Alcoholism constitutes the excessive use, abuse or addiction to alcohol. Alcoholism is a disease which is progressive in nature and characterized by denial. By progressive we mean that a persons’ alcohol consumption increases over time until a physical dependence results. At this chronic stage of physical dependence, medical supervision is required to safely manage the withdrawal symptoms the alcoholic will experience.
The denial system of the alcoholic progresses along with the alcoholism. The denial of the alcoholic does not allow them to see themselves objectively and they often minimize, rationalize or deny they have a problem altogether. Denial also protects the alcoholic from painful realities related to the consequences and losses of their disease (physical, emotional, legal, job loss, strained relationships, etc.). The good news is that alcoholism is a highly treatable disease. It is important to identify the most appropriate treatment center to both assess and treat the alcoholic and family of the alcoholic.