What Is the Difference Between Alcoholism and Addiction?

This is an article that I copied over to my blog... so I can talk about some of the differences between how main stream handles alcoholism and how I handle it.

In my work, alcohol is an avoidance strategy: the person with the drinking would rather feel positive emotions, than deal with what there is to deal with: life, thoughts, emotions, relationships, problems.

Moving away and doing something that distracts one from an unwished for situation, thought, or feeling is called: obeying an urge.

Unless a person is taught different ways to relate to thoughts, feelings, memories, emotions, they will just continue to avoid them. Even if they become sober, they will just replace the alcohol with other behavior or substances: nothing changed inside.

Simple behavior modification doesn't do it. A whole inner change is required, a superior skill to control one's attention, that can be developed with practice.

Most humans living today are addicts and avoiders, one way or another. TV, internet, facebook, reading, sex, work, exercise, politics, sports... you can use any activity to avoid what you don't like... and people do it, while they languish, and stop growing.

Check out my programs, courses, coaching, audios... they work.

The distinction between alcoholism and addiction is a dying one. For decades alcoholism has been classified separately from addiction even though both have identical symptoms and treatment options. These differences can be seen in the development of huge groups dedicated to one substance or another such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. However the fact of the matter is that alcohol is simply a substance like any other. Because addiction is not classified according to the drugs the person uses, it's only logical that alcohol be treated in a similar manner.

Many addiction professionals are beginning to classify alcoholism simply as addiction. This is because no distinctions can be made between how addiction forms, progresses and is treated and how alcoholism is formed, progresses and is treated. This is described below:

How Addiction Forms Versus How Alcoholism Forms

When a substance such as cocaine, marijuana, heroin or alcohol causes the reward and pleasure center of the brain to be stimulated, the brain creates a "log" of associations concerning the events that led up to the "reward" of using the substance. When these associations are solidified with continued use, neurological pathways are constructed in the brain that facilitates the entire process. These pathways become permanent over time, and because they were developed in response to a substance, they can cause powerful urges that will compel the person to use the substance again and again. This physiological process doesn't care what the substance is- the result is the same whether you're talking about alcohol or drugs.

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction versus Alcoholism

Whether your substance of choice is alcohol or any drug, the symptoms of addiction are the same. While the physical symptoms might vary according to the substance and severity of the problem, the behavioral symptoms are universal:

1.) Loss of control- this presents as an inability to remember how much or what type of substance was taken, when the last use was, what other substances are involved, where the substance is located, or by overdosing.

2.) Obsession- an addict's life is centered on substance abuse. They think and talk about it constantly and always seem to be planning when to use next, how much to use, who to use with and so on.

3.) Continuation despite serious consequences- this is an important distinction and one that applies to all substances. Addiction is most noted as a disease of compulsion. People who are addicted do not stop using even when their lives are falling apart.

Treatment of Alcoholism versus Addiction

There is no difference whatsoever between treatment for alcoholism and treatment for addiction. Most rehab centers make no real distinction and patients are generally a mixed bag of alcoholics and drug addicts or both. Treatment includes detox (especially for dangerous substances such as benzodiazepines and alcohol) and residential inpatient or outpatient treatment. Therapies employed at most rehab centers apply to both alcoholism and addiction and include individual, group and family therapy.

Ultimately, alcohol is just another substance. If you're suffering from addiction to any substance or know someone who is that needs help, you should know that you can pick up the phone right now and get the process started with a free, no-obligation professional consultation.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6269600

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Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar