Substance abuse problems are rampant in society today. One of the most prevalent seems to be alcoholism. This condition is marked by an inability to function in normal, everyday life with out the aid of the substance. People suffering from this condition may find it difficult to work or relate to other people or even to simply relax and sleep without ingesting it. This condition used to be considered a sign of weakness, inasmuch as it was believed that individuals should be able to control and modify their intake as the situation required. Now it is understood to be more of a medical problem, and there have been considerable efforts directed at discovering a cure.
As of yet, however, there is no known cure for alcoholism. The best method for coping with it seems to be complete abstinence; that is, individuals who have a tendency to abuse it should refrain from drinking it at any time, in any quantity. It appears that once the substance is used, those people who suffer from this problem cannot control how much more they will drink.
Persons who suffer from alcoholism do not seem to be able to drink it in any kind of moderation. There seems to be a slippery slope; once a person with this disorder begins to drink, he or she cannot stop drinking, whether or not he or she wants to. This inability to stop may be exhibited during the actual time the drinking has begun, or may be spread over time, such that a person may be able to drink in some moderation in each sitting, but may not be able to stop for long periods of time. Either way, there is a lack of control of the drinking that is disturbing, and potentially destructive.
Alcoholism can affect anyone in any social group, regardless of his or her age, gender, socioeconomic class, or predilection towards addiction. Because drinking is generally socially acceptable, it can be particularly difficult to separate those who are truly suffering from alcoholism from those who are merely social drinkers. People in the former group should seek help for alcoholism as soon as possible, so as not to lose any more of their lives to this debilitating disease.