Why Alcoholism is known as an Illness

Trying to understand that alcoholism is an illness can seem a bit strange, as it completely differs from our depictions of what one really is. However, various medical institutions such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have accepted alcoholism to be a primary illness. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) provided a simple definition, defining it as a “mental obsession that causes a physical compulsion to drink.”

In this article, you will be able to find out why alcoholism is known as an illness.

Can Alcoholism be a Mental Obsession?

Have you ever been in a situation where you heard a catchy tune of a song or television advert and the music keeps playing in your head? No matter what you do, for that period of time, it will seem impossible to get rid of it. You might have not wanted the tune in your head but it’s there. This is an easy way to describe a mental obsession. You had no control over what happened and this is the exact same case with alcoholism. The user has no command over the illness and the amounts of alcohol they consume. What makes it more dangerous is the fact that the alcoholic may be completely unaware that the illness actually exists and will be completely focused on their cravings to drink more and more.

The Illness Will Get Worse

Adding to the dangers of alcoholism is the fact that the longer the illness continues, the worse it will become. For example, in the beginning, an individual might just have one or two drinks before they are able to stop drinking. However over time, that threshold may become larger, causing the person to now drink 10+ glasses to achieve their limit. This is known as gaining a higher tolerance to alcohol, which is extremely dangerous, as while the cravings may cause the individual to drink more and more, the person’s body might not be able to cope with it. This commonly happens to people who have been drinking regularly for long periods of time, without realising that alcohol has taken complete control over them. This is another reason why most addicts will deny the fact that they have a problem and that they need help. Help comes in many forms but the best way to treat alcoholism is by getting professional medical care. This may commonly require a stay in an alcohol rehabilitation centre, where those addicted to alcohol will receive a supervised medical detoxification to help reduce or remove any withdrawal symptoms or cravings that might be experienced due to the fact that the substance is no longer available.

In the rehab clinic, patients will also receive the best counselling and therapy, such as one-on-one counselling and the famous 12 step group meetings, which is a type of self-help therapy session where recovering alcoholics will share their own personal stories of recovery. 12 step meetings are synonymous with the worldwide organisation Alcoholics Anonymous and is very effective in helping those addicted to alcohol maintain a clean, sober lifestyle.

For more information about rehabilitation, call us now and one of our accredited addiction counsellors will gladly assist in finding the best treatment available, suited to your needs.

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