Is alcoholism a disease? Until the 1900s, most doctors and scientists did not believe that alcoholism was a disease. For a long time and in many places still today, alcoholism is considered a moral failing or personality weakness. However, in 1956, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared alcoholism an illness. It took until 1991 for the AMA to officially classify alcoholism as a disease. Alcohol use disorder, the term now covering alcohol abuse and alcoholism, is the inability to regulate one’s intake of alcohol. It can lead to physical dependence, addiction, and requires both physical and psychological treatment to overcome. But with proper support, individuals struggling with alcohol use disorder can heal.
But Is Alcoholism a Disease?
Many individuals who suffer from alcohol abuse wonder, is alcoholism a disease, and do I have it? The definition of a disease describes alcoholism fairly well. A disease is a type of condition that harms the normal functioning of the body. According to this definition, alcoholism is a disease because it impairs an individual’s normal life and causes disruptive symptoms of an illness, mental and physical.
While doctors may not have decided on the answer to “Is alcoholism a disease?” until fairly recently, this did not stop them from researching addiction. In the last century, new treatment models have developed. Treatments range from detox centers to individual therapy, helping treat the disease of alcoholism.
Do Genetics Play a Role in Alcoholism?
Currently, research shows that about half of someone’s risk of becoming an alcoholic is genetic. A patient who has a family history of alcoholism is more likely to develop a substance abuse disorder. Other factors, like the home and family environment, also play a role.
Mental Disorders and Alcoholism
Individuals who suffer from a mental disorder like anxiety, bipolar disorder, or depression are more likely to develop alcoholism. In part, this is due to a tendency to self-medicate. The individual may start drinking to feel normal and relaxed. Once the effects wear off, they continue to drink to reach the same state of relaxation. And the cycle begins towards addiction.
Because of this connection with mental disorders, many medical detox programs offer dual diagnosis treatment. This allows patients to get care for a mental disorder as well as an addiction. By treating both problems, patients can lay the foundation for sobriety.
Is Alcoholism a Disease? Serenity House Detox & Recovery Treats it Like One
If someone suffers from alcoholism, it is important to get professional help. Withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous, so individuals should seek help at a reliable detox center. During detox, the patient will be supervised by medical staff members at all times. The detox center can offer help through various programs, including:
- Family therapy
- Individual therapy
- Medical detox program
- A positive, supportive environment
- Addiction education
- Nutrition and exercise therapy
No one has to live with the pain caused by alcohol addiction. If you or a loved one suffers from alcoholism, treatment is available. The right detox center can help you begin your recovery today. Serenity House Detox & Recovery is the right center. Call today at 866.516.8356 to end the cycle of alcoholism and start a new life.