The Difference Between Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse?

Alcoholism, also known as “alcohol dependence syndrome,” is a disease that is characterized by the following elements:

  • Craving: A strong need, or compulsion, to drink.
  • Loss of control: The frequent inability to stop drinking once a person has begun.
  • Physical dependence: The occurrence of withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking. These symptoms are usually relieved by drinking alcohol or by taking another sedative drug.
  • Tolerance: The need for increasing amounts of alcohol in order to get “high.”

Alcohol abuse is defined as a pattern of drinking that is accompanied by one or more of the following situations within a 12-month period:

  • Failure to fulfill major work, school, or home responsibilities;
The Difference Between Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse?

  • Drinking in situations that are physically dangerous, such as while driving a car or operating machinery;
  • Recurring alcohol-related legal problems, such as being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or for physically hurting someone while drunk;
  • Continued drinking despite having ongoing relationship problems that are caused or worsened by the effects of alcohol.
Source: alcoholism.about.com

IN PERSON: JEREMY CHANDLER (continued from page 1)

Jeremy's group insurance provider denied his claim for disability benefits. They argued that his alcohol addiction did not fit their definition of “total disability” as outlined in the policy.


Jeremy knew he didn't have the strength to fight the insurance company, who he felt was breaking its contract by failing to provide benefits when he was sick. He retained Share Lawyers because of the firm's expertise fighting cases against his insurance carrier for denying claims based on addiction.

Jeremy was thankful for the straightforward legal process. His lawyer kept him informed every step of the way while lifting the burden of

dealing with the insurance company off his shoulders. He was able to focus on his treatment while Share Lawyers handled his case through to mediation, where a substantial lump-sum settlement was negotiated for him.

He was able to relax for the first time in many years knowing that even though he was not working, he had the financial security to turn his attention inward, for once, and take care of his health. Jeremy had many high roads to traverse in order to beat his addiction. With his insurance claim settlement, he could now do it with financial security and peace of mind.SP

[All names and identifying details have been changed to protect the confidentiality of all involved.]