Alcoholism Diseases

What is Alcoholism?

This can be described as a chronic disorder which can be characterized by dependence on alcohol and the repeated excessive use of alcoholic beverages which leads to the development of withdrawal symptoms especially when one reduces intake of alcohol.

This is followed by morbidity which has been known to include liver cirrhosis and the reduced ability to act normal especially in terms of social interaction and related workplace tasks.

It can also be described as a form of disease which is commonly referred to as alcohol dependence syndrome which is the most severe stage of drinking problems and usually starts with binge drinking and alcohol abuse.

When people engage in alcohol consumption, they usually do so with the mind set that they are celebrating or they doing so in order to eliminate stress or depression from their lives. The worst thing is that when you drink alcohol in order to fight problems or avoid feeling bad, you will be directing yourself in a dangerous territory.

The various effects of the condition can sneak up on you without your knowledge therefore in order to avoid it, you need to be aware of the symptoms and signs of the condition.

Symptoms and signs of Alcoholism

The signs and symptoms can be either mild, moderate or severe and they include:
a.The inability of an individual limiting the amount of alcohol they are consuming
b.Constant trials of getting rid of the habit leading to several unsuccessful attempts
c.An individual  keeps binge drinking day in and day out
d.The person will be feeling a strong craving and the urge to drink alcohol
e.One continues to consume alcohol regardless of knowledge that it will destroy their lives. The alcohol will cause physical, social as well as relationship problems.
f.An individual uses alcohol especially in areas where it is not safe such as around a swimming pool and even when driving
g.One has been able to develop tolerance towards the alcohol therefore they end up consuming more in order to feel the effects of it.
h.The start of withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating and shaking therefore indicating the start of eliminating the behavior.

What is alcohol withdrawal?

This is a situation where an alcoholic who has been undergoing heavy and prolonged drinking ceases the habit with the purpose of kicking it out of their life. Withdrawal has been found to start occurring a few hours to a few days after one has stopped drinking or reduced the amount they used to drink before.

Some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include sweating, rapid heart beat, hand tremors, sleeping problems, nausea, vomiting, hallucinations and agitation. There are times when seizures may occur and could make the symptoms to be severe therefore impairing one’s ability to work or even interact with others socially.

What is alcohol intoxication?

Alcoholism Diseases

This is a situation where the amount of alcohol in your blood increases which means that the higher the concentration, the more intoxicated one is.

The condition is known to cause problems especially when it comes to behavior and mental capabilities. Some of the behavioral and mental changes that will occur due to alcohol intoxication include unstable moods, impaired judgement, slurred speech, impaired attention, impaired memory and poor coordination.

There are periods where one will experience the so called “blackouts” therefore leading one not to remember events. When the levels of alcohol are very high, it could lead one to be in a coma or death.

Causes of Alcoholism

In order for one to become an alcoholic, they have to spend months or even years abusing alcohol. As time goes by, the condition will disrupt the chemical balance in the brain specifically the GABA which is known to control impulsiveness.

Glutamate is another chemical that is affected and is known to stimulate the nervous system. Below are the causes of alcoholism.

Family history

According to experts, genetics is one cause of the problem especially in families where they have a history of addiction. These are as a result of certain genetic factors which experts have been able to find out.

Stress

It has been found out that people who have emotional problems that lead to stress usually result in the condition. This is because when people have problems, they will seek solace in alcohol therefore starting binge drinking.

Peer drinking

When you start spending time with friends who drink regularly, you will be tempted to try it out an within a short time,you will be hooked and you will start drinking yourself.

Low self esteem

People who have low esteem will likely result to drinking alcohol in order to boost their confidence especially when around people.

Depression

Depression has been found to result in the deliberate use of alcohol as a means of treating their condition. Drinking alcohol will not eliminate one’s problem but will escalate it instead.

