What Is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a medical condition that is also known as alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorder (AUD). It is the state of being addicted to the consumption of alcoholic drink. In other words, we can say that alcoholism is a serious chronic disease that results from uncontrolled drinking, whereby the victim cannot manage his/her drinking habits.
Do you find yourself drinking too much, too often? Or do you have a loved one who has an alcohol use disorder? Then, this article is a must-read for you. It has got everything you need to know about alcoholism.
Studies show that over 7% of all American adults are alcohol dependent. Consequences of alcoholism can severely affect your health, happiness, work and relationships. That is why it is highly recommended that persons suffering from alcoholism should find treatment programs for counselling, lapse prevention coaching and support.
How Do You Know That You Are An Alcoholic?
In America and many other parts of the world, alcohol purchase and consumption is legally allowed for adults and should be taken after working hours. We call this ‘happy hour’. This means that you only need to take a sip of alcohol during the happy hour and then stop drinking for the day. If you feel like you can’t just stop with a sip and you the feeling of wanting to drink more overcomes you, then, this is a clear indicator that you are suffering from alcoholism.
Due to this, you’ll find alcoholic beverages almost everywhere you go. If you are not strong enough to control the urge to drink more, watch out lest you become alcohol dependent.
Alcohol obsession can make you lose focus on your life’s goals and aspirations but the intervention of a treatment program can offer you all the support needed to address, amend and resolve even what can be termed as the deep-set cases of alcoholism. So, there is hope for you.
Symptoms Of Alcoholism
Different groups of people drink alcoholic beverages for various reasons. According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking has been identified as one of the key symptoms of alcohol abuse. This is whereby an individual uses alcohol with the prime intention of getting drunk. This may involve various difficult alcohol abuse patterns causing people to lose control on what they drink or how they drink but all what they want is to feel the buzz.
More signs of alcoholism according to the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are;
- Loss of control over how much alcohol you drink not minding how often is a sign of alcohol abuse – you feel that you want to drink more and more
- Suffering from withdrawal symptoms between bouts of drinking.
- Tolerance to the impacts of alcohol
- Inability to stop drinking no matter how much you try
- Focusing too much on alcohol to an extent that you find yourself neglecting your job, family or hobbies – this is where you put alcohol above your personal responsibilities.
- Inability to stop drinking even when it leads to problems
- Craving for alcohol when not drinking
- Behaving differently after drinking – this is where drinking alcohol makes you a totally different person from your real self.
These warning signs of alcoholism should alert you that alcohol is taking toll over your life and you need to find treatment options to help you come out of the mess of alcoholism. Talk to your doctor for professional medical assistance as soon as possible if your drinking habit is becoming a point of concern. The doctor will help you curb the withdrawal symptoms that might be difficult to manage alone.
Want To Live A Healthy And Fulfilling Life?
Do you feel bad about your alcohol addiction? Do you look back and see how badly alcohol drinking has wasted your precious life? Do you feel like enough is enough and you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life? Relax. You are not alone. Many people are going through the same but there is good news for you. You can find help no matter how badly you are affected by alcoholism. But, the point here is, speak out. Don’t suffer in silence.
Is Alcoholism Treatable?
Alcohol use disorder is treatable. With the increased alcoholism awareness in different parts of the world, you can find a rehab facility near you that specialises in alcohol addiction programs and therapies.
If remains untreated, uncontrolled drinking may lead to alcohol related deaths. It has been reported that over 88,000 people die each year due to complications resulting from alcohol dependence.
What Causes Alcoholism?
Alcoholism has been associated with environmental and genetics components. If you have parents or siblings with alcoholism, chances of being an alcoholic are three to four times higher. Environmental factors like social, behavioural and cultural influences can greatly lead to alcoholism.
Other causes of alcoholism are stress and anxiety as well as the availability of inexpensive alcohol. Some people find themselves drinking more to curb the effects of withdrawal and this increases the risks of alcoholism.
