Facts about alcoholism
Fact: Alcoholism is characterized by, among other things, the drinkers loss of control over his or her drinking, and continued drinking despite major negative consequences. Frequent intoxication is a symptom of alcoholism.
Fact: There is no age limit on alcoholism. There are many teenage alcoholics. Teens who drink are at particularly great risk of becoming alcoholic, since the disease develops much more rapidly in young people than in adults.
Fact: Some people use alcohol to forget their worries or to escape reality. Drinking for escape or relief is a warning sign for problem drinking.
Fact: Alcoholism, also known as "alcohol dependence," is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law.
Fact: Alcoholism is likely when an individual experiences at least 3 of the following symptoms during any 12-month period:
•Tolerance (increasing amounts of alcohol are required to achieve a desired effect); withdrawal symptoms (such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety); drinking larger amounts over a longer period of time than intended.
•A persistent desire to drink, or unsuccessful efforts to control drinking.
•Giving up or reducing important social, occupational or recreational activities in favor of drinking.
•Spending a great deal of time obtaining alcohol, drinking or recovering from drinking.
•Continued drinking despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurring physical or psychological problem either caused or exacerbated by drinking.
Fact: When a drinker uses alcohol as an escape from problems and comes to depend on it for relief, psychological dependence on alcohol is present. And when repeated drinking has produced tolerance (a need to consume more alcohol to obtain the same effect), and the body needs alcohol just to function, physical dependence on alcohol is present.
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