Understanding the Disease of Alcoholism: Is Alcohol the Alcoholic’s Problem?
The disease of alcoholism is cunning, baffling, and powerful. There’s no doubt about how distressing and painful it can be to live in an active addiction to alcohol. Though someone who doesn’t have an accurate understanding about alcoholism may perceive it as a choice, the truth is that alcoholism is a complex brain disease.
Disease of Alcoholism
If alcoholism is a disease, does that mean that alcohol is the problem? While an alcoholic can function better and live a greater quality of life in sobriety, the reality is that alcohol is not the root problem. In order to understand that alcohol is only a symptom of a much bigger problem in the alcoholic, it is important to understand the definition of alcoholism.
Alcoholism is defined as an addiction to alcohol in spite of negative consequences. It is a brain disease that is characterized by the obsessive and compulsive nature to drink. Alcoholism can affect an alcoholic on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. Therefore, removing the alcohol is just the start toward helping the alcoholic.
Alcohol Is the Symptom of the Problem
There is a misconception that if alcohol were to be removed from the alcoholic or if the alcoholic could only practice self-control, then the alcoholic wouldn’t have a problem anymore. The truth is that alcohol is a symptom of the alcoholic’s problem, so abstaining from alcohol would only address the physical nature of the disease. Without some type of treatment, the alcoholic is likely to return to drinking because an alcoholic is incapable of practicing “self-control” with alcohol.
Many alcoholics don’t even fully understand that alcohol is but a symptom of the true problem until after they become sober. Alcohol is not the alcoholic’s problem because it’s just one way that their disease has manifested. The true problem is the alcoholic’s desire for more of anything at any cost. Alcoholism is a disease, but it is one that can keep an alcoholic feeling stuck in selfish and self-seeking behaviors and tendencies. Until an alcoholic can learn a new way of life in sobriety and work on themselves from the inside, they are bound to continue slipping down the same vicious cycle of drinking.
Treatment for Alcoholism
Recovering from alcoholism takes honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness to make real, lasting changes. It can be extremely difficult for an alcoholic to recover on their own, and they shouldn’t have to. A medical detox and inpatient rehab center can help provide essential treatment for an alcoholic by helping them as they get off all substances and develop healthier coping skills to utilize in place of drinking.
The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs offers a full continuum of care that begins with an alcohol detox and inpatient rehab but extends all the way to outpatient treatment and sober living environments. If you are struggling with alcoholism, now is the time to recover and live the life you truly deserve. Call The Watershed today at 1-800-861-1768.Tags: alcohol, alcohol addiction, Alcoholism, disease of alcoholism