Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

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What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism which is also known as alcohol addiction or alcohol dependence is one of the most severe culminations of alcohol use disorder gamut. It includes withdrawal from or tolerance to the alcoholic substance and results in a destructive pattern of its use. Those suffering from alcoholism tend to use more alcohol or use it for longer time period than planned. They usually find it difficult to reduce its consumption or inability to use it in moderate amount. Alcoholism has some other symptoms like spending excessive time on buying, consuming, or recovering from alcohol use along with compromised functioning of the body. These people tend to continue the use of alcohol despite of knowing about its detrimental effects in one’s life. It is more common in people who are suffering from psychological disorders like anxiety, stress, depression, or due to some kind of abuse in the past.


Alcoholism which was earlier considered a form of bad behaviour or a sort of weakness is now aptly considered a disease. It is also known as a type of mental illness at the third place which affects over 14 million people every year in The United States of America. Usually alcoholism or its dependence can be seen in about 10% of men and 4% of women. Moreover,it costs these countries more than 165 billion dollars every year due to low productivity by individuals, larger number of early deaths, and even increased costs incurred due to treatment.

What is Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol abuse is a disease which is also considered as an alcohol use disorder. It is a more severe form of alcoholic disease that could be attributed to an abnormal drinking pattern that may lead to negative or adverse effects on education, work, medical as well as legal issues, and/or social life of the individual. There is a kind of addiction to the substance in these individuals. Such people tend to abuse this substance and continue its consumption despite of being aware of the consequences. There are several issues and episodes of domestic violence associated with alcohol abuse. There may also be other effects like negative as well as detrimental effect on a child’s mental and physical growth when the parents are alcoholic. The most severe ones include the psychological impact that may lead to either depressions or mere aggression along with the anti-social attitudes. Thesechildren are more prone to experience certain negative feelings including stress.

According to various studies and surveys, the people in the Unites States of America who are afflicted by alcohol abuse include approximately 20% of men and 10% of women.

How does Alcohol Abuse differ from Alcoholism?

Although both alcoholism and alcohol abuse are types of alcohol use disorder and are associated with abnormally adverse behaviors due to the consumption of alcohol, there is still a thin line to differentiate them from each other. Alcohol abuse does not include the excessive consumption of alcohol to reach the level of intoxication which can only be achieved in case of alcoholism. Moreover, it is not associated with the withdrawal symptoms that are found with alcoholism.