Are you an alcoholic or just a drunk? It’s not always easy to tell the difference. And while they may seem similar on the surface, there are important distinctions between them that can help provide insight into one’s drinking habits and behaviors. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of these key differences—such as motivations for drinking, health effects and potential treatments—in order to help you better understand how one becomes an alcoholic versus how someone doesn’t cross that line from “drunk” to “alcoholic.”
Who is an Alcoholic?
- Alcoholism is a mental health issue characterized by an addiction to alcohol. Alcoholics are people who have lost the ability to control their drinking, and because of this issue, may experience long-term health and social consequences.
- Alcoholics may drink every day, often in dangerous situations that can lead to injury or death. Alcoholism can be caused by genetic predisposition or environmental factors such as depression, stress, and low self-esteem.
- Alcoholics often hide their drinking behavior from friends and family, making it difficult for them to seek help. Alcoholism is an insidious problem that requires professional treatment in order to overcome its devastating consequences.
Who is Drunk?
- Drunk people usually display tell-tale signs of their intoxicated state, including slurred speech, impaired motor coordination, an inability to focus, and an excessive amount of joviality.
- Drunk people may also forget conversations or events that happened while they were drinking and make irresponsible choices such as driving under the influence or engaging in unprotected sexual activity.
- Drunk people might have difficulty recognizing when they are being taken advantage of or not handling a situation responsibly. Determining the degree that somebody is drunk varies greatly from person to person, but no matter how drunk someone is, it is important to recognize the risks associated with drinking excessively and know when to intervene.
Difference between Alcoholic and Drunk
Alcoholic and Drunk are terms often used interchangeably, however they represent very different things.
- Alcoholism is the chronic physical and psychological dependency on alcohol, while drunkenness is a temporary condition caused by consuming too much alcohol in a short amount of time.
- Alcoholics suffer from serious health risks due to their long-term use of alcohol, whereas getting drunk can be done responsibly so there is minimal risk of harm.
- Alcoholics will generally drink alone and experience withdrawal symptoms when denied access to alcohol; likewise, someone who gets drunk may experience short-term effects associated with drinking too much such as nausea, impaired judgment, slurred speech, and more.
Alcoholism and drunkenness should never be seen as similar states of mind – alcoholism is an ongoing battle that many people face, yet becoming intoxicated doesn’t necessarily imply an addiction to alcohol.
The bottom line is that an alcoholic is someone who has a physical and mental dependence on alcohol. A drunk person is someone who has imbibed too much alcohol and as a result, their behavior and appearance changes. While both groups of people may drink excessively, only one group is physically unable to stop.