What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism refers to chronic use of alcohol with dependence and results in disturbance in daily functioning. Consumption of alcohol is not something new, but many people get addicted to it due to various reasons and it develops into a disorder, often known as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

Signs and Symptoms

Alcoholism can be identified through a number of signs and symptoms visible in the person’s behavior apart from medical tests. These signs include drinking alone or trying to keep it a secret, having no control over the amount of alcohol consumed, drinking in large amounts to feel the effect of alcohol, developing alcohol tolerance, having withdrawal effects in case of not drinking. The person would also face trouble in keeping up with relationships and fulfilling professional commitments.

Alcoholism is characterized by reclusiveness and severing ties with the social world. Some people have this uncontrollable urge and this causes them to stash alcohol in all kinds of places for quick access. They have physical symptoms like shivering and sweating, when the drink wears off, which is only subsided by another round of intake. Many alcoholics feel guilty and ashamed of this problem, but find themselves helpless against it.


Alcoholism can be caused because of a number of social and medical reasons. Stress and anxiety can be triggers for consumption of large amounts of alcohol, which eventually may result in addiction. Apart from this, peer pressure and social insistence is also found to be a reason of alcoholism. Many people have such genetic wiring that they cannot control the amount of alcohol they consume. It has also been found that people with a family history of alcoholism, parents being alcoholics, are more likely to be alcoholics themselves.

Health Risks

Alcoholism holds dangers to one’s health in many ways. It can directly affect the liver, increase the GAMMA level which in turn can cause liver failure. Alcohol has adverse effects on the person’s brain functioning and memory as well. Many people lose their ability to perform even the basic functions of everyday life. The effects of this disorder can pass through lineage, from parents to their children. Especially if a mother is an alcoholic, the child may be severely harmed and develop Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.


Medical treatment and rehabilitation centers are available throughout the country; however, this addictive nature of this disorder cannot be treated through one approach alone. If only medical care is provided and the patient has no idea how to have self control or lacks will, then the treatment will be ineffective. Similarly if only psychological assistance is given, the urges will cause the patient to return to the habit if they are not controlled though medicines as well.

This disorder causes many social, professional and emotional problems for the addicted individual. Though, it has been proven, through thousands of case studies that effective and timely treatment can help to return back to normal life.