Key Difference – Alcoholism vs Alcohol Abuse
Although alcoholism and alcohol abuse sound very much similar, there is a difference between the two terms. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are the two typical types of the human disorder that involves uncontrollable desire and intake of alcoholic drinks despite all its bad effects to the body. They are most commonly known as alcohol addicts and are mostly common to men. Through this article let us comprehend the difference between the two words.
What is Alcoholism?
The term Alcoholism was coined by a physician from Sweden, Magnus Huss, around 1849 and replaces the term Dipsomania or the craving and intense thirst of one person over alcohol. But during the 1980s, the committee from the World Health Organization did not agree on the use of the term for diagnostic purposes that are why they changed it to “alcohol dependence”.
Physical signs of a person suffering from alcoholism involve sexual dysfunction, epilepsy and deficiency of one’s nutrition. Alcoholism can not only create problems in the human body, but it can affect the person’s social life as well. Hence the effect that it has cannot be limited merely to the body, but includes the mentality as well. Alcoholism prevented measures by the WHO involves increasing the age limit before someone is allowed to drink.
What is Alcohol abuse?
Alcohol abuse is a diagnostic term that involves a person’s psychiatric disorder of repetitive use of any beverages with alcohol content. According to a certain psychiatry book, alcohol abuse can contribute to a person’s decision to commit suicide especially if the person is suffering from a great depression. Constant alcohol abuse may lead a person to another disorder known as alcohol dependency.
As mentioned above, alcoholism superseded the term dipsomania (which means a strong desire and intense thirst of a person over alcoholic drinks). But around 1979, alcohol abuse superseded the term alcoholism due to the World Health Organization’s recommendation to change the term for specific reasons. Alcohol abuse shows signs like insomnia and irritability. Increasing the tax of alcoholic beverages can reduce alcohol abuse.
Just like any other kind of addiction in the medicine world, alcoholism and alcohol abuse are addictions over alcohol that can still be treated. Those who suffer from any of these types of alcohol addiction can either go for a rehabilitation program to ensure proper withdrawal and with the use of doctor-prescribed medicinal drugs for alcoholism and alcohol abuse.
What is the Difference Between Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse?
Definitions of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse:
Alcoholism: Alcoholism was a term coined in 1849 to replace the term Dipsomania or the craving and intense thirst of one person over alcohol.
Alcohol Abuse: Alcohol abuse is a diagnostic term that involves a person’s psychiatric disorder of repetitive use of any beverages with alcohol content.
Characteristics of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse:
Alcoholism: Physical signs of a person suffering from alcoholism involve sexual dysfunction, epilepsy and deficiency of one’s nutrition.
Alcohol Abuse: Alcohol abuse shows signs like insomnia and irritability.
Alcoholism: Alcoholism replaces the term dipsomania.
Alcohol Abuse: Alcohol abuse replaces the term alcoholism due to the recommendation of the experts in World Health Organization.
1. “William Hogarth – Gin Lane” by William Hogarth – Reprint from circa 1880 in uploader’s possession. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
2. “Liquor store in Breckenridge Colorado” by David Shankbone – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons