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Alcoholic Definition: 5 Myths about Alcoholism

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There are many false beliefs roaming around on the web about what an alcoholic is and what requirements you must have in order to be an alcoholic. Let’s clear up some of the top 5 myths associated with the alcoholic definition and alcoholism in general.

Alcoholic Definition Facts & Myths

Myth 1: You have to be a daily drinker, drink alone, or drink in the morning to be an alcoholic.

Alcoholic Definition Fact: You do not have to be a morning drinker, drink alone, or be an everyday drinker to be an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a disease and affects each person differently. It’s true that after long-term use, more frequent drinking may occur, but it is not necessary to be alcoholic. Many times people refer to these people as functioning alcoholics.

Myth 2: Young people can’t be alcoholics.

Alcoholic Definition Fact: Alcoholism is a disease and does not discriminate based on age, economic income, gender, race, or religious background. People who suffer from alcoholism also suffer from an allergy to alcohol. A reaction to this allergy, and the phenomenon of craving paired with the obsession to consume, can come at any age.

Myth 3: If I don’t drink for a while then that proves I’m not an alcoholic.

Alcoholic Definition Fact: Those who try to recover from alcoholism on their own, and who do not drink for some time, often tend to believe that they are not alcoholic. Unfortunately, the only way to “really” find out is to pick up again and see if the phenomenon of craving and mental obsession returns.  There are plenty of alcoholics who have turned to being a dry drunk to prove they are the expectation to the rule. What is a dry drunk? It’s simply an alcoholic who stays sober on pure willpower without the help of any 12-step program. Many times these individuals are unhappy and often times relapse because they do not have support or help when the desire to drink returns.

Myth 4: Alcoholics are people who live under bridges only.

Alcoholic Definition Fact: There are always going to be homeless that will suffer from drinking, and alcoholics that may live under bridges, but this is not a requirement. Not all homeless people are alcoholics, and not all alcoholics are homeless. This is just a stigma that has to be smashed. Alcoholics (both in recovery and out of recovery) can be anyone – like your neighbors, local mail carrier, and even the soccer mom. Alcoholism does not discriminate, remember?

Myth 5: You can cure alcoholism if you have enough willpower to do so.

Alcoholic Definition Fact:  Although some people can manage to stay sober using their own willpower for a long period of time, in most cases, these “dry” individuals have a tendency to be miserable. And simply avoiding alcohol does not mean you have “cured” alcoholism. This could, however, mean one of two things: 1. You are just a heavy drinker and not really an alcoholic or 2. You are on borrowed time if you are a real alcoholic. Real alcoholics (not heavy drinkers) suffer from a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. Without a solution, that fateful day will come where the alcoholic will desire alcohol and there will be nothing standing in the way of alcoholic and his drink. What do you think the alcoholic will do? That mental blank spot just has to come into play once, and their willpower just needs to be weakened a little, for a bad decision to pick up to be made.

Alcoholic Definition Solution

We keep talking about alcoholism as a disease, and we mean it. Alcoholism is not a moral dilemma or an issue of being weak willed; it’s a disease that wants the person dead, and it’s the only disease that will tell the person suffering from it, that they don’t have a disease at all. Once an alcoholic puts alcohol in their system, it triggers an allergic reaction, recognized as the craving. Later, the mental obsession creeps in, and often times is followed by guilt, shame, and remorse, which can and does affect the alcoholic emotionally and spiritually. One of the more favored methods of recovery from alcoholism is some form of professional treatment, followed by a program of recovery.

If you are unsure if you are an alcoholic or a heavy drinker, click here: The Alcoholic vs. The  Heavy Drinker

If you are still unsure if you suffer from alcoholism, take this simple quiz now: Am I Addicted?

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