If an individual consumes large amounts of alcohol for a long period of time and has difficulty in cutting down the urge to drink more, this leads to a strong desire to drink more and this results to alcohol dependence which leads to mental, physical and social problems.
What Are The Effects Of Alcoholism?
- Negligence of responsibilities
- Health problems like brain, heart, liver, pancreas and immune problems as well as increased risk of cancer
- Mental illness
- social problems
- Risking situations like unsafe sex, drinking and driving
- Withdrawal that occurs when one tries to stop alcoholism
- Alcohol tolerance
- Drinking during pregnancy can harm the unborn baby leading to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Are Women More Affected By Effects Of Alcoholism Than Men?
Yes, compared to men, women are said to be generally more sensitive to the harmful physical and mental effects of alcoholism. Medically, alcoholism is considered to be a physical and mental illness that requires proper attention to curb its effects.
What Are The Health Complications Of Alcoholism?
As listed above, it is quite evident that alcoholism pose many health complications that can be life-threatening if remains untreated. I now want to take you deeper to help you understand how alcoholism can affect your health.
Drinking too much alcohol in a single occasion or for a long period of time can cause harmful effects on your health. Both short-term and long-term effects of alcohol abuse may have minor or severe effects on your health.
Short-Term Effects Of Drinking
Alcohol drinking is associated with slow reflexes and coordination and this might impact your reaction time. This is one of the key reasons why drinking while driving while drunk is greatly prohibited. Reason being, alcohol effects alter your perception of speed and distance which can lead to a bad accident that puts yourself and other people at risk.
Other short-term effects of alcoholism are poor reflexes, blurred vision, reduced brain activity, restlessness, difficulty breathing, poor appetite and lowered inhibitions.
Long Term Effects Of Drinking
Drinking too much alcohol for a long time may lead to serious health complications that may not show up during the initial stages. That is why proper diagnosis and treatment is required and should be done by a professional doctor.
Alcohol abuse over a long period may cause liver diseases, heart problems, brain defects, increased risk of cancer, diabetes complications, bone loss and vision damage among others.
In 2003, it was reported that 45.8% of liver disease deaths for Americans aged 12 years and above were associated with alcohol abuse.
Drinking too much alcohol greatly increases the risks of cancers, for instance, cancer of the mouth, liver, breast and oesophagus.
When we talk of heart health, excessive drinking of alcohol poses bad effects on its victims. Actually, heart diseases has been reported to be a leading cause of deaths in alcoholics.
What’s The Best Alcoholism Prevention Practice?
Due its many negative effects, alcoholism should be prevented by all means. The best attempt to do this is for the government to regulate and limit the sale of alcohol and include taxing of alcohol to make it expensive. Providing inexpensive treatment for alcoholism patients is a great idea to curb this disorder.
More addiction centres should be established to provide room for more alcohol abuse patients to access both outpatient and inpatient treatment medical services.
Levels Of Alcoholism
Since alcoholism is one of the most severe form of alcohol abuse, it can be organised into three categories namely mild, moderate and severe. Each category is characterised by various symptoms and if left untreated, drinking habits can get out of control and cause harmful effects and damaging complications on the alcohol dependents.
You Don’t Have To Suffer Alcohol Addiction In Silence
If you are struggling to stop drinking, you don’t have to suffer in silence. You can get help and get back to your normal life, achieve your professional goals and life your life to the fullest. The first step towards the greatest relief from alcoholism is to first accept that you are suffering from a severe mental and physical problem and you need to find help. Many people out there are living their lives in denial thinking that they can control the problem on their own even after attempting several attempts with no success. Seek help from drug and alcohol addiction centres near you. It is never too late. Healing begins with you.
Why Do Many People Drink Alcohol?
There are many factors that lead people into drinking. The trickiest bit about alcohol abuse is that it starts with just some few sips of an alcohol beverage that gradually develops a dependency on alcohol. Some people started drinking during difficult times like during loss of a loved one or loss of a job which later developed into long-term alcohol abuse.
