“Addiction is a disease!” Have you ever stopped to think whether addiction was truly a disease or is it a choice and everyone just turns a blind eye? A disease can be described as a “disorder of structure or function that produces specific signs or symptoms, or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of a physical injury.” (1) Addiction is “the physical or psychological dependency on a substance.”
When it comes to alcohol, those with an alcohol addiction suffer more critical outcomes than those that abuse alcohol. “Alcohol addiction is paired with a physical dependence on the substance that causes adverse reactions when the individual does not drink.” (2) Individuals that suffer from depression or anxiety are at an increased risk of becoming addicted to alcohol with intentions of just having alcohol as self-medication. Know the difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. “Alcohol abuse is a mild to moderate drinking problem that is characterized as problematic drinking that is not accompanied by the presence of physical dependence.” (2) When an individual takes alcohol with other drugs, alcohol can lead to physical health problems such as depression, cancer, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, elevated blood pressure, and in some cases, overdose.