How Addiction Is Defined

Defining Addiction

In its lexicon of terms, the World Health Organization’s definition of addiction includes two of the most common types of addiction: drug addiction and alcohol addiction. An addiction is the repeated use of a particular substance wherein the user (”addict”) becomes chronically dependent on the substance, is determined to acquire the substance at all costs, and experiences extreme difficulty ceasing to use the substance. By its definition, addiction is a long-standing term of substance usage that can be considered a type of disease, since it is a debilitating type of disorder.

Alcoholism Defined

Alcoholism or alcohol addiction is a condition wherein a person repeatedly uses alcohol because he is chronically dependent on it. . Alcoholics may be in denial, but they are unable to control when they drink, the quantity that they drink, and the effects of their alcohol intake. Many alcoholics experience strained family and work relationships, poor health, and financial instability.

Alcoholism Vs. Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse, while part of the definition of addiction to alcohol, is slightly different in nature. By definition, alcohol abuse occurs when an individual drinks too much on occasion, which then leads to certain problems even without an alcoholic dependency. Examples of alcohol abuse include over-drinking during festivities or parties, or temporary memory loss after having too many drinks. A person who abuses alcohol may not have the severe symptoms of an alcoholic, as he or she may not feel compelled to drink all the time. Still, alcohol abuse can open up a person to several risks. It can also lead to an ongoing problem.

Getting Help For Alcohol Addiction

Alcoholics, unlike those who abuse alcohol on occasion, experience physical withdrawal symptoms when they can’t get access to alcohol. Their bodies have become highly dependent on the substance, so much so that they cannot stop drinking unless through professional intervention. Those who believe they have a compulsion towards alcohol might be at risk for alcoholism. There are options which include alcoholics anonymous meetings, hospital detox units, individual counseling and rehab centers designed for approximately thirty days. Drinking too much, after all, can already lead to serious health problems, including liver disease and alcohol poisoning. Doctors are in the best position to counsel alcohol drinkers, as well as recommend certain support groups. Getting one’s head out of the sand is critical to acknowledge that there is a problem. Often family members will stage an alcoholic intervention so that friends and family members can help motivate the person to check in and get help at an alcohol addiction facility. Willingness to get help is half the battle.

Drug Addiction Definition

Drug addiction is a dependence on a street drug or a type of medication. A person who is addicted to drugs cannot control their drug intake, and ingest drugs regardless of their side effects. Many drug addicts resort to legal drugs for their addiction, specifically because they are easily acquired through pharmacies. Others become dependent on illegal drugs. Drug addicts often experience intense cravings for particular drugs and experience terrible withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to stop usage.

Drug addiction poses a number of serious health, mental and physical threats on an individual, including death from drug overdose. Long-term use leads to behavioral changes and psychological damage, which in turn affect relationships, the ability to hold a job, even incidents of breaking the law. Pain pill medication is a more recent form of addiction and many people feel it is not a problem due to the fact they have a prescription. Nonetheless, people often seek to get extra pills from friends or families and not follow their doctor’s recommendations.

Drug Abuse Vs. Drug Addiction: What’s The Difference

Drug abuse is the short term use of drugs in a manner that affects a person’s behavior or sense of judgment. This includes “recreational” drug use, such as experimentation during parties and the like. Not everyone who uses drugs becomes an addict; however, drug addicts generally became so through casual use. Anything someone does can become a habit. A person ingests larger doses of the drug and eventually experiences a “high.” In this way, abuse has progressed to a full on addiction.

Getting Help For Drug Addiction

Individuals who feel they are at risk for drug addiction should seek professional help from doctors, family, friends and support groups. Due to denial, family members and friends are often the ones to help someone acknowledge that they even have a problem. If there is alcoholism in the family, attending al-anon is a good way to lend support and also learn ways to not fall into the same trap. Honesty is an important and necessary tool to avoid staying stuck in any rut, including addictive habits. Honesty is the best way to keep one’s intent and stop a pattern of relapsing over and over.

12 Step Program

Do You Have to Like the 12 Step Program to Recover

When you mention Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous to people sometimes they just get turned off. Seeing, “Hi. My name is Phil and I have a problem”, in a lot of movies and tv skits can make some people feel they are hopeless. Others don’t feel comfortable with a spiritual approach or saying they are powerless. The 12 step program is not the only approach to addiction recovery.

12 Step ProgramThere are approaches that are holistic with acupuncture and yoga as well as more scientific and less religious programs. Some prefer cognitive-behavioral approaches. Don’t feel you have to be locked into one treatment modality to recover. There are different approaches, just as in psychotheray you can choose from Jungian, Freudian, behavioral and new age therapies.

Try out a meeting to see if it clicks for you and see if your misconceptions may dissolve. If you are uncomfortable with some of the language such as admission of being powerless, translate it in your own mind to thinking about your own feelings of helplessness that you experience.

Many addiction problems stem from feeling like you have to perfect and admitting powerlessness may not feel right to you. But, it is also a burden to constantly try and be perfect as well. Try to look at that a little and reflect.

