The term ‘alcoholism’ covers a wide range of problems associated with alcohol. In general it is considered to be the compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcohol. This is usually accompanied by a deterioration in the drinker’s health, social standing and personal relationships.
Alcoholism is more than an indulgence in alcohol it is a disorder. As with addictions to other substances, drinking alcohol becomes a problem when it has adverse effects on your life and your health. Being an alcoholic is quite different from having an occasional drink or occasionally getting drunk it is a distinct condition which, fortunately, is becoming better understood and treatable.
When drinking takes a hold of your life and you recognise that you need help your first port of call for help is usually your GP. Your doctor can advise you of all the help and treatment that is available to you and set you on your path to recovery.
Denial and seeking help
Many alcoholics remain in denial for a long time, feeling that they could never ‘kick’ the habit but many have conquered this disorder and there are several different courses of action open for recovery.
For some it is the shame of admitting that they have a problem which prevents them from seeking help. If you feel that you are ready to take the first steps to sobriety but do not feel able to confide in your doctor there are many helplines which are dedicated to your recovery. There are organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous who will treat you with respect and dignity and have many years of experience to aid you.
The longer that alcohol remains a problem the more your health is likely to deteriorate along with your relationships with loved ones. You may fear a sober life as it could be a long time since you experienced life as a sober person, but most recovered alcoholics find that their quality of life and their happiness levels are greatly enriched once they put down the bottle.
Diagnosis and treatment
Your GP can help diagnose your condition and provide access or signpost the treatment that you require to overcome alcoholism. They can also run the tests which you may need to ensure that your physical health has not been adversely affected by the consumption of alcohol and, if necessary, provide any treatment which you may require to put damage right.
Remember that knowledge is power, so arm yourself with all the information you can and decide which course of action is the best for you. Also remember that whichever route you take it is imperative that you do choose the path to becoming sober as alcoholism can be a fatal illness.
The first steps you take will be the hardest but they will lead you to the road of recovery and a healthier, happier life. The sooner you make them the sooner you will regain your self-worth and the life which you deserve. Please see our array of alcohol guides and features below for more helpful information on the condition.