How Do Alcohol Addiction and Alcohol Abuse Differ?

“Alcohol addiction” and “alcohol abuse” are two terms that are often used interchangeably in casual conversation. However, in the medical field, there is a fine line but a clear difference between the two. 

Alcohol Addiction

Adult alcohol addiction is also referred to as adult chemical dependency. It is a serious illness that requires extensive dedication on the patient’s side and on the medical professional’s side. Alcohol addiction is chronic and the choice to avoid drinking is merely nonexistent. 

As with any chemical dependency (alcohol or drug-related), it is difficult for individuals to stop drinking on their own, which is why many addicts continue to drink despite running into legal and/or relationship trouble. Many adults who suffer from alcohol addiction greatly benefit from our various outpatient programs for chemical dependency at our Houston addiction rehab facility.

Alcohol Abuse

When an individual abuses alcohol, they are not yet addicted, but unfortunately, addiction may be right around the corner.

Alcohol abuse is defined as a case in which the individual drinks excessively to a point where their physical health and relationships suffer. They may also experience legal trouble, but they still have the choice to stop drinking and can do so if they wanted.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a social drinker and an addicted drinker, but what primarily differentiates alcohol addiction from alcohol abuse is the degree of choice involved.

Sacred Oak in Houston Helps Adults Recover From Alcohol Addiction 

At Sacred Oak Medical Center, our medical professionals offer two kinds of chemical dependency outpatient programs. One is our Intensive Outpatient Program for chemical dependency, which is reserved for severe cases of adult alcohol addiction. Although less intensive than the former, our Supportive Outpatient Program for chemical dependency is an equally effective program for less severe cases. Through our customized group and individual sessions, our adult patients will learn how to overcome their battle with addiction and live a healthier life. To determine which program is best for you or a loved one, please get an assessment so we can help Repair the Body, Mend the Mind, and Heal the Spirit.

Sacred Oak Medical Center is a recently constructed, state-of-the-art facility which opened its doors in March of 2017. Our services include Adult inpatient mental health, Adult medical detox and substance abuse rehabilitation, partial hospitalization and outpatient programs. Our hospital hosts 80 beds and expanded facilities. We are accepting referrals for all programs.


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