink to deal with every day functioning, cover up or cope with feelings or relieve stress.
Alcoholism is a major social, economic, and public health problem. Attempting to remedy it on any level requires a sound understanding of the alcoholism facts involved.
You can find the tools you need to achieve craving-free and lasting
sobriety in my book Get
Sober Stay Sober: The Truth About Alcoholism or begin the road to recovery today with my do it yourself recovery program.