Alcohol Abuse: Definition, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Alcohol Abuse: Definition, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Alcohol Abuse: Definition, Symptoms, and Treatment Options


Contrary to popular belief, alcoholism is a real disease that needs robust medical attention to prevent its complications.

Over the years, researchers and physicians tried restlessly to pinpoint an exact cause for alcohol addiction, but all the research and clinical trials failed to identify a single cause.

With that being said, the current mindset believes that alcohol abuse stems from a combination of nature and nurture.

The nature part is a genetic predisposition to addiction, which runs in families. In other words, if you have a relative with alcohol addiction, your risk is of becoming addicted is higher.

The nurture part includes childhood events and how you behave.

Alcohol addiction manifests differently from one person to another; however, what all patients have in common is the inability to stay sober for an extended period of time.

In this article, we will cover the basic signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse, as well as the potential treatment options.

Symptoms of alcoholism

It is often difficult to spot someone with alcohol addiction since it is widely accepted throughout many cultures around the world.

Here are the most common signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse:

  • Increased frequency and amount of alcohol consumption
  • Lack of alcohol withdrawal symptoms (i.e., hangovers)
  • Irregular pattern of drinking (e.g., early in the morning)
  • Decreased performance at work
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Experiencing mental issues (e.g., depression, anxiety) -insert links of both previous articles-
  • Social isolation
  • Constantly thinking of alcohol

Typically, the severity of these symptoms gradually increases over time following the structural changes of the brain and the increasing severity of the addiction.

For this reason, it is important to stay vigilant in case a loved one shows early signs of alcohol addiction, as it’s always better to treat this condition during the early stages.

Complications of drinking too much alcohol

Chronic consumption of alcohol can lead to numerous complications that affect most organ systems and causes severe damage.

Here are some of the complications of chronic alcoholism:

Treatment of alcohol abuse

Treating alcohol abuse can be quite challenging. The first step towards healing is wanting to get better. Forcing someone to get sober will never work since they will just get back to drinking again once they are unsupervised.

Additionally, this journey requires a serious commitment from the patient since it is a lifetime process.

Here are some therapeutic options available for patients:

  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Alcoholics anonymous
  • Drug therapy
  • Counseling

Takeaway message

Alcohol abuse is a public health problem that affects millions of people around the globe. This condition is a real disease that damages most organ systems, especially the liver and brain.

Hopefully, you are now more familiar with alcohol abuse.