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Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol Abuse
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Alcohol abuse occurs when drinking too much alcohol leads to problems at home, work, or school. It is a disease. Alcohol abuse should not be confused with alcoholism where there is a physical addiction to alcohol and carries on drinking in spite of physical health, mental health, and social, family or job responsibilities problems. There is no alcohol dependence in the former. In many cases of drinking problems, the line between moderate social drinking and drinking problem is not always clear.

The exact cause of alcohol abuse is unknown. However, it is assumed that genetic, environmental, social and emotional health factors are attributed to the causing alcohol abuse. It affects men more often than women, typically beginning in the mid-teens. In some cases, alcohol abuse leads to domestic violence. Symptoms usually manifest in a cycle alternating between periods of alcohol abuse and abstinence over time. Alcohol abuse continues to rise in numbers almost all over the country.

Risk Factors of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse is not passed on from one generation to the next, however having a family history of alcohol abuse may increase risks of developing alcohol abuse. The following are the other factors that may increase chances of developing alcohol abuse:

  • Being close to someone who has history of alcohol abuse
  • Young adult under peer pressure
  • People who suffer from mental health issues such as, depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.
  • Low self-esteem
  • Easy access to alcohol
  • Stressful lifestyle
  • Relationship troubles
  • Lives in a culture that accepts and is open to alcohol

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

The following signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse have a common denominator, there is self-destruction. If any of the following signs and symptoms is observed, especially in multiples, there may be an alcohol abuse problem:

  • Recurrent neglecting of responsibilities at home, work, or school due to drinking leading to poor performance
  • Drinking alcohol despite it causing troubles in relationships
  • Drinking alcohol in even potentially dangerous situations
  • Several repeated legal problems caused by drinking
  • Becoming violent when drinking or hostile when asked
  • Drinking to de-stress or relax
  • May try to hide alcohol use or lie about it

Treatment for Alcohol Abuse

                The goal of treatment for alcohol abuse is to completely stop drinking alcohol, which is called abstinence. This may be very difficult for individuals especially if they have become accustomed to alcohol as a relaxer. Treatment for alcohol abuse usually includes:

  • Group therapy
  • Counselling
  • Alcohol educations
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • If a loved one is suspected of alcohol abuse, express your concern and explain that you are willing to help.


It is possible to quit on your own. It will require great determination and a tremendous amount of support from family and friends. Disclaimer: This article should not be used for self-diagnosis and should be used for information purposes only. It does not provide medical advice or treatment. Red Cross programs offer First Aid Courses that are made available to all to learn proper approach and support to individuals with alcohol abuse.


Alcoholism and alcohol abuse.(2011). National Institutes of Health. Retrieved September 29, 2013, from

Smith, Melinda, Robinson, Lawrence, and Segal, Jeanne.(2013). Alcoholism and Alcohol Retrieved September 29, 2013, from

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