Definition of alcoholism according to who Definition of alcoholism according to aa. Challenging a Culture of Alcoholism, HuffPost

In my last article, I made light of America's recession in the context of a consumer society which looks on the surface, as if it would rather "party" than take on the challenges of serious socio-economic issues. I suggested replacing alcohol with a new synthetic substitute that would leave no hangovers. Thereby freeing up Americans to have more time for problem solving in between party times. Definition of alcoholism according to who.

Since making the joke, I've been wanting to follow up with something a little more serious -- addressing America's party culture. And particularly toward the popular American pastime we call binge drinking.

Binge drinking is defined as having over four or five drinks in a matter of a few hours. And, as we all know, it's becoming a cultural norm.

Over 25 percent of teenagers and young adults in the U.S. admit to being binge drinkers (according to the CDC). And over 33 million adults admit to binge drinking in the past year (2010).

Alcohol ranks third as the cause of preventable deaths (after cigarettes and poor diet) killing nearly 80,000 Americans a year. Half of those due to binge drinking. That's for adults. Binging is the major cause of alcohol related deaths for adolescents and young adults. To really hammer this home, think about this one: 90 percent of all the alcohol consumed by high school students is consumed through binge drinking.

As a culture, we seem to enable binging. Evenings of recreation for college students or young adults are often centered around drinking heavily as a primary activity -- as opposed to alcohol being a compliment to other forms of entertainment. In this environment, what can people do to defend themselves against a such an underestimated problem so poorly understood or defined?

Definition of alcoholism according to who Definition of alcoholism according to aa

Alcoholism is generally thought of as someone who drinks every day. So is binge drinking a form of alcoholism as well? And what can people do to curb a binge drinking habit in a culture which encourages it?

The challenges of a culture of alcohol abuse deserves much more study and attention. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a fascinating article about how culture drives drinking habits that is a must read, for anyone interested in the sociology of alcoholism.

While we continue to search for societal answers, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is our most commonly recommended program for those seeking help. Unfortunately it has a high turnover rate. Many studies say AA has a 90 percent failure rate. For the 10 percent that stay in it, they will tell you that AA was the only thing that saved their lives. But for those who binge with long dry periods in between or others who simply don't fit into the AA culture, where should people turn?

Some binge drinkers have found traditional talk therapy to be beneficial. Or get help through their family or personal spiritual center. Unfortunately there is no one answer (yet). So if you're still looking for a solution that's right for you, there are plenty of alternatives to all of the above. Here are a few (in no particular order):

People to choose their own goal -- safer drinking, reduced drinking, or quitting. Does not label people as "diseased" or "alcoholic."

Definition of alcoholism according to who Definition of alcoholism according to aa

Moderation Management (MM) is a behavioral change program and national support group network. Personal responsibility for choosing and maintaining their own path, whether moderation or abstinence.

Hypnotherapy and NLP to Help You Stop Binge Drinking. (There are many NLP programs like these.)

Allen Carr (author of "The Easy Way to Stop Smoking") offers a guide to why we drink and how we can escape the addiction.

The aromatherapy approach. Lemon essential oil is said to help with alcohol abuse and addiction.

Massage has shown to improve the alcohol withdrawal process. And like aromatherapy, an act of self love can go a long way.

Definition of alcoholism according to who Definition of alcoholism according to aa

Part of curbing substance abuse is learning to care for oneself comprehensively. And alternative therapies can play an enormous role in centering you on that path. If you are struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction, chances are there is no one answer. A balanced and healthy lifestyle has commonalities but needs to be custom designed for each person's individual needs and challenges.

IMPORTANT: If you have a daily alcohol problem, or are in an emergency situation you should always seek professional medical help as soon as possible. "Alternative" therapies are best explored when the emergency is over.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional and my opinions are simply that of a journalist / filmmaker who has seen alcohol abuse in close proximity at all levels and in all forms. Substance abuse and the economics of substance abuse policy is something that affects each and every one of us. My intention and hope with this article is to add something positive to a national conversation about alcohol abuse. I look forward to reading about your thoughts and experiences as well.

Posted by at 04:28AM

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