One notorious disease that is responsible for negatively affecting countless lives, to the point of possibly resulting in death, is alcoholism. Alcohol abuse and dependency is a growing problem and ranks the same with diseases like Diabetes Mellitus and even cancer.

The disease is characterized by a patterned intake of alcohol in excessive amounts for a period of several days, weeks and even months. In the United States alone, alcohol abuse affects 20% of men and 10% of women which begins as early as their teenage years.

Alcoholism can have detrimental effects on a person’s well being. Not only does it affect an individual physically, it also affects his or her families, mental capacities and his or her cognitive abilities.

Alcohol abuse also presents a wide range of related diseases and considerably increases one’s risk for cancer, particularly the ones that affect the liver, the larynx and the esophagus. It also causes depression on the immune system; harm on the fetus when a mother is pregnant or carrying a baby and lastly, brain damage which can result to coma and worse, death. (Note: The March of Dimes has an excellent short video about alcohol and pregnancy, which we have included at the bottom of this page.)

drinkingExcessive intake of alcohol also accounts for a huge number of car accidents, work related accidents and even cases of homicide and murder. People who likely take in too much alcohol are more prone to taking smoking and illegal drugs.

There are various reasons as to why a person results to alcoholism. It can be family related, work related, etc but the symptoms of alcoholism are quite common. Depression and anxiety are also very common reasons as to why an individual ends up as an alcoholic.

The following are elements that are characterized in alcoholism. An alcohol addicted individual will have a very strong urge or need to drink alcohol no matter what the time of day is, whether there is an occasion or not. He or she also has an impaired or inability to stop when he or she starts drinking alcohol.

Alcoholism is also characterized by heavy alcohol dependency causing extreme withdrawal symptoms when he or she is devoid from drinking for a period of time. An extreme need to be high is also present in many alcoholic individuals.

Just like substance abuse, the more an individual relies on alcohol the more he or she will get accustomed to it. Thus, the challenge for treatment for recovery becomes harder. However, alcoholism is fully treatable.

It is a painstaking and lengthy process but in due time one can return to a healthy normal life. If you have a loved one or friend who is suffering from alcoholism by exhibiting the symptoms and signs, he or she needs treatment.

One thing that makes alcoholism difficult to treat is due to an individual’s unwillingness to change. As such, the family and friends play an important role during the intervention process as well as during the treatment and recovery phase by offering full support in any means they can.

We advise that you check your local hotline operator or directory for the nearest addiction center whenever necessary and if you need assistance now you can dial 800-281-9728 to find a suitable treatment center for you or a loved one. Our operators are available 24 hours a day to take your call and help you find the help you need.

In the United States, for example in the state of Louisiana, they have state of the art treatment facilities and recovery programs that can help facilitate the treatment and recovery of the alcoholic. They also provide education for the families as well as friends and help them understand the disease and how they can in their own ways help with the treatment towards recovery.

Alcoholism is fully treatable, however the path to recovery is a long and winding road. To make the journey easier for you, your loved one or a friend, give yourself, him or her your full and loving support. That should make the journey manageable and would help whomever is afflicted surpass the challenge towards an alcohol free life.

Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby: Alcohol and Pregnancy from March of Dimes on Vimeo.