It is estimated that between 12 and 14 million adults in the U.S. suffer from alcohol abuse or are chronic alcoholics. Nearly 100,000 Americans die each year as a result of alcohol abuse and alcohol is a factor in more than half of the country's homicides, suicides, and traffic accidents. Alcohol abuse also plays a role in many social and domestic problems, from job absenteeism and crimes against property to spousal and child abuse.
Alcohol abuse differs from alcoholism in that it does not include an extremely intense craving for alcohol, loss of control over drinking, or physical dependence. Alcohol abuse is defined as a pattern of drinking that results in one or more of the following situations within a 12-month period:
While it is not easy to identify alcohol abuse since it is a legal substance, there are some symptoms of alcohol addiction which include:
Some other symptoms include withdrawal from friends and a healthy life, and losing focus in life. Alcohol abuse destroys a person in their thinking ability and causes either insomnia or too much sleep.
There is a very thin line between social drinking and problem drinking, but professional help should be sought when alcohol starts causing problems in your daily life.
Alcohol abuse treatment differs from alcoholism treatment in that detox is not necessary because a person suffering from alcohol abuse lacks the physical addiction and intense cravings that one suffering from alcoholism would experience.
The first step in alcohol abuse treatment is abstinence. If you have a problem with controlling the amount of alcohol you consume, just stay away from it altogether to eliminate the risk of binge drinking. You must train yourself to live without alcohol. To do this you should avoid people and places that make drinking the norm, such as bars and parties where alcohol will be consumed. Enlist the help and support of your family and friends, and try to establish a new hobby to replace drinking alcohol. Do something that makes you feel good about yourself and about what you're doing, such as volunteer work or a new exercise regiment.
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