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Why Is Alcoholism Considered a Chronic Disease?

Man thinking about how alcoholism is a chronic disease

Many alcoholics continue to deny that they have a problem with drinking. As a result, they endure job loss, multiple DUIs, and experience financial hardships. Still, they defend their drinking as only problematic. Some alcoholics admit that their drinking is out of control but cannot stop or have many failed attempts to quit. These examples have in common the presence of denial and an unwillingness to surrender to the fact that alcoholism is a chronic disease that needs professional help to overcome. Denial often occurs because alcohol is the cure for how bad alcoholics feel, and they typically defend it no matter what.

Still, it’s a medical fact that alcoholism is an illness. Call 866.931.9312 to speak when a specialist at Evoke Wellness at Miramar about our alcohol addiction treatment program and how alcoholism is a chronic disease.

Why Do Alcoholics Need to Drink?

Most alcoholics drink to relieve stress or social anxiety, or have a good time at an event where alcohol is the main focus—bars, parties, wine-tasting events, and nightclubs. However, unlike regular people, alcoholics need to drink. To them, alcohol is the answer to everything. They need it to cope with the world and ease the pain of life. The problem is that alcoholism is a progressive disease where tolerance levels increase over time, thus leading to more severe symptoms such as physical dependence and alcoholism-related illnesses.

It is futile to try and convince an alcoholic that they must give up the one thing that makes them feel included in life. Alcoholism is a disease of the mind and emotions and is more about mental health than the drink.

Why Is Alcoholism Considered a Chronic Disease?

Alcoholism is considered a chronic disease like other chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and others. Alcoholism has no cure, and it can get worse or improve and carries a risk of relapse.

The factors that go into labeling alcoholism a chronic disease involve what causes it. Alcoholism is a disease of the mind and emotions that stem from the following influencers:

  • Genetic link or a family history of alcoholism
  • Environmental influence or the presence of alcohol abuse in the home or environment
  • History of trauma, abuse, or neglect
  • Diagnosed or undiagnosed physical or mental health issues

Regarding mental health issues that develop along with alcoholism, rehab specialists must include their treatment in treating alcohol addiction.

How Does the Medical Community Identify and Diagnose Alcoholism?

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that alcoholism is currently called alcohol use disorder (AUD). It further defines AUD as a medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse consequences.

Healthcare professionals diagnose AUD by looking for specific symptoms and behaviors on top of the impaired ability to control alcohol use. They include:

  • Inability to limit alcohol consumption
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
  • Cravings or increased tolerance for alcohol
  • Lack of control over how much one drinks
  • Changes in behavior due to drinking
  • High-risk activities while under the influence

These symptoms and behaviors help identify alcoholism as a chronic disease. Treating alcoholism requires an individualized approach that considers the physical, emotional, and mental issues associated with alcoholism.

How Is Alcoholism Treated in Rehab Centers?

When people need help to stop drinking, they must have a personalized treatment plan that reflects their needs for specific therapy types for trauma, depression, anxiety, or other emotional or mental health disorders. Evoke Wellness at Miramar provides cutting-edge, evidence-based forms of treatment, such as alcohol detox, that are proven to keep someone sober and happily alcohol-free. We also rely on safe and effective medications to support their recovery.

In addition, we encourage spiritual development as it provides a foundation for their new lives. Our expert facilitators lead small groups, and our behavioral therapists offer regular one-on-one counseling.

Find Customized Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Evoke Wellness at Miramar

Contact Evoke Wellness at Miramar today at 866.931.9312 to learn more about how alcoholism is a mental illness and a chronic disease and ask about priority admission into our addiction treatment center.