Alcohol addiction remains a very severe problem not only in the United States but also in many countries worldwide. It slowly ruins the physical and emotional health of the person addicted to alcohol. Worse, family members may also be adversely affected as they are easily devastated by the conditions of their loved ones.
Take a look at recent figures taken from a survey facilitated by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction:
- Nearly 90,000 men and women die from alcohol-related disorders making it the third-leading avoidable cause of mortality in this country.
- Around 100,000 Americans perish because of drinking alcohol and driving, fires, accidents, as well as alcohol-related suicides and killings.
- More than 17 million grown-ups (18 years old and above) have this Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) while 1 out of 10 kids live in homes with parents who drink a large amount of alcohol.
- Besides, too much consumption of alcoholic drinks cause serious ailments like alcoholic type of hepatitis which eventually leads to failure of the liver and ultimate death. It also results in cirrhosis and greater probability of liver cancer.
What is the Cause of Alcoholism?
Scientists say contributing factors include hereditary tendencies, mental conditions, and immediate environment. However, people with alcohol problems react in a different way to alcoholism treatment and recovery. Alcoholism is often described as a continuing disease although this does not occur instantaneously. In other words, there is a shift from occasional to frequent social drinking until the sprees become regular.
Some people rely on alcoholic drinks to alleviate anxiety. One example is a person with demanding occupation is inclined to drink a lot. Perhaps, using wholesome methods such as reading or engaging in moderate exercises to ease pressure is a better alternative. Those who start drinking early will more likely become reliant on alcohol as they grow older. The habit develops into a dependency.
Psychological health disorders like depression and manic depressive illness steps up the possibility of alcoholism. The apprehensive individual finds the effects of drinking alcohol a temporary solution which leads to alcohol addiction in the long run. Certain prescription medications amplify the noxious effects of alcoholic drinks on the body. Drinking alcohol and taking these medicines can cause addiction to the point that it becomes acute.
It may also be a matter of family history. The danger of alcoholism increases if your parents or other family members have alcohol problems. This is partly because of heredity while the other component is your immediate environment. Making friends with persons who drink heavily can encourage you to imitate them.
As you can see, various factors increase the risks so it is critical to understand these threats for you to cope accordingly.
Indications of Alcohol Problems
People who drink frequently may find it difficult to quit. This is usually the start of getting addicted to alcohol. After this stage, the person does not merely want to relish the social experience but prefers to become intoxicated. All of a sudden, drinking seems to be the only solution to personal issues. It’s hard to stay sober as one drink usually leads to another.
Physical warning signs of excessive intake are easily identifiable in most people. Some of the major symptoms include the following:
- Garbled or jumbled manner of speaking;
- Delayed and slow reflexes;
- Poor balance and awkwardness;
- Persistent nausea and abdominal pains;
- Sudden loss of consciousness;
- Restlessness or Oversleeping;
- Face turns very red while drinking.
Some persons engaging in binge drinking become intoxicated to the point that respiration slows down until the person simply stops breathing.
Withdrawal is said to be alcoholism’s second precursor. Somebody who develops this kind of tolerance does not want to stop drinking and suffers serious physical consequences since their body is denied of alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms consist of shaking, sweating, vomiting, exhaustion, bad temper, insomnia, and depression.
Effects of Alcohol Addiction
The bad news is sustained alcohol abuse endangers the individual’s entirety including physical, social, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing. Medical practitioners also caution that alcoholism can cause permanent impairment of the liver, heart, brain, intestines, and nervous system. It starts with abuse resulting sooner or later to addiction.
Potential alcoholics begin to abandon their responsibilities at work, home or school. They mix drinking with driving and using equipment while drunk encountering legal concerns because of drinking alcohol. These people consume alcoholic beverages habitually as a means of relieving stress. Tolerance to drinking alcohol becomes increasingly severe.
Treatment is classified into three fundamental approaches even as it is advisable to consult primary care physicians initially. Doctors can diagnose if the patient’s drinking habit is hazardous. The treatment plan is usually formulated based on this diagnosis. The medical practitioner can also appraise your overall condition and determine if medicines should be prescribed. In the United States, medications have been approved to assist people in reducing the amount of alcohol they drink and prevent degeneration.
Support groups play a crucial role in alcohol addiction treatment. The first step towards recovery is the actual program for therapy or treatment. This provides the physical and psychological benefits to the alcohol dependent. Once the physical part of addiction is addressed, the next stage is to handle the emotional aspect not only for the alcoholic but family members as well. The patients can benefit greatly from these support groups.
Aside from emotional care, support groups foster camaraderie and acceptance for patients and their next of kin. Nonetheless, professional researchers cannot really establish the success rate of support groups compared to medical experts because of the unspecified nature of these groups. Support groups like Smart Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Secular Organizations for Sobriety are among the highly-regarded support groups.
The third possible treatment for alcoholism is behavioral therapy. This is meant to modify drinking habits by way of counseling. The technique of Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) for alcoholics is to concentrate on the thoughts and outlook of the person. CBT, according to the National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, that alcoholism must be tackled from the perspective of patients’ behaviors and feelings and not through events and circumstances. This can help people change for the better and act positively.
Addiction to alcohol is a grave concern and can result in more drastic consequences. This matter must not be ignored or dismissed as something insignificant. Families of person with alcohol problems need to act now before everything is too late. As explained earlier, there are options for alcoholism treatment that you can explore. Seek professional help right away.