Alcoholism, What Is It?

So many of you may be here because you suffer from alcoholism…this post actually isn’t for you. You may have had people tell you what alcoholism is and what its affects can be, but this post is for the loved ones. The people who are dealing with the alcoholic. You are just as in need of treatment or guidance as the alcoholic themselves.

Alcohol use disorder (which includes a level that’s sometimes called alcoholism) is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.

Unhealthy alcohol use includes any alcohol use that puts your health or safety at risk or causes other alcohol-related problems. It also includes binge drinking — a pattern of drinking where a male consumes five or more drinks within two hours or a female downs at least four drinks within two hours. Binge drinking causes significant health and safety risks.

If your pattern of drinking results in repeated significant distress and problemems functioning in your daily life, you likely have alcohol use disorder. It can range from mild to severe. However, even a mild disorder can escalate and lead to serious problems, so early treatment is important.

-Source: Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic Alcoholism – Definition

I added this information so you can understand your loved one is suffering from an actual disease, and they may be at a point where they need an intervention in their life. Ultimatums aren’t the route to go if you want to keep the alcoholic in your life. By all means, if you are prepared to walk away from them, that is your choice. But just know there is help out there for them and for you. 

Here are links for local AA & Al-Anon meetings in your area:

Local AA Meetings

Local Al-Anon Meetings

If you or a loved one needs help, please reach out. There are amazing people and communities out there willing to listen.


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