Abuse Versus Addiction

Abuse Versus Addiction Addiction Treatment
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Because alcohol is sold legally in any amount to anyone over the age of 21 in the United States, there is a great deal of confusion about the difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction.

Is the person who binges and drinks five or more alcoholic beverages in an evening an alcoholic who requires treatment if they don’t do it daily? What about the person who drinks a few drinks every night? Where is the line between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction, and when is alcohol rehab necessary? Below you will find the answers to these questions and more.

If you need help, contact us at the phone number above. We can assist you in finding alcohol rehab treatment that will be able to meet your needs.

The Definition of Abuse

There is indeed a large difference between alcohol use, alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction.

Alcohol use is harmless. A drink with a meal or even an occasional night of a few drinks is deemed safe. However, when that drink at dinner turns into multiple drinks or the nights of five or more drinks becomes a common occurrence, alcohol abuse is an issue. With alcohol abuse, there are no cravings to drink or physical withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking for any period of time. Your life is not affected adversely by your drinking. You haven’t lost your job or your spouse because of alcohol, nor decimated your finances or your health. It may occasionally cause an argument with someone you care about and you may, in fact, take dangerous risks when under the influence, but these are isolated incidents and random in their occurrence.

The Definition of Addiction

Alcohol addiction, on the other hand, is far more serious. An alcoholic is plagued by psychological cravings for drinking at all times. He or she may choose activities based on whether or not drinking will be a part of the experience. Secretive drinking is common, as is lying to concerned loved ones about the amount of alcohol consumed. Alcoholics often lose their marriages or long-term relationships, relationships with family members, their careers, their homes, their health and their financial futures to alcohol addiction.

If the alcoholic is unable to stop drinking despite continued problems, then alcohol addiction is an issue and one that requires immediate treatment.

When Abuse Becomes Addiction

It’s not easy for the person drinking to recognize when they’ve crossed over from alcohol abuse to alcohol addiction. The problems that arise as a result of their addiction are easy to blame on others – at first. A divorce is the fault of the husband who left, not the woman who was drinking every night. If he loses his job because he called in sick 35 out of 60 days, it’s his boss’s fault for not understanding his addiction. But when you lose your job, your children and your job, begin to have health problems due to your alcohol intake and you simply can’t quit on your own, it’s hard to deny that alcohol addiction rehab is the necessary next step.

Addressing a Loved One’s Alcoholism

If you or someone you care about is living with alcoholism but in denial about the severity of their addiction, it can be hard for everyone in the family. An alcohol addiction intervention is often the best way to handle the issue in a way that is nonjudgmental and has the effect of helping your loved one get treatment rather than just starting another fight.

Here are a few tips for holding a successful intervention:

  • Plan ahead. Choose who will be included in the intervention and where and when you will hold it ahead of time. You may need to work with others’ schedules in order to make it work.
  • Choose a place that makes sense for your loved one. Luring the alcoholic in your life to a location they rarely go may be difficult, if not impossible. Avoid the stress and have it in their home or the home of a close friend.
  • Hold the intervention at a private place. Avoid restaurants or public places and you’ll be less likely to have a scene or have to deal with your family member simply walking out.
  • >Hold a planning meeting. Before you hold the intervention, meet with all the participants to discuss what an intervention is, who will speak, what they will say and in what order. Having a plan in place will help the event go more smoothly.
  • Enroll your loved one in alcohol rehab before the intervention. This will allow them to leave immediately for treatment when they agree that help is needed.

Finding  Treatment

Call us today to enroll your loved one or yourself in an alcohol rehab that will work for you and your family.


Rehab International is a service provided by Foundations Recovery Network. As part of the Foundations Recovery Network, our goal is to provide science-based treatments to individuals suffering from issues of addiction and mental illness.

When you call you will be connected to a member of the Foundations Recovery Network who will assist in providing you with any questions you may have regarding the treatment process.

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