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Alcoholism-  A Serious Condition

Although the terms alcoholism and alcohol abuse are often used synonymously, from a medical and health standpoint, there is a crucial distinction between the two. While alcohol abuse can refer to any type of harmful behavior associated with alcohol, alcoholism is more accurately termed “alcohol dependence.” It is a condition consisting of four behavioral and psychological factors:

  • Craving
    A craving is an intense, urgent desire for something – in this case, alcohol. Alcohol craving goes beyond a simple desire to drink; it is a strong compulsion to drink, frequently in spite of any social, physical, or legal consequences associated with drunkenness. Because of their intense cravings, alcoholics find it very difficult to stop drinking, and usually require outside help and counseling to kick the habit.
  • Impaired Control
    Most people have at least some measure of control over how much alcohol they consume on a given occasion. They make a conscious choice whether to drink more or to stop. People suffering from alcohol dependence lack this conscious control, and often display no ability to limit their drinking, resulting in heavy binge drinking.
  • Withdrawal
    Like a drug addict, alcoholics experience actual physical discomfort when deprived of alcohol. Nausea, anxiety, sweating, and shakiness are all withdrawal symptoms that can drive alcoholics to drink more and more.
  • Tolerance
    As an alcoholic dependant person increases their alcohol intake, they develop a ‘resistance’ to the effects of alcohol as part of the body’s natural defensive reaction. Unfortunately, this means that an alcoholic must constantly consume greater amounts of alcohol in order to achieve the same effects.

Alcohol can have serious consequences on your life – even more so if you are convicted of a DUI. If you have been accused of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol, call Rhode Island DUI lawyer Matthew Marin at 401-287-4384.