Why Does a Person Become an Alcoholic?
Why does a person become an alcoholic?
First there is a genetic pre-disposition. Then there is emotional trauma, waking up the need for mood alteration. Then there is the exposure to this substance that magically improves the mood. Once that discovery is made, it is difficult to put the process into reverse.
People generally, including many doctors, tend to believe that alcoholics sleep on park benches or in shop doorways. The truth is that those people are in the final stages of an illness that began many years previously. Most alcoholics are still in full-time work. They tend to describe themselves as ‘social’ drinkers, even though they tend to socialise with people who drink in the same way as they do.
Alcoholism is a progressive illness. It goes on and on. It can be halted but not cured. This is why people, including doctors again, instinctively shy away from the diagnosis. They tend to see it as a weakness of willpower and a degradation of moral values, rather than as an illness. Yet many alcoholics are highly talented professionals. As with many illnesses, alcoholism doesn’t care who it affects.
The good news is that the illness can be put into full remission by working the Twelve Step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous. People, including doctors yet again, are often reluctant to recommend AA. But the Steps work for those who work for their recovery by following the suggestions of AA.