Treatment of Alcoholism

When it comes to alcoholism, there are a number of treatment methods that are meant to support you in abstaining. The treatment may be provided in stages and includes:

a.The process of detoxification. This is done in order to get rid of the alcohol in the body. Gluathione is a powerful antioxidant which fights free radicals that cause damage to body cells leading to cell injury that results in various problems. Apart from that, it is also a powerful detox product therefore helps to eliminate toxins from the body especially in individuals who have a problem with alcohol.
b.Rehabilitation. This is done to allow an individual to learn new coping skills and behaviors.
c.General counselling where an individual speaks to a counsellor therefore being able to address various emotional problems which usually prompt one to drink
d.Support via available programs such as the 12 step program from Alcohol Anonymous.
e.Medical treatment of the condition
f.Provision of medication.

When it comes to medication, there are several which are used to treat the condition and they include:
-Naltrexone which is also referred to as Vivitrol and is used on individuals who are have detoxified from the alcohol. The drug works by blocking specific receptors which are usually associated with being high. The drug together with counselling will help to decrease one’s craving for alcohol.
-Campral is a medication which helps one to re-establish their brains original chemical state before they start being dependent on alcohol.

Alcoholism: How Far is Too Far?

Studies show that there is such a thing as healthy level of alcohol consumption. But habitual and excessive intake of alcohol, which more often than not leads to health deterioration, is called alcoholism.

It is a widespread inheritable psychiatric disorder that may cause other complications such as anxiety disorders, neurological complications, higher levels of blood pressure, liver failure, or even fatal accidents or injuries due to intoxication.

It is basically addiction to alcohol. And anything that is taken in excess is dangerous and may lead to grievous consequences. Too much alcohol ingestion has been many times associated with a significant number of death rates all around the globe.

What Causes Alcoholism?

There is no exact cause that may point to alcoholism. But some researches show that a person who is easily affected with this condition may have come from a family with dipsomaniacs or alcoholics.

It is hereditary, which means that a person may inherit disorder from an alcoholic father or mother. Chronic heavy drinking can also be induced by psychological factors. A person who is emotionally and mentally stressed may become more susceptible to abusive drinking, thinking that alcohol will help him forget his current predicaments.

Alcohol masks emotional strains because of the way it chemically affects the mood and processes of the brain, thus retroactively decreases remembrance of what’s really going on in a person’s life.

It can also be caused by social pressure and other environmental factors. Media, for example, is a powerful element that may “tempt” a person to depend on booze, presenting it as a great escape from reality.

Signs of Developing Alcohol Dependency

So how do you tell if a person is becoming or already an alcoholic? What are the indications that a drinker has gone too far? They may range from rash behaviors to the more apparent habitual drinking. The following is a list of some of the common indicants that someone has an alcoholic condition:

  • Uncontrollable and excessive drinking
  • Violent behavior
  • Isolation
  • Easily gets irritated and especially sensitive with the subject of drinking
  • Absence from work, school or other responsibilities because of drinking
  • Callous towards consequences of actions
  • Not eating properly
  • Not caring about personal hygiene
  • Showing severe withdrawal symptoms when sober like shaking, nausea, sweating, vomiting and anxiety
  • Sneaking alcoholic beverages in unusual places
  • Abnormal tolerance of alcohol
  • Diseases like liver failures, cardiovascular problems, digestive troubles, etc.

And of course, you know a person has gone too far if the addiction causes life-threatening results.

Is There Any Treatment for Alcoholism?

Yes, there is. Alcoholism can only stop if the person chooses to. Therefore, the main goal of its treatment is abstinence. The treatment for alcohol dependency is just like intervention for any other addiction which includes the following phases:

  1. Detoxification or detox. When discontinuing alcohol use, a person will experience withdrawal symptoms. Detox is a stage where the person will take medicines to prevent these symptoms.
  2. Rehabilitation. This will include further medication and counselling to help the person get back on track.
  3. Further counselling. A person will encounter the challenge of alcoholic lure, therefore needing the help of a professional counselor. There are also support groups, people who go through the same issues and situations as the patient, who are there to help him.
  4. Medication for any diseases developed due to heavy drinking. In the end, it is the patient’s willpower and determination that will help him to fully abstain from drinking.