Alcoholism is one of the most common addictions in this country, affecting the young and old alike. Alcohol use can be categorized into two areas:
- Alcohol abuse – Abusers are usually heavy drinkers who may or may not drink every day. An alcohol abuser may only drink once or twice a week, but when they do drink, they drink excessively.
- Alcohol addiction – Addiction is the physical dependence on alcohol. Much like drug addiction, alcohol addicts physically need alcohol to function in every day life. Many addicts build a tolerance to alcohol, leading to increasing binges and drinking episodes. Some addicts may feel they need a drink just to perform or get through daily activities. Alcohol addiction may also become evident in self destructive behaviors. Some individuals are genetically predisposed to addiction, and alcoholism can run in families.
Educational resources on alcohol use, dependence and abuse
- DrugAbuse.com: https://drugabuse.com/library/alcohol-abuse/
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) : https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/pharmacotherapi-1
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/
Teenage Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
Underage drinking and teenage alcohol abuse and addiction continues to lead the national stage as a major problem. Many addictions start in adolescence and alcoholism is no exception. More readily accessible than other substances, alcohol is widely abused by teens across the country. Not only is underage drinking an individual health risk but can also be a public health concern when dangerous behaviors such as drinking and driving come into play. Alcohol, like all substances, can have a negative health effect on the adolescents’ developing brain and body.
Information on alcohol use and abuse for teens:
- Project Know - https://www.projectknow.com/research/teen-alcohol-addiction/
Learn more about prevention, talking to teens about alcohol and resources for families here.
Get the latest information on programs for alcohol dependence and recovery here.