What is alcoholism? To too many people the world over, alcoholism is an all too familiar affliction. It would be difficult to find someone who could truly say that their family contains not at least one alcoholic, and if the truth be known: where there is one alcoholic in a family, there are many, many more.
It is interesting to realize that in a genetically predisposed family, alcoholism statistics show that the members can be said to be alcoholic even if they have never ingested a single alcoholic beverage. These people, should they have a drink of alcohol, would immediately take on the characteristics of their drunken old uncle. The genetic factor is so strong that people from alcoholic families who choose not to drink are said to be “dry drunks.”
When asking “what is alcoholism,” you should know it does not always lead to the gutter, but it certainly can cause a lot of trouble for the heavy drinker. Many times, the so called “functioning alcoholic” gets up and goes about the daily business of life with few problems. Once the working day is done and the kids are in bed, these functioning alcoholics proceed into the night downing a few highballs while watching a movie or sports on television, then, not forgetting to brush their teeth, stumble into bed for a deep dreamless sleep. Then they get up in the morning and do it all over again. It is only when an unfortunate incident calls attention to their habits that they are labeled an alcoholic by an outside entity, such as a doctor.
Of course, we have all seen the result of a lifetime of overuse of fermented spirits. Looking at what is alcoholism; liver disease is one of the results of constant intoxication. Many people can drink in excess for years before this weakening of the body is evident. It is more likely that the alcoholic tendency will first be noticed at the office in the morning, when the sufferer is sick with a hangover and reeks of booze when they come in to work. Fuzzy thinking and shaking hands are other possible signs.
The problem for problem drinkers is, knowing when to stop. An alcoholic will drink to excess until they either run out of booze, or pass out from too much. So you can see the ubiquitous prevalence and easy access to alcohol all lead to problems. What is alcoholism? –The answer might be hiding in the mirror.