Alcoholism is becoming more and more public as an affliction that affects millions of people across the world.
It is defined by the American Medical Association as a disease with a genetic background.
The only treatment for alcoholism is total abstinence and a recovery program of some kind, be it counseling or, the most popular and trusted method, a 12-step program.
The Disease of Alcoholism
The disease of alcoholism is one that grows slowly and elusively. The initial stages of alcoholism are generally hard to spot. American drinking culture in our society tends to cater towards the blossoming alcoholic.
But as time progresses, it starts to become more obvious to those around the growing alcoholic that something is wrong.
The key characteristic of an alcoholic is defined by someone's inability to stop drinking once they start. They plan to have one, but have several more. Depending on the progression of their disease, the amount of alcohol they have after they start can vary, but is usually within the realm of the extreme.
Change of Personality
Their personalities change as well. It is common for people to have their "drunk selves" wherein someone becomes more affectionate or loving when they drink, or more emotional, leading to a tendency to cry more, or they become more aggitated and aggressive.
For alcoholics, this change is usually very drastic. They seem to completely change as people when they drink, becoming someone else entirely.
Accepting Alcoholism as a Reality
As awareness grows in our society towards alcoholism, so is its publicity. More and more celebrities and famous people are opening up about their affliction with alcoholism and other addictions. This is good and bad for a few reasons.
The reason why this can be seen as a good thing is it allows others who may think, or even know for sure, that they are alcoholics be more comfortable with that fact.
To see someone they may admire and respect come out about the fact that they are an alcoholic, and usually sober now as the case tends to be, then such a thing would allow others to feel that they are not alone.
This also, however, can also be a bad thing in terms of if someone famous comes out about the fact they are an alcoholic, they have received help and are now sober, and then relapse, people will see this and take it to mean that whatever it is they did to get sober, be it through a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous, through treatment, both of these or other means, does not work and it shouldn't be taken seriously.
Former child star Jeremy Miller has come out about the fact that he is an alcoholic and has gotten sober through the help of a new medication called Naltrexone.
The drug has been around for about 25 years or so, and is currently approved by the FDA as a drug that blocks the craving for alcohol. In the case of Miller, he has had an implant put into his body with a pill inside of it that slowly dissolves over the year into the bloodstream.
After about 15 years of hard drinking, Mr. Miller is now clean and sober and says that it is because of Naltrexone that he is still sober; he says that it saved his life.
"It's my own personal miracle." he said in an interview with OMG! Insider. "I would still be drinking and destroying my family and everything around me if it wasn't for that."
We hope that Mr. Miller stays sober and healthy to show that world that there are ways to get sober and stay that way, getting off of alcoholism for good.
photo credit: KosmixMedia