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Alcoholism: You Cannot Get Rid of It
You Cannot Get Rid of It
Tamber HepnerFriday, September 14, 2007 First of all, alcoholism is a disease and you CANNOT you cannot "get rid" of it. It is a physical addiction brought on by a physiological allergy. Once the physiological triggers are set in place, the alcoholics body will always to some extent crave alcohol. Biologically, it actually takes two years for the body to begin expelling alcohol at the cellular level, and another eight to ten years for the body to be completely rid of any traces of alcohol in the system. Don't be fooled, just because it is undetected in a blood sample after a day or so doesn't mean it's still not there.
To complicate the situation, when alcohol is reintroduced to an alcoholic body, the same physiological reactions reoccur. This means that when an alcoholic drinks again, it is only a matter of time before old behaviors, patterns, and dependencies emerge. Because of this, there is no way for an alcoholic to successfully limit or control his drinking.
What makes this disease difficult to understand, and often misinterpreted, is that alcoholism is a disease which effects the brain and body simultaneously - unlike cancer, which effects particular parts of the body and can then lead to brain malfunction, or schizophrenia, which begins in the brain and can take on somatic (bodily) characteristics. It may be comparable to behavioral diseases such as anorexia, kleptomania, or self-mutilation. One might ask "Why doesn't that person just eat?" or "Why can't that person just not steal things?" but it's far more complicated than that. For alcoholism, it is a physical addiction paired with a mental obsession for alcohol. Even after the physical addiction subsides, the alcoholic must always keep tabs on the mental obsession. Alcoholism is often thought to be a disease cured by willpower, simply because the catalyst for the disease must be consumed, but this is simply not true.
Alcoholism is NOT a disease cured by right thinking, nor is the act of drinking by an alcoholic done so solely to relieve tensions or worries. Imagine an alcoholic who is aware that his life is in shambles because of his drinking, who has sworn off drinking forever, who knows exactly the shape of his health and the jeopardy drinking has brought his health into, and still cannot stop. It is miserable, painful, and uncontrollable by the alcoholic - and very very common. There is no fleeting moments of pleasure any longer for someone who has full blown alcoholism. It is more of a necessity, a dependency. The brain is often so inundated with negative behavior patterns, chemical dependency, and delusion that life is no longer lived within reality, but an altered idea of reality centered around the next drink.
What we need to understand about this disease is that even though it's not curable, it IS treatable. Treatment must consist of a daily regimen, carried out in a lifelong fashion, to continue to abstain fro...