01. What is the definition of alcoholism?
An addiction to the consumption of alcoholic liquor or the mental illness and compulsive behavior resulting from alcohol dependency.
02. Who are alcoholics?
They could be anyone, from all backgrounds and walks of life. Over 95 percent of alcoholics have families, friends, and jobs. They may function fairly well, but some part of their life is suffering. Their drinking causes a continuing and growing problem in their lives, and the lives they touch.
03. How do alcoholics affect family and friends?
Alcoholism is a family disease. The disease affects all those who have a relationship with a problem drinker. Those of us closest to the alcoholic suffer the most, and those who care the most can easily get caught up in the behavior of another person. We react to the alcoholic's behavior. We focus on them, what they do, where they are, how much they drink. We try to control their drinking for them. We take on the blame, guilt, and shame that really belong to the drinker. We can become as addicted to the alcoholic, as the alcoholic is to alcohol. We, too, can become ill.
04. What is addiction?
The fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing or activity. Addictions do not only include physical things we consume, such as drugs or alcohol, but may include virtually anything (from abstract things such as gambling to seemingly harmless products such as chocolate). In other words addiction may refer to a substance dependence (i.g., drug or alcohol dependence) or behavioral addiction (e.g., video games, shopping or gambling). When a person becomes addicted to something they cannot control how they use it, and become dependent on it to cope with daily life.
05. What is a physical addiction versus a psychological addiction?
A physical addiction is where the body becomes tolerant to a substance and requires more to function normally. Tolerance is a drug induced-adaptive syndrome, also meaning that the phenomenon where our biological composition responds differently as a substance is used more frequently.
A psychological addiction is where a person feels (s)he cannot function, particularly in stressful or social situations.
06. What can I do to help?
You want to help, yet you should not "enable". It can be difficult to understand why the addict or alcoholic fails to see what they are doing to themselves. They may be in denial about their situation or depressed and not motivated or interested in changing. Stigma may make the person feel embarrassed or ashamed to seek help. This is all part of the disease and it is no doubt affecting you and other family members, friends, colleagues and loved ones. Helping them get appropriate treatment is the best way to help. Also, the more you know and understand the disease, the more you will be able to make good and educated decisions about how to proceed and help not only the alcoholic or addict in your family, but also learn what is best for you.
07. What should I do if they refuse my help?
This is a challenging question. A person cannot be forced to help (unless under certain circumstances, such as in court-ordered treatment). It is often thought that a person needs to hit rock-bottom before they will change. This is not necessarily true. Here are a few tips you can try to help the alcoholic or addict want to seek treatment:
Do not "cover up" or make excuses. This may prolong their recognition to take responsibility, overcome any stigma and reach out for treatment or help.
Time your interventions shortly after an addition-related problem has occurred but choose a time when they are not coherent or under the influence. Find a time when both of you are calm and recognize that window of opportunity when your loved one see that "moment of clarity" and are willing to respond more readily. Try to avoid nagging or forceful behavior.
Be very specific and use recent examples of times when their behavior has caused problems.
State the results and consequences what will happen if (s)he does not seek help without using threats.
Find an treatment counselor or center and contact them immediately if your loved one agrees to seek help. Offer to go with them for support
Call on a friend to help. Perhaps someone who has their addiction in remission and can relate to what your loved one is going through. Find strength in numbers and remember you are not alone.
Seek support groups for yourself, such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. It is important to remember to detach with love in times where you need to protect yourself. Recognize and avoid codependent behavior.
08. What is codependency?
The term "codependency" has been around for decades and originally applied to spouses of alcoholic, or co-alcoholics. Now more broadly used, codependency is an unconscious addiction to another person's abnormal behavior.
A codependent may become a roadblock in getting care for the alcoholic or addict. It is a condition of a dysfunctional relationship and tends to encompass the following traits:
A codependent will see themselves as the only one who can "fix" the problem at all costs.
A codependent will do eveything possiible to cover up for problems or hide issues to preserve the family image.
A codependent often becomes immersed in other's problems and forget about their own needs.
A codependent will devote their lives to cure or control the addict or alcoholic.
A codependent often has low self-esteem and needs to be needed.
A codependent denies their own feelings and are obessed about the feelings of the alcoholic or addict.
A codependent may themselves become anxious, depressed, compulsive, or use denial as a coping mechnanism.
09. What can Strengh and Hope provide?
All the content and tools on this site come from credible sources, real people who have had loved ones that struggled with alcoholism and addictions. We grew from the challenge and now want to help you get the STRENGTH and HOPE to live a wonderful life whether the alcoholic or addict is still using their drug of choice or not.
We will continually be releasing and publishing new tips, tools and updates to our site. If you so choose to immerse yourself in these resources and the work and community of STRENGTH and HOPE we believe you will grow, regain your sanity and achieve the peace and calmness in life everyone desires. Additionally, you will experience the incredible fulfillment and joy from sharing your journey with others should you decide to “pay it forward” by participating in this community.
We are confident you will find the courage, STRENGTH and HOPE to obtain a serene life as you start your journey using the information and tools on this site.
10. What is the best way to contact someone at Strength and Hope?
Please visit or Contact Us page to receive more information. Or email: info@StrengthAndHope.com and someone will respond as quickly as possible.
11. I have been through this myself. How can I share my experiences and contribute to your community?
Please share your stories by sending an email to info@StrengthAndHope.com. We are planning to add more features to our website in the near future, such as testimonials, blogs, and forums.
All stories and contributions will help us help others who have been afflicted by alcoholics or addicts in their lives. Check back regularly to how your contributions are being put to good use.
Still have questions?
We will try to answer any question you may have regarding alcoholism and addiction. Here are some frequently asked questions. We will continue to add to this section and keep the information current. But, if you cannot find your answer here, check out our Forums page to discuss issues with others. Or you may reach us anytime at [email address] and we will try to provide answers in a private message. And you can always click on the Live Chat button at the bottom of this page to reach someone now.