Thursday, March 03, 2011

Alcoholism is a chronic disease in which your body becomes dependent on alcohol. Alcoholics continue to drink even though it strains relationships and can cause problems with health, work and finances. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about alcoholism in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Alcoholism is a disease that affects the part of the brain that controls your feelings, the way you make decisions and the way you act. People with alcoholism cannot control how much they drink.

Nobody knows what causes alcoholism. People with parents who have alcoholism have a greater chance of getting the disease. Alcoholism may be related to the things we learn when we are growing up. Alcoholism is not caused by a lack of willpower or moral values.

It is not easy to tell if you have alcoholism. You might drink socially at first, but over time the drinking can get out of control. Your family, friends or doctor might notice it before you do. You might drink to help yourself go to sleep or deal with stress and anxiety. Over time, you need to drink more to feel the same way.

Your doctor can help you find the right treatment program. Alcoholics Anonymous is a free support group for people with alcoholism.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.