What is Considered to be an Alcoholic Level of Consumption?
What is considered to be an alcoholic level of consumption?
Loss of control is the defining feature. In alcoholics, the first drink in any day triggers the impulse to take another. And then more.
The age at which that observation and diagnosis are made varies enormously. Doctors and families and the drinkers themselves are very reluctant to use the term ‘alcoholic’ whereas they would have no hesitation in referring to appendicitis, asthma or diabetes by those names. But ‘alcoholics’ are thought to bring the problem on themselves, whereas the other conditions are seen as blameless. To refer to alcoholism as an illness becomes understandable when it is recognised that it is what drives people towards the use of alcohol, rather than the consequence of using it.
Doctors and Coroners giving post-mortem verdicts are very reluctant to say that someone is alcoholic. This term may be seen by distressed individuals and families as pejorative and rude. Therefore the true incidence of alcoholism is under-recorded. This will change only when the UK follows the World Health Organisation and the American Medical Association in recognising alcoholism as an illness that is beyond the power of the patient to achieve control on his or her own.