What is an Alcoholic?



For those questioning whether or not they have a substance abuse problem, it is sometimes difficult to get a clear picture of what exactly defines an alcoholic or addict. This lack of clarity causes many suffering from a substance abuse disorder to continue down the destructive path of addiction far longer than necessary, all because they are convinced they do not meet the definition of alcoholic. Here is a simple, basic definition of what an alcoholic is so you can better determine whether or not you identify as an alcoholic.


Twelve step programs have provided society with an accurate and practical definition of an alcoholic which has remained applicable for decades. To paraphrase, Alcoholics Anonymous defines those with the disease of alcoholism as having a physical allergy to their substance of choice, a mental obsession with their substance of choice, and an underlying spiritual malady. This three part disease manifests in such a way that when an alcoholic takes their first drink, they cannot stop consuming alcohol, and whenever their consumption is interrupted for a period of time, their obsession drives them back to the drink again. This forms a vicious cycle of alcohol consumption, interruption via consequence or a moment of clarity, and a return to alcohol consumption.


After reviewing this definition of alcoholism, it would at first seem there is no hope for recovery from this deadly disease. However, Alcoholics Anonymous has arrived at a solution to our alcoholic problem. It is imperative the alcoholic abstains from their substance of choice while also restoring their spiritual fitness to a level which will allow them to maintain their sobriety and avoid the temptations caused by the occasional craving. At Evolutions Treatment Center, we have crafted our treatment plans around this idea of healing the mind, body, and soul. Our holistic approach to substance abuse therapy addresses our clients’ physical maladies, emotional traumas, and spiritual health simultaneously in order to provide a broad and stable launchpad for their life in recovery. So, too, does the program of Alcoholics Anonymous seek to provide those in recovery with a strong foundation to live their lives in sobriety.


Alcoholics are a difficult group to define succinctly, as the disease of addiction strikes across all societal divisions be they ethnic, socioeconomic, or geographic. Many people suffer needlessly because of a lack of a clear understanding as to what an alcoholic is, as those who are able to function while suffering from this disease will often continue on until a severe consequence or loss prompts them to reconsider whether or not they are an alcoholic. If you are questioning whether or not you are suffering from a substance abuse disorder, do not let this be your story!


Call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031, we are standing by 24/7 to help you assess whether or not you have a substance abuse disorder and, more importantly, what you can do about it.



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