Unlike the addiction to illicit drugs or opioids, or any other addictive substance, people generally don’t consider alcoholism as a problem. Alcohol being an intrinsic part of the American culture, its consumption is accepted widely. Even the taboo attached to women drinking alcohol no longer exists. Legally available alcohol further strengthens the myth of it being safe as compared to other abusive drugs.
With increasing awareness and education, people have now started realizing the ill effects of alcohol, though they still consider it safer. They have even introduced the term “fine line” to differentiate between casual drinking and alcoholism. The creating of this line has divided the world into two groups––alcoholic and nonalcoholic. While the nonalcoholic group clearly consists of people who do not drink at all or drink occasionally, the consistency of the alcoholic group remains a bit disputed. People who fall under the category of being an alcoholic are in a continual state of denial.
The month of October brings liver cancer into focus as it is the National Liver Cancer Awareness Month. It is essential to increase understanding of the people about the disease and the ways in which alcohol use can increase the risks of liver cancer. Regular or heavy consumption of alcohol is responsible for damaging the liver and cause cancer. Taking a cue from this awareness month, we want to emphasize that there is no “thin line” when it comes to drinking alcohol.
Myth of “fine line”
Ideally, there is no line that can divide casual drinking and alcoholism. No one can tag a person as an alcoholic or a casual drinker with certainty. According to studies, drinking behavior can be said to vary within a range that extends from “normal social drinking” to “alcoholism”. The entire spectrum contains an indefinite range of types of drinking behavior. While there are different zones in the spectrum, they cannot be divided by fine lines.
According to a book written by Dr. Robert L. Doyle, a professor of behavioral health at Harvard University and psychologist Dr. Joseph Nowinski titled, “Almost Alcoholic,” more than the number of drinks a person consumes, the factors that push him to drink are important in determining his alcoholism. These factors can help in identifying the point, “where a person can cross over from casual drinking to being well on their way to full-fledged alcoholism.”
Factors leading to alcoholism
Studies reveal that a person does not shift intentionally towards the alcoholism end of the spectrum, rather he or she slips from one zone to another over a long period of time. Often, the slip is due to the below mentioned factors:
To relieve stress: Stress has become an inseparable part of today’s life. Alcohol is believed to relieve stress and calm the nerves. Therefore, many people tend to resort to drinking alcohol after a stressful day to seek relief from their chronic pain and discomfort.
To fight boredom or loneliness: Many people tend to drink to fight their loneliness or boredom. However, drinking alcohol to kill time or treating it as a companion can eventually land a person in hot water, pushing him towards alcoholism.
To overcome social anxiety: For people who suffer from social anxiety, meeting new people can be nerve racking as is being at a social place surrounded by people. For them, alcohol becomes a safe resort and gives them the strength to face such situations.
Dark side of alcohol and its treatment
Alcohol causes many health hazards. Ranging from issues such as diabetes or heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, it can also lead to cancers such as of the liver, breast, and others. Alcoholism often starts from casual drinking. However, it could turn into an addiction and take a toll on the person. Heavy drinking can often lead to liver inflammation which can progress to cirrhosis and ultimately end up in liver failure.
Alcohol addiction is similar to any other kind of addiction and needs a dedicated treatment. If you or a loved one is struggling to overcome alcoholism, get in touch with the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California for the right treatment available at the alcohol rehab centers in California. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online to enquire about the reputed alcohol addiction treatment facilities in California. Our representatives will guide you to the best alcohol rehab centers in California.