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The differences between alcohol abuse and alcoholism can be very small. Both are damaging to your life and will ruin relationships.

Key Points:

  • Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are not the same thing. It is harder to detect the symptoms of alcohol abuse over and above alcoholism.
  • The alcohol “abuser” can be detected a few ways.
    • If family or friends are worried about their drinking.
    • If they use alcohol to cope with a hard situation.
    • If they’re secretive about their alcohol consumption
    • If they are shirking responsibilities at schook, work, or home.
    • If they are dangerous/reckless about their dirnking.
    • If they continue drinking despite an ongoing relationship problem that is caused or worsened by drinking.
  • Alcoholism is different because it is chronic and uncontrolled. It also leads to physical dependency upon alcohol. The major warning signs are tolerance and withdrawal.
  • Everyone who becomes an acloholic at one point was an alcohol abuser; but not everyone who is an alcohol abuser will necessarily become an alcoholic.
  • If you need help beating alcohol, talk to a counselor, pscyhologist, clergy member, or friend.

Quote This:

As an alcoholic, you will violate your standards quicker than you can lower them. -Robin Williams

See Also: Addiction, Alcohol

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Did you know the difference between alcoholism and alcohol abuse before going through this topic? Explain the differences.
  3. Why is it harder to detect alcohol abuse than it is to detect alcoholism?
  4. In what ways can alcohol abuse be more dangerous than alcoholism?
  5. What are ways we can help others who are struggling with alcohol abuse/alcoholism?
  6. If you struggle with alcohol, who are some people in your life you might be able to turn to for help?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.