Is alcohol addiction a problem of willpower?

Those addicted to alcohol are believed to lack willpower. It is said that they can cure their addiction if they have a stronger willpower. On the contrary, it can cause more problems. There is a strong resemblance between the way the brain of a person who is highly attuned to his or her goals and a person who is compulsively addicted to alcohol functions. Both of them accord high priority to their objectives. If a person craves for a drink late at night, he or she will most likely brave the weather and time to crawl into some alley that is open all night and has a bootlegger selling alcohol. Such is the strength of strong determination.

Alcohol-dependent people meticulously plan their day taking into consideration the fact how, when and where they can find alcohol. They will remember places where they can get a drink, call up friends who can willingly participate in their drinking sessions, and try to think up all the excuses to absolve themselves of blame from their binge sessions — friends’ get together, colleague’s farewell, etc.

Addiction is bad, not the person

Drinking is prevalent across communities in the world and its addiction is common. It starts from the time a teen is persuaded to take a sip of alcohol at a college party and if continues for long, it gradually spins out of control. A person could find himself lying, cheating, stealing and manipulating to get his daily quota of alcohol and eventually lose the love and respect of family and friends. Bank accounts are depleted and things that once were held dear are sold or mortgaged. Such is the hold of alcohol that one willingly sacrifices all for the sake of drink.

But then is the person a fiend, liar or immoral, or someone who has temporarily lost his way? Drinking is strongly wired to the reward centers of his brain and there is little that a person can do to counter it if he/she is a compulsive seeker. It is unfair to stigmatize and withdraw support that can help them lead a sober life. With little help from family and friends it is possible to overcome addiction-related woes.

Here is how one can help a friend or a family member leave the vicious cycle of abuse:

  • Make the person aware of ill effects on health and how alcohol interferes with everyday living.
  • Persuade the person to seek help from a therapist and make sure they continue the visits.
  • Show empathy and offer support at all times.
  • Get equipped with the right knowledge about addiction behavior and treatment tools.

Family members should not masquerade that they are unaffected by a loved one’s dangerous habit. It is necessary to be frank and state clearly how they are affected mentally and physically.

Help at hand

As per the just released 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA), nearly one in five underage individuals aged 12 to 20 was current alcohol user. “About 7.3 million people aged 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month, including 4.5 million who reported binge alcohol use and 1.1 million who reported heavy alcohol use. The percentage of underage drinkers in 2016 was lower than the percentages in 2002 through 2014 but was similar to the percentage in 2015. About 2 out of 5 young adults aged 18 to 25 in 2016 were binge alcohol users, and about 1 in 10 were heavy alcohol users,” the report highlights.

Drinking habit steadily takes control over the life of a person and is responsible for strained relationships, unemployment, homelessness, unintentional injuries and crime. In extreme conditions, it is also responsible for comorbidity and early mortality.

If you know someone addicted to alcohol, then it’s time you do something about it. The Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline assists in accessing the finest alcohol addiction treatment centers in the United States that specialize in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call our 24/7 alcohol addiction treatment helpline 866-281-3014 or chat online with a representative to know more.