Alcohol Abuse vs. Alcoholism

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Alcohol is an extremely normalized part of American society. If you are over the age of 21, all you really have to do is walk to your closest liquor store, bar, or gas station and get a bottle of your favorite spirit, beer, or wine. The unfortunate reality of this accessibility is the ease at which people are able to develop bad habits. That being said, it can be easy to confuse the titles attributed to these habits. Legacy Healing Center Pompano Beach is differentiating alcohol abuse vs. alcoholism and how both of these scenarios can cause significant damage.

Why Do People Abuse Alcohol?

There are a variety of factors that can lead an individual to habitually abuse alcohol. One of the most common is peer pressure. Many people are susceptible to this kind of pressure, especially young adults that are not as well-versed in the risks involved. This can explain the large amount of binge drinking that occurs on college campuses. Whether it is during a hazing ritual or just among rowdy friends looking for a way to pass the time, these environments can result in serious physical and mental consequences.

It is also not uncommon for people with a family history of alcohol addiction to be especially susceptible to alcohol abuse habits. Addiction is known to be a genetic disease, and being surrounded by people who consistently put their own health at risk is very likely to make it seem less dangerous than it is. 

Finally, people who have experienced some kind of traumatic event can trigger an addiction that becomes harder to break the longer it persists. 

In any of these cases, our South Florida detox is an excellent option for people struggling to withdraw from this toxic substance in a safe and comfortable environment.

How Does Alcohol Abuse Differ From Alcoholism?

When comparing alcohol abuse vs. alcoholism, the latter is a much more severe affliction. It is a legitimate medical condition, while alcohol abuse is more of a consistent bad habit. Someone who abuses alcohol may not necessarily be dependent on it. An alcoholic individual will fall on the most severe end of the alcohol misuse spectrum, while regular alcohol abuse is placed on a milder to a medium position.

At the end of the day, alcoholism involves alcohol abuse, but alcohol abuse does not always indicate alcoholism. 

Alcohol Use Disorder vs. Alcoholism

Something worth considering is the fact that, although alcoholism is the phrase often used to describe an alcohol addiction, the proper clinical term is referred to as alcohol use disorder. There are specific criteria for alcohol use disorder that can indicate a diagnosis, and typically is indicative of physiological changes to the brain that make it that much harder to stop drinking. So, when people use the term “alcoholic” to refer to someone, that individual is actually suffering from an alcohol use disorder and probably needs professional help.

Luckily, Legacy’s alcohol rehab in South Florida can provide them with the treatment necessary to turn their life around. With a wide range of therapies offered, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, patients are able to get to the bottom of what caused their addiction in the first place. They will also learn what steps they can take to apply healthier coping mechanisms moving forward.

To learn more about our levels of care available for alcohol addiction treatment, call Legacy Healing Center Pompano at 954-388-8029 today.

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