What Is the Difference Between Alcoholism and Addiction?

This is an article that I copied over to my blog… so I can talk about some of the differences between how main stream handles alcoholism and how I handle it.

In my work, alcohol is an avoidance strategy: the person with the drinking would rather feel positive emotions, than deal with what there is to deal with: life, thoughts, emotions, relationships, problems.

Moving away and doing something that distracts one from an unwished for situation, thought, or feeling is called: obeying an urge.

Unless a person is taught different ways to relate to thoughts, feelings, memories, emotions, they will just continue to avoid them. Even if they become sober, they will just replace the alcohol with other behavior or substances: nothing changed inside.

Simple behavior modification doesn’t do it. A whole inner change is required, a superior skill to control one’s attention, that can be developed with practice.

Most humans living today are addicts and avoiders, one way or another. TV, internet, facebook, reading, sex, work, exercise, politics, sports… you can use any activity to avoid what you don’t like… and people do it, while they languish, and stop growing.

Check out my programs, courses, coaching, audios… they work.

The distinction between alcoholism and addiction is a dying one. For decades alcoholism has been classified separately from addiction even though both have identical symptoms and treatment options. These differences can be seen in the development of huge groups dedicated to one substance or another such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. However the fact of the matter is that alcohol is simply a substance like any other. Because addiction is not classified according to the drugs the person uses, it’s only logical that alcohol be treated in a similar manner.

Many addiction professionals are beginning to classify alcoholism simply as addiction. This is because no distinctions can be made between how addiction forms, progresses and is treated and how alcoholism is formed, progresses and is treated. This is described below:

How Addiction Forms Versus How Alcoholism Forms

When a substance such as cocaine, marijuana, heroin or alcohol causes the reward and pleasure center of the brain to be stimulated, the brain creates a “log” of associations concerning the events that led up to the “reward” of using the substance. When these associations are solidified with continued use, neurological pathways are constructed in the brain that facilitates the entire process. These pathways become permanent over time, and because they were developed in response to a substance, they can cause powerful urges that will compel the person to use the substance again and again. This physiological process doesn’t care what the substance is- the result is the same whether you’re talking about alcohol or drugs.

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction versus Alcoholism

Whether your substance of choice is alcohol or any
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