By definition, alcoholism is a diagnosable, treatable disease. Alcohol is a drug like any other, and while periodic drinks generally have only temporary effects, chronic usage can quickly form a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. If someone you know has an alcohol abuse problem, it’s important that they seek out an alcohol addiction program in Tennessee.

The Symptoms and Effects of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is more than a lifestyle decision. Like any chronic illness, it has measurable effects on an addict’s brain and body and is best treated by medical professionals. Beyond the immediate effects of being drunk, the symptoms of chronic alcoholism are as varied as they are severe:

  • Is Alcoholism A Disease?Liver damage
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Pancreatitis
  • Malnourishment and severe vitamin deficiency
  • Cardiovascular conditions (Such as heart disease and high blood pressure)
  • Increased risk for certain cancers
  • Stomach ulcers and digestive issues
  • Weakened immune system
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (Wet Brain)
  • Dementia and brain damage

Chronic conditions also tend to have lifestyle consequences, and alcoholism is no exception. Alcoholics are more likely to get into trouble with the law, develop unhealthy relationships, and financially cripple themselves; however, functional alcoholics can and do exist and might lead successful lives despite their addiction. Individuals who seem to “have it all together” might still have serious alcohol abuse problems, which are no less severe on a psychological level even if they seem fine. Dual diagnosis is a common companion to alcoholics, as addiction is often accompanied by co-occurring mental disorders such as clinical depression. These can be caused by brain damage, hormone or chemical imbalances, and the social stress that can stem from alcoholism (especially if prone to angry outbursts or an antisocial disposition). 

Another of the primary factors that define alcohol addiction as a chronic illness is the risk of relapse. Individuals with substance abuse disorders have a 40 to 60 percent chance to relapse into their vice after receiving professional treatment, as compared to 50 to 70 percent for those with hypertension (high blood pressure) and similar conditions. Of course, this is to say nothing of those who attempt to get over their addiction unassisted, among whom relapse rates are significantly higher.

Alcoholism Can Be Treated Like Any Disease

Many alcoholics don’t view their substance abuse problem as, well, a problem. This is especially true for those who otherwise have successful lives. If you’re an alcoholic yourself or need to address someone who is, it’s important to remember that alcohol addiction is a disease with an inevitable cost to your health and the ever-present possibility of fatality. If you knew you had cancer, wouldn’t you seek treatment, even if it wasn’t currently interfering with your job and life? Getting help at Discovery Place’s alternative treatment center is proven to minimize the odds of relapse for addicts, so please, contact us at 1-800-725-0922 at any time of day to learn more about how we can help.


  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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