Addiction Treatment

Alcohol Addiction vs. Alcohol Abuse

Written By:

Becky Babb

Alcohol Addiction vs. Alcohol Abuse

It’s important to understand the differences and similarities between alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse in order to receive the right kind of treatment. The two, though similar in some ways, are quite different and require two different approaches to recovery.

The major difference between Alcohol Addiction and Alcohol Abuse

An alcoholic is a person who suffers from a physical dependency and psychological need to consume alcohol consistently in large quantities. They soon develop a high threshold of tolerance towards alcohol and will experience severe withdrawal symptoms if and when they try to give it up. On the other hand, an alcohol abuser has a binge drinking pattern carried out under dangerous circumstances by someone who is not necessarily addicted to alcohol on an ongoing basis. This could mean they drink and drive, periodically binge drink, which could cause health problems, or otherwise misuse alcohol in unhealthy and detrimental ways. However, alcohol abusers have some ability to control or stop their drinking, while alcoholics require treatment, therapy, and professional help in order to stop, because they do not have the ability to.

Are the Health issues the same?

Alcohol will affect the body in almost the same way, regardless of how it’s used; however, addicts exhibit a persistent dependency on alcohol that can cause long term physical damage such as brain damage or cancer. Here are the most common health issues that alcohol addicts and alcohol abusers both face:

  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Neurological damage
  • Sexual dysfunction

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction and Abuse

Another major difference between the two lies in their treatment. Alcohol addiction can have severe health and psychological implications and will require a long term treatment plan as well as a lifelong recovery program that can involve hospitalization and regular therapy. On the other hand, the treatment for alcohol abuse is fairly short and will involve an intervention and counselling. People suffering from alcohol abuse are also more prone to look for help on their own and can more easily show positive affects towards therapy than those addicted to alcohol.

There is help for both

Regardless of whether you suffer from an addiction or have been abusing alcohol, there is help and treatment for both conditions. Seeking out medical and professional help is the first step towards getting better and improving the quality of your life. Not sure if you are an alcohol abuser or an addicted alcoholic? Call The Last Resort today for more information on how you can seek help 512-750-6750.

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