An alcohol addiction is more commonly referred to as alcoholism, sometimes as problem drinking, sometimes as alcohol abuse, sometimes as a dipsomaniac.
There is a tendency sometimes to get a bit caught up as to whether there is a real distinction between any of these issues. Whilst there is a distinction, academically, between an alcoholic and someone who is a very heavy drinker, alcohol addiction can effectively refer to various types of person.
Alcohol addiction in terms of alcoholism is generally regarded as an illness, as a progressive illness. This view is widely supported within organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and by the medical profession and the large number of rehabs and treatment centres that offer support and clinical programs for clients wishing to get sober.
An alcohol addiction can manifest itself as alcoholism in many different ways and different types, at many different ages, in all genders, in all professions and all social classes. Whilst it is possible to generalise about what constitutes an alcohol addiction, there is also a danger in that definitions of alcohol addiction can become quite prescriptive.
Organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous have questionnaires that tend to elicit responses as to whether the individual thinks they might have a drink problem will not. Some of these questions that Alcoholics Anonymous literature asks can be beneficial in terms of highlighting a potential risk to a person’s life all likelihood that can be directly attributed to alcohol addiction. In the end it is always for the individual themselves to decide if they are addicted to alcohol.
Whilst this is often quite obvious to a third party, someone who is an alcoholic will often be in a very strong state of denial that they have a problem with alcohol or an alcohol addiction. This is really important to know and grasp for anyone wanting to deal with an alcoholic. An alcoholic will perceive alcohol as being the thing that is holding them together, whilst at the same time living with the very real nightmare that an alcoholic or alcohol addiction scenario will show.
A rehab or treatment center will often be the first port of call for someone who has an alcohol addiction and is in some need of help in order to address this as a problem. Other people who have problems or are addicted to alcohol will go directly to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous where they can also receive a huge amount of help.
Often people who have an alcohol addiction will be in such a strong sense of denial that they’ve will consciously or subconsciously completely refute the idea that they have a problem with alcohol or that they are in any need of help from anyone or any rehab or treatment center.