When trying to determine what is so addictive about alcohol, many factors must be considered because not all people who consume alcohol become alcoholics. Why are some individuals able to drink occasionally while others drink daily regardless of negative consequences that have occurred as a result of the habit? Are there other factors that contribute to alcoholism besides the act of consuming alcohol?
The physical aspects of alcoholism are similar to other addictions, such as prescription drugs. When the individual continues to consume alcohol over long periods of time, the body becomes adept at processing the increased levels and more alcohol is needed to produce the desired effects until the individual begins to feel that they can’t live without it. If the individual attempts to abstain from alcohol, uncomfortable or intense withdrawal symptoms will prompt them to resume drinking. For this reason, alcohol is considered a drug due to its addictive properties.
Many people feel that alcohol makes them more popular, energetic or self-confident and what was once an enjoyable activity can quickly become an addiction because of these euphoric feelings. A majority of alcoholics are in denial about the problem, or have found ways to justify their consumption of alcohol and will continue drinking until life-threatening consequences force them to seek treatment.
Low self-esteem, depression, physical health issues, financial problems, family dysfunction, employment problems and legal issues usually accompany alcohol addiction. It is often difficult to determine whether these issues are a result of the alcoholism or if they were there in the beginning and contributed to it, but these factors can be addressed by a professional rehabilitation program.
Alcohol consumption is an accepted form of entertainment and is often promoted in books, movies, songs, and games. This constant exposure can lead a person, especially young adults or teens, to believe that alcohol is harmless.
Regardless of how or why a person becomes an alcoholic, the fact remains that this is a serious, dangerous disease that will require professional treatment.