Definition of Alcoholism and Alcoholics

Everybody has different ideas of what alcoholism "means". However, the word "alcoholism" is an actual word in the English language and it has a definition that the world agrees on. Here is that definition:

"A disorder characterized by the excessive consumption of and dependence on alcoholic beverages, leading to physical and psychological harm and impaired social and vocational functioning. Also called alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence."

It is NOT a disease. Some people call it a disease just as some people call a cold a virus. Alcoholism is a psychological disorder that is characterized by too much drinking / depending on drinking.

Therefore you cannot have alcoholism BEFORE you drink. You can only have a genetic tendency to become an alcoholic if you DID drink.

This is English Language here. If someone had not ever tried cocaine we would not call them a "cocaine addict". We only call people who are actually taking cocaine and in the middle of an addiction to it "cocaine addicts".

Once we agree on that term, we can discuss the ramifications of being an alcoholic.

Note that there are some groups that push for Alcoholism to be "termed" a disease, so that it will be covered by medical insurance programs that might not cover a phychological condition.

NOTE: I am not a doctor - please always talk to a doctor if you are not feeling well or have medical questions!

Alcoholism and Alcoholics Information
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