Alcohol abuse and addiction affects millions of people worldwide. Unfortunately drinking habits build over time so many people that drink frequently are completely unaware that their drinking habits may evolve into an addiction. Although drinking may bring a sense of ease and comfort, it is only temporary. Once addiction sets in, alcohol dependence will follow.
Alcohol dependence is characterized by the presence of withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is not present. Once an alcoholic has fallen into a state of physical dependence, they will need alcohol abuse treatment if they intend to safely return to a stable state of sobriety.
Sometimes a person's alcohol abuse can bring on feelings of guilt and shame, but it is important to acknowledge that it is an illness. While alcoholism may take time to progress, others are genetically predisposed to become addicted to alcohol.
It is important to identify the signs of potential alcoholism in order to have the best chances of recovery and to prevent relapse. Even if you are not experiencing an addiction yourself, don't hesitate to intervene on behalf of someone who you notice to be struggling under the weight of drug addiction and drug dependence.
Alcohol abuse causes adjustments in the brain's function and greatly impairs a person's ability to acknowledge that there is a problem. More specifically, alcoholism affects the part of the brain responsible for self-awareness and self-analyzing. This causes the person to rationalize their alcohol abuse as a sort of survival method to continue with their addiction. For young people, it is easy to think that they are too young to be suffering from this sort of problem and it only concerns older people who have struggled with the disease for years. This is not the case.
Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the most widely accepted forms of relapse prevention once a person is able to complete recovery treatment. There are scores of members in the AA program who acknowledged the problem at a young age, some in their early teens, and have maintained continuous years of complete sobriety.