Alcoholism: what it is and how to deal with it

A report by World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that South Africa has one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption in the world. A recent study by Dr Richard Matzopoulos of the South African Research Council shows that alcohol is the most widely abused drug in South Africa, costing the government R17 billion a year.

702/CapeTalk presenter Redi Thlabi spoke to Tsholofelo Moche, social worker at The South African National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence, about alcoholism and how it differs from binge drinking.

What is alcoholism? “Alcoholism is defined as chronic and progressive disease that includes controlling alcohol intake."

Alcolism and Binge drinking Alcoholism - is constant drinking almost every day or every weekend. Binge drinking – drinking with intension of becoming heavily intoxicated.

Symptoms Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink Feeling a strong need or compulsion to drink Blacking out Needing more to feel the effect of alcohol Drinking alone or hiding your drinking Having ‘shakes’ when you don’t drink *Becoming irritable if alcohol isn't available

Health problems associated with excessive alcohol use Liver disease Affects on the brain structure Kidneys – going to the bathroom becomes difficult Affects on internal organs Facial appearance (phuza face) Loss of productivity *Heart problems

Listen to people affected by alcoholism share their journey to recovery:

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