Alcohol. A term commonly used in a way such as “hey, wanna grab a drink?” or “here’s some wine to go with your dinner”. But these phrases can quickly turn into an everyday and or night occurrence. The disorder itself is not commonly seen as a problem by the person it affects but to others around them it easily becomes a reason not to be around them.  This disorder affects men, women, and in some cases children and teenagers. This is called alcoholism.  Alcoholism  is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being involved with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get a repeat same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking completely. Making it difficult to stop. Alcoholism is a problem that can end up being life long. But it can also be developed before the carrier even knows it exists. If the genetics in the family of the carrier has a prior history of the disorder the child will most likely contract it due to the genetics and family history. Plus if a baby is born “drunk” due to alcohol consumption during pregnancy that baby will fight with the withdrawal and side effects of the alcohol abuse that their parents did. Another cause of this disorder is the social group that the person is influenced by. For example, if a businessman has a glass of bourbon with his peers after a hard day’s work at night it is merely grabbing a quick drink. But when that same businessman begins having glasses of bourbon daily in his office and drinking a few beers and maybe another glass at home, with the same friend keeping up with him,  not being able to control his emotions and keep calm without it, then becomes alcoholism. The symptoms of alcoholism are very hidden to the person themselves but to others around them. The symptoms include being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink, wanting to cut down on how much you drink or making unsuccessful attempts to do so, spending a lot of time drinking, getting alcohol or recovering from alcohol use, feeling a strong craving or urge to drink alcohol, failing to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home due to repeated alcohol use, continuing to drink alcohol even though you know it’s causing physical, social or interpersonal problems, giving up or reducing social and work activities and hobbies, using alcohol in situations where it’s not safe, such as when driving or swimming, developing a tolerance to alcohol so you need more to feel its effect or you have a reduced effect from the same amount, experiencing withdrawal symptoms (such as nausea, sweating and shaking) when you don’t drink, or drinking to avoid these symptoms. These symptoms can cause things such as depression and can affect the developing brain. Such as teenage brains. 95% of the United States teenagers drink frequently and often causing alcoholism as an adult. To help get a diagnosis seeing a healthcare provider will help. They will ask you questions such as “how often do you drink?”,”roughly how much?”, etc. Then they will give a physical exam. The next stage is lab test and screening on the liver and organs. Then comes a psychological examination. Lastly usage of the DSM-5 criteria. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, is often used by mental health providers to diagnose mental health conditions. Treatment is a cleansing of all alcohol. Which most likely includes a rehab center which insurances do cover. In conclusion, alcoholism is a very harsh disorder. It can destroy homes, families, marriages, etc. The treatment is very attainable if the person is willing to change. Using the treatment to change a life is a viable and smart decision. With the right support and treatments remission and recovery is possible. Alcohol may solve a problem and distract you temporarily but is it really worth it in the end?

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