There were times when the term alcohol dependence was an alien term and it was not much clear that what the term actually means. However the drinkers were divided in two broad categories:The Alcoholics and the rest. So the thinking to have it or not has a broad spectrum and interestingly that thinking has evolved over the time.The question than arises is what are the differences between somebody who is an alcoholic and someone who just likes a drink or two? Dr. Sadaqat Ali, a recognized addiction psychiatrist who runs a state of the art facility on alcoholism treatment answers the question as follow“An alcoholic is someone who has a problem with his drinking. Either he is troubled by it, or someone else bears the brunt.

haroon christy Haroon Christy Munir is the Director of Sadaqat Clinic Lahore and also working as Counselor at Willing Ways (pvt) Ltd. He has done Master’s in Business Administration from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad and afterwards M.Sc Management from Leeds business School, United Kingdom. He is well known for counseling on assertiveness, life strategies, personality development of patients and family therapy.  He has positive approach and attitude towards life and is skilled in personal development planning, time management and prioritization.

Editor: Saad Shaheed

There are some specific criteria that we use to determine alcoholism. We have a CAGE questionnaire. If someone has made unsuccessful attempts to cut down, that means there’s an issues about his drinking. The second one is annoyance. Actually this ranges from irritability to rage. One should be pleased after drinking after all that is why one drinks. Instead, we see him changing in front of our very eyes. He goes from cranky and irritable to rude, obnoxious or aggressive. He becomes louder and nothing seems right to him. The more he drinks the worse he grows. The third criterion is guilt, which is saying, I think I shouldn’t be doing this. The last one is the Eye-opener; or the use of alcohol in mornings. There is a rule of thumb: if somebody points a finger at your drinking, its alcoholism.”


When it comes to alcohol intake the problem runs from mild to severe and interestingly in between there are as many types of drinkers as there are types of personalities. According to Dr Sadaqat Ali,“Drunkenness is only one side of the alcoholism; the other side is consuming large quantities. These two aspects of alcoholism together produce a variety of shades of alcoholism”. So people with rigorous problems falls prey to the trap of drinking more and more and hence are recommended with getting treated while stopping the drink intake completely. On the other hand there are drinkers who drink out of habit but have the ability to cut down the intake. According to researchers people whose usual intake one or two drinks a day does not fall under the category of dependence.


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