40% of Children Could Become Alcoholics

A movement to literally redefine the term "alcoholic" could place almost half of American teenagers in that category. New guidelines in a revised addition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to be released next year will likely change the way addiction is categorized, discussed, examined and treated and add 20 million more supposed addicts to the national numbers. Under the current substance abuse treatment paradigm, there is "addiction" and there is "substance abuse". While substance abuse is what ultimately leads to addiction, there has always been a certain window of time before the system becomes dependent on alcohol or drugs and addiction ultimately manifests. 

The new guidelines essentially eliminate the concept of substance abuse and replace it with three different levels of addiction: "mild", "moderate" and "severe". Under the new formula, over 60% of the nation can end up being branded as having an addiction of some kind.
 
Authors of the DSM, the most listened-to and respected known mental health guidebook, have broadened the criteria for what constitutes alcoholism, while simultaneously diminishing the number of verifiable symptoms needed for a definitive diagnosis. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has stated that the purpose of broadening these definitions is to more accurately diagnose patients, offer earlier and more proactive intervention, and to improve outcomes for those suffering from every type of addiction. 
 
The good news is it's likely that the new DSM breakdown will improve access to treatment for those suffering from what we currently regard as alcohol abuse. One of the leading transitional causes of alcoholism is a drinker's unwillingness or inability to get proper treatment before their problem gets out of hand. By diagnosing alcohol abusers as alcoholics, treatment can be more proactively administered. The DSM is considered the final authority or "bible" for recommendations for the treatment of mental illness, and is utilized by the government, insurance companies and medical professionals to determine what sort of treatment certain types of patient needs. 
 
The revised manual is due out in May of 2013, and is one of the most aggressive changes in addiction treatment policy in recent history. Whatever the stage of alcohol abuse you or your loved one are in, it's important to get treatment before drinking ruins your life. When all is said and done, you don't need a manual to tell you that you have a drinking problem. If alcohol has taken over your life, or the life of someone you care about, break the cycle now by getting professional help. For more on the new DSM guidelines, click below:
 

Contact the National Alcoholism Center anytime toll-free at (888) 515-7704 or through our online form for our recommendations of the best alcohol treatment centers for you or your loved one!

Alcoholism treatment should never be attempted in your home or without medical supervision at a professional licensed treatment facility.