Is alcohol affecting your health, life, and relationships? Do you find it is hard to stop drinking alcohol? Have you developed alcohol dependence? If yes, you are among the 17.6 million adult Americans who have chronic alcoholism, also called alcohol-use disorder.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, one out of 12 suffer have chronic alcoholism.
Alcohol-use disorder is the medical term for American society called alcoholism, which is actually a nonclinical descriptor.
The council has also reported that 7 million children are living in a household where at least one parent has the problems of alcoholism, while more than 50 percent of all adults are known to have a family history of alcoholism.
Varying degrees of alcoholism exist, such as mild to moderate to severe, depending on the number of signs and symptoms a person experiences. However, despite its consequences, a powerful craving for alcohol is common among that entire spectrum.
The potential health effects of alcoholism include liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular problems, cerebrovascular problems, gastrointestinal disorders, poor immune system, nervous disorders, psychological disorders, and an increased risk for several types of cancer. Binge or heavy drinking is also associated with the risk of death from car crashes and severe injuries.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, over 88,000 alcohol-related deaths occur each year.
Alcoholism does not need to be life-threatening, but it could be difficult to quit and there are high chances of relapse. Nevertheless, psychological therapy, medication, rehabilitation, and support from family and friends have been found effective in helping people to stop drinking alcohol.