Alcoholism is a serious disease and is amongst those addictions that are on the rise nowadays. Since alcohol is consumed by most of the people, at least occasionally, there is a high risk of it developing into a full blown addiction.
People who consume alcohol can be divided into two categories. One category includes people who drink socially but are not addicted to alcohol. The other category includes people who are addicted to alcohol and need to consume it on a regular basis. These people are known as alcoholics.
Although both the social drinker and the alcoholic are consuming the same thing, they are different from each other. A social drinker is one who drinks when he is in the company of other people who are also drinking. Most of us drink socially when we go out for a party or a night out with friends. A social drinker is not addicted to alcohol and does not crave for it on a regular basis.
Social drinking has now become an acceptable part of life for most of the people. It is difficult to enjoy a night out without the consumption of alcohol. A social drinker is someone who can limit the alcohol consumption and does not get out of control like an alcoholic. He knows how much he can tolerate and stays within those bounds.
An alcoholic is a person with a serious disease. He is someone who is addicted to alcohol and cannot think to survive without it. Alcoholic have the compulsive need to consume alcohol on a regular basis, or else they go through terrible withdrawal symptoms. No matter what happens, they will satisfy their craving without thinking of the impact it has on their families and friends.
Although it may seem that there is a big difference between a social drinker and an alcoholic, there is actually a very thin line that separates the two. If you are socially drinking on a regular basis, or you feel that you cannot enjoy a night out without consuming alcohol, you may be crossing that line. Social drinking remains social only if it is not to the point that it makes you drunk. If you are going out solely for the purpose of getting drunk, and to do so regularly, you may be on your way to becoming an alcoholic.
Social drinking is often said to be the pathway towards alcoholism, if not kept in control. Alcohol is an addictive drug, and if you consume it very often, even if socially, you may develop a dependency on it. In this way, unknowingly, you may be on the road to alcoholism.
Thus, it is important to keep track of how much you drink socially. When you go out with friends, do not drink to the point of being completely drunk. Also, find out your alcohol tolerance level so that you know how much alcohol you can consume without being drunk. Social drinking is acceptable as long as you keep it in control; otherwise, the line between social drinking and alcoholism can be crossed.