Alcoholism Facts: Alcohol Abuse Facts
Alcoholism facts describe alcoholism is a chronic disease characterized by an overwhelming need to consume alcohol in spite of the problems resulting in the life of the alcoholic and those around them due to drinking. Alcoholics drink uncontrollably and continually increase the amount of alcohol they drink and are physically dependant on the alcohol.
Alcohol abuse is distinct from alcoholism. In alcohol abuse, while alcohol still plays a destructive role in the drinker's life, the drinker is not yet fully dependant on alcohol and can set some limits on their drinking. (read: alcohol abuse definition)
Alcoholism Facts - Alcohol Abuse Facts
Alcohol abuse, sometimes known as problem drinking, is very common in North America. Alcohol abuse facts indicate that 30% of Americans report having a drinking problem at some time in their lives. (See alcohol use statistics) While those who abuse alcohol are not yet physically dependant on the drug, alcohol abuse facts suggest it can still drastically impact a person's life.
More alcohol abuse facts include:
- Alcohol consumption affects women cognitively more severely than men
- People who abuse alcohol are often annoyed when others ask them to stop
- Alcohol abusers will engage in risky behavior while drinking, such as drinking and driving
- Drinking will get in the way of family, work and life obligations
- Drinking is seen as a way to relax and de-stress, typically every day
- Abusing alcohol is a major risk factor in becoming an alcoholic
- An alcohol abuser can become an alcoholic due to stress or loss
- Binge drinking puts an alcohol abuser at greater risk for becoming an alcoholic
- Not all people who abuse alcohol go on to become alcoholics
Alcoholism Facts - Facts on Alcoholism
Alcoholism touches everyone as alcoholism facts indicate that 5% to 10% of men and 3% to 5% of women could be diagnosed as alcohol dependant. Facts on alcoholism show that alcoholism causes huge problems for the life and the health of the alcoholic.
Facts on alcoholism show:
- Alcoholics typically downplay their drinking and the effects of drinking
- Alcoholics continually increase the amount they drink as it takes more alcohol to produce the same effect (this is known as tolerance)
- Alcoholics require alcohol to function, sometimes first thing in the morning
- Alcohol is consumed to avoid feelings of withdrawal and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
- Alcoholics may want to stop drinking but can't
- Alcoholics forfeit all other interests to drinking
A major alcoholism fact that people need to understand is: a person can be functional, have a career and family and still be an alcoholic. Alcoholism isn't about how much a person drinks or whether they have a high income, it's about the effect the alcohol is having on the alcoholic and their life.
Last Updated: 20 June 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD