Addiction Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is Addictive Behavior?
  • What is Alcoholism?
  • What physical effects does alcohol have on one's body?
  • How Do I Know If I Have a Drinking Problem?

What is Addictive Behavior?

No matter what drug is involved, the disease of addiction appears to follow a predictable course. Typically, the user begins out of some level of curiosity. If the initial experience produces pleasurable results, the individual will more then likely move on to recreational use, such as with friends, at parties or on the weekends. As they come to enjoy the drug more and more, it is inevitable that the usage will increase, such as using during the week on a regular basis.

Soon, their lives become more and more centered around getting the drug and finding opportunities to use it. It begins to interfere with relationships, school, work, and other formerly productive areas of interest in their lives.

By now the drug-dependency, the addiction, have taken control, and the individual is unable to function without the drug. If there is not a physical addiction, there is most certainly a psychological dependency upon their drug of choice. And if their drug of choice is not easily accessible, they will resort to whatever it takes to obtain that drug.


What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychological, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. This disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by continuous or periodic: impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial.

 

What physical effects does alcohol have on one's body?

Alcohol goes directly into the bloodstream, which is why it has effects on every system in the body. Heavy drinking can cause cirrhosis and cancer of the liver. Children in families with alcoholic members are at a higher risk for alcoholism. Excessive drinking can decrease the amount of testosterone in a man's body and cause impotence. Alcohol abuse can lead to both homicides and suicides.

Drinking can cause serious injuries and death - over 38% of drownings are alcohol-related.
Long-term effects of heavy alcohol use include loss of appetite, vitamin deficiencies, stomach ailments, sexual impotence, liver damage, heart and central nervous system damage, and memory loss.

 

How Do I Know If I Have a Drinking Problem?

Chances are if you're even asking the question, you have a drinking problem. But here are some other factors:

  • Inability to control your drinking - it seems that regardless of what you decide beforehand, you frequently wind up drinking too much.
  • Using alcohol to escape your problems.
  • Changing from your usual reserved character into the "life of the party."
  • A change in personality - does drinking turn you from Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde?
  • A high tolerance level - you can drink just about everybody under the table.
  • Blackouts - sometimes you don't remember what happened when you were drinking.
  • Problems at work or in school as a result of drinking.
  • Concern shown by your family and friends about your drinking.

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