How Alcoholism can Develop Over Time

It’s no secret that alcohol is consumed by most people for a variety of different reasons ranging from social gatherings to having a drink to unwind from a rough day at the office, but it can also be highly addictive and cause a person’s life to become unmanageable as the effects of alcoholism set in. When most people drink, the body receives a flow of dopamine that gives them a buzz, but they’re able to drink responsibly and understand the consequences if they drink too much. When someone who suffers from the disease of addiction takes their first drink, they have no control over how much they’ll drink or when they’ll stop. It’s common for people to wonder why a person would drink so much when it’s clearly causing so many problems in their lives, but the reality is that they’ve lost the power of choice and need help in order to recover from alcoholism.

What is Alcoholism?

There are two primary ways that someone can become an alcoholic. One way is that they’re genetically predisposed to addiction and may drink alcoholically from the time of their first drink. Studies have shown that this comes from an abnormality in the frontal lobe of their brain. The frontal lobe is responsible for moderation, impulse control and allowing the person to be self-aware, so when an alcoholic drinks their mind is unable to separate truth from falsehood and allow them to make logical decisions when it comes to their drinking. Although many alcoholics are born this way, alcoholism can also develop over time in other people.

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There are many life situations such as stress or a traumatic event that can cause a person to become an alcoholic. They may begin drinking more often than they ever have as a form of self-medication and while it may have started off as just regular drinking, it can eventually turn into an addiction. The longer someone drinks on a regular basis the more their body becomes dependent on alcohol and will begin to crave it, leading to alcoholism. During these bouts of hard drinking, the person’s mind is also affected and begins to change and damage is done to the frontal lobe of the brain so they can begin to lose control over their drinking eventually. While this doesn’t happen to every hard drinker, it makes the risk of addiction much greater.

Is a Daily Drinker an Alcoholic?

Sometimes there are misconceptions about who an alcoholic actually is. There are many people that drink on a daily basis, or drink very large quantities when they do drink, but this does not necessarily make them an alcoholic. A hard drinker is able to set drinking aside if they need to. If their job is threatened, their health is at risk or other negative consequences emerge because of their drinking these people are able to start moderating their drinking or quit altogether. When these same situations happen to an alcoholic, they’re unable to make the same logical choice. Their mental obsession and physical craving developed from alcoholism are so strong that they’re unable to stop even when they know that it’s in their best interest. They’re suffering from a disease that’s beyond their control and should seek treatment in order to recover.

If you or someone you love is suffering from alcoholism, please call our hotline at 800-447-9081.

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