Is Alcoholism a Disease or Choice?

Is Alcoholism a Disease or Choice?


Written By: Brian Cattelle

is alcoholism a diseaseAlcoholism is a progressive disease which makes it impossible for the alcoholic to predict how much they’ll drink, for how long, and if they’ll be able to stop. An active alcoholic is usually unable to control their drinking and unable to stop drinking even when experiencing dire consequences.

Alcoholics may struggle with denial over their dependence. They may not want to admit they have an actual problem.

Alcoholics suffer from a mental obsession, which they’re powerless over.

Long-term alcoholism produces a physical dependence. So, some alcoholics are actually physically addicted and, when attempting to quit drinking, experience withdrawal symptoms.

Medical attention is highly recommended when first quitting drinking. After detox, alcohol abuse treatment is also recommended to better understand and treat alcoholism. Following treatment, attendance at AA and involvement in the Twelve Steps helps tremendously.

Warning Signs: How Do I Know If I’m An Alcoholic?

Can You Answer Yes to Five or More of These Questions?

-Are you having financial, work, school, and/or family issues as a direct result of your drinking?

-Do you avoid friends and family in order to drink?

-Do you have health issues, or has a doctor told you to quit drinking due to your health issues?

-Do you get the shakes and need alcohol in order to suppress them?

-Do you frequently wake up days after being drunk unaware of what happened?

-Does it make you uncomfortable when there is no alcohol present?

-Do you hide your alcohol or lie about your consumption?

-Have you tried switching types of alcoholic drinks is order to control your drinking?

-Have you had any legal issues due to your drinking?

-Do you find it hard to only have one drink?

-Do you feel guilty about your drinking?

-Have friends or family members expressed their concern about your drinking?

-Have you been unable to keep promises about cutting down or stopping drinking to others or yourself?

-Is it hard for you to wake up or go to sleep without drinking?

If you can answer yes to five or more of the above questions, well, you may have a problem with alcohol abuse. Consider seeking out professional help, in whatever form that may take.

What are Some of the Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcoholism?

Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening for someone who has been drinking for an extended period of time. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

-Severe shaking of the hands and body


-Extreme anxiety







-Muscle and bone aches




How Can Alcohol Abuse Affect the Family?

What are Some of the Long-Term Effects of Alcoholism?

-Unintentional car accidents, wrecks, DUI’s, etc.

-Legal issues

-Increased family issues

-Financial problems

-Alcohol poisoning

-Liver disease


-Weight gain

-Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (wet-brain)


-Cancers of the mouth, throat, stomach, liver, or kidneys


-Cardiovascular disease

-Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (pregnant drinkers)

Signs of a True Alcoholic


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