The main thing is to not be in denial and take steps to get health again- whether it is the 12 steps or a different approach. Getting out of denial is the first thing to do whatever support or treatment option you embark upon.

If you have reservations regarding the whole 12 step recovery program thing then maybe you should take a look at some of the articles we’ve posted here about heavy drinking and that actual 12 step program and how it works. It’s all good information… but remember, the 12 steps is not the only avenue for you to pursue, and we’re here to help you get the right treatment you desire.

12 Step Recovery Program

12 Steps Recovery Program

12 Step Recovery

12 Steps Recovery ProgramAlcoholism refers to a disease when a drinking excessive amount of alcohol. This chronic disease often comes with other problems like failure in school, at work or in the family as well as depression and interpersonal problems.

If an alcohol problem is left untreated, it can lead to dependence or even death. When a person becomes dependent on alcohol his tolerance to it increases. He will continually crave it and usually deny he has a problem.

The person will lose control of his life and will experience withdrawal symptoms if his drinking is reduced. This often keeps someone in a cycle of drinking and stopping.

Alcohol Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms include sweating, tremors, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, and seizures. A person who tries to stop drinking alcohol abruptly can experience any or all of these symptoms.

Alcohol rehabilitation centers often offer the 12 Step Recovery program. The Step Recovery approach was established in 1935 by Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson. They themselves had a history of alcoholism and walked the walk in their own recovery. The big book is also a reference to this.

The 12 steps are also used in some other anonymous groups such as narcotics anonymous and overeating anonymous. So, it is actually a method applicable to many addictive habits that are hard to break.

The 12 steps To recovery are:

12 Steps Recovery Program1) Admission of one’s powerlessness over alcohol

2) Believe in a power beyond oneself that can bring one back

3) Turning one’s will to the higher source.

4) Conducting an inventory of oneself

5) The courage to admit to oneelf, God and another being one’s wrongs

6) Being prepared to have the higher power remove one’s defects and flaws

7) Asking the higher power to help one

Writing down a list of people who have been harmed by one’s actions and inwardly turning inside to ready to correct this

9) Start the process of making ammnds when appropriate

10) Reflect more and take inventory and be willing to admit when one is in the wrong

11) Continue in prayer and meditation

12) With spiritual realizations carry this awareness and message to others that are afflicted with alcoholism

Is The 12 Step Recovery Program For You?

Not everyone is comfortable with a religious approach and alcoholics anonymous has a flexibility within it where one can focus on the fact they are not alone . Others seek a different form of recovery that doesn’t draw on any spirituality but relies upon rationality only and will.

There are both closed and open meetings where family members can attend. Many people also choose to communicate daily with their sponsor to get through any rough patches. The group is non-profit and this makes it affordable.

Depending on the situation, some people may first undergo a detoxification process at a hospital or rehab center to get sober.

Drinking And Hard Liquor Dangers

Hard Liquor

The Dangers Of Drinking And Hard Liquor

Most people are not familiar with the effects that hard alcohol has on their body. It is a very different effect than what you get from consuming beer or wine. We’ll be taking a look at the effects of drinking different types of hard alcohol, and how it is different from other types of drinks.

Hard Liquor DrinkingHard alcohol is a liquor that contains more than 20% alcohol by volume. These include vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila, rum, brandy, cognac, and other distilled alcohol.

Sometimes hard liquor is consumed in small amounts like 2 ounce shot glasses, buy many times it is consumed as a mixed drink. The danger with drinking hard alcohol is when it’s mixed to create a drink that has a high alcohol content, but it has the taste of the mixer. You then become unaware of much you’re actually drinking.

If you were to combine vodka with cranberry juice, even a small amount of cranberry juice will lessen the taste of the vodka. Thus, you will have a high volume of alcohol but it won’t have the harsh taste of drinking the vodka in a pure shot glass.

If you were to consume it by sipping it over time, then more than likely the alcohol’s effects would be kept in check. That’s because you’d be very conscious of the amount of hard liquor that you would be drinking.

Hard Liquor Alcohol Content Compared to Beer

Also, a recipe for a mixed drink varies depending on the bartender and also on the establishment that is serving the drink. There are different types of hard alcohol and brands with different alcohol content.

Some hard alcohol can have up to 51% of alcohol by volume. When you compare that with beer which is usually anywhere from 4 to 6% alcohol, you can see that one mixed drink can contain as much alcohol as up to four beers.

Drinking Hard LiquorDangers Of Drinking Hard Liquor

This can become very dangerous especially if you’re driving a car. You could have just one mixed drink and that could be equal to having consumed four beers in a relatively short period of time. This could make any person be over the alcohol limit in most jurisdictions.

So, just be careful when drinking all types of hard alcohol. If you have a history of addiction, then this is something you need to avoid all together. If you can drink socially, be aware of the proportions that you drinking and the actual amount of all alcohol that you’re consuming.

In this way you can avoid the trouble of being charged with driving under the influence as well as not fall into an alcohol problem on a physical and psychological level.

If you’re a hard liquor drinker that is prepared to do something about it and seek help then please refer to our article on Drug Alcohol Rehab