Wednesday, 9 January 2008


I thought I would post my latest article here in full. I'm rather proud of it as it has achieved a first place ranking. Feedback would be welcome.

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are two very different things.

The definition of an alcoholic is someone who has a physical dependency to alcohol. Alcohol is always, by necessity, present in the bloodstream. Much the same as a smoker's need for nicotine, it is an addiction.

Alcoholics are rarely, if ever, sober. Alcohol is the first thing on their minds when they wake and having a nightcap is likely to be the last thing they do before retiring to bed in the evening. Drink rules their lives, they are a slave to it.

Alcohol abuse is another thing altogether. It is not necessary to have addiction to be a substance abuser. These people are not physically dependent on alcohol and often go days, weeks or even months without drinking.

The latest buzz term for alcohol abuse is 'binge drinking'. Binge drinkers are, most commonly, in their teens or twenties. They are usually known to go out once or twice a week on weekends and consume extraordinary and potentially lethal quantities of alcohol.

One of the most interesting and significant differentials between alcoholics and alcohol abusers is the social perception of them. Alcoholics are usually stigmatized; universally frowned upon and sneered at. Conversely, alcohol abusers are often encouraged, praised and sometimes even worshiped by their peers.

It is alcohol abusers, however, that fill the emergency rooms each weekend. It is estimated that 70-80% of all those treated during this period are alcohol abusers, or are in some way related to alcohol abuse.

Both alcoholism and alcohol abuse have serious health implications and can result in irreparable liver damage. Perhaps the most important difference between them, however, is this one: sooner or later alcohol abuse COULD potentially prove fatal whereas eventually, alcoholism WILL result in death.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are increasing reports of violence and death in families as a result of alcohol abuse.
johnsAlcohol abuse affects millions. This site has a lot of useful information.

Alcohol Abuse