Why Do People Drink?
Here are some of the most common reasons why people start drinking.
To Fit Into A Social Group
Many people start drinking after joining a social group with people who drink alcohol. They meet several time, they enjoy some non-alcoholic drinks while their counterparts are taking alcohol. Within time, they will attempt drinking alcohol to please their friends or they also want to feel the buzz of alcohol just as their friends. With time, drinking becomes part of their social habits.
Alcohol drinking is often associated with the sense of feeling. A person drinks just to enjoy a brief break from reality. Probably, someone wants to quick escape to the underlying issues of life, drinking provides a sense of relief in this scenario. Heavy drinking to get you through a day or a week can lead to severe complications and addiction.
To Relief Stress
As long as humanity exists, life stressors will never cease. When going through a lot of stress and fail to identify a working plan on how to manage stress, drinking becomes the next option to many. Alcohol is a depressant and sedative drink associated with feelings of pleasure. Drinking can help in relieving stress but what follows is the need to drink more every time things are not working right and this can cause a bad addiction.
To Restrain Anxiety
When anxiety overwhelms, drinking becomes the quickest way of curbing the situation. When they don’t won’t to struggle with feelings of worrying about issues of life and they want to overcome it, many people chose to drink alcohol and when this becomes the habit, alcohol dependency cannot be absconded.
Need Help With Alcoholism Treatment?
We discussed earlier in this context that alcoholism is treatable and that seeking help for an alcohol addiction is one of the most brilliant decisions you can ever make. There are various treatment options available and the choice depends on the frequency and severity of alcohol abuse. You need to know that alcoholism treatment is a process that requires a lot of perseverance and commitment even after rehab.
The first step towards getting relieved from alcohol addiction is to seek help from a professional. Visit a recognised rehab centre for treatment. After rebab session, you must be committed to practicing and applying every technique learnt at the rehab centre during counselling, support groups and other forms of therapy.
Recovery plan for every individual is based on their specific needs but it follows a similar structure. Alcohol treatment involves three main steps namely, detoxification, rehabilitation and maintenance.
Detoxification is the initial stage in alcohol addiction recovery. This section involves flushing off the toxic substances from the body system. It is characterised with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms thus it is tough to go through this process alone. During this phase, seeking help of medical professional is highly recommended. It involves medication for alcohol abuse addicts to curb the painful withdrawal syndromes.
This stages involves the alcohol addiction patients to check into a rehab facility for a given period of time. This can either be inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab based on the severity of the condition. The process usually takes 30, 60 or 90 days. With the outpatient rehab, the patients continue with the rehab sessions while continuing with their normal lives but the inpatient rehab requires that an alcohol addiction patient stays within the rehab centre for a given period of time.
After going through the detoxification and rehabilitation process, an addiction patient does not gain sobriety instantly. Long-term sobriety calls for ongoing therapy through programed counselling, support groups and other recovery resources recommended by the health professionals. This stage also calls for commitment and patience as you slowly get back to your normal, happy and healthy life you so desire.
Are You Ready To Overcome Alcoholism?
Do you find it difficult to stop alcohol addiction? Are you ready to overcome alcoholism? If not, you, do you have a loved one who is fed up with alcohol abuse and is ready to get help? It’s your time to sober up! Call a medical professional to help with alcohol addiction today and begin a journey towards living a more satisfying life you so desire.
Different Types Of Alcoholics: I Thought You Should Know
There are different types of alcoholics. I found it important to discuss this with you. It is good to know what type of an alcoholic you or your loved one is for deeper understanding of this topic.
Young adult sub-type
This group involves young adult drinkers who do not have a family history of alcoholism or co-occurring mental illness.
Young antisocial subtype
These are young adult drinkers who have a family history of alcoholism. These types of alcoholics have a co-occurring mental illness as well as addictions to other substances.
This group involves middle-aged successful people with stable jobs and supportive families. About quarter of these cases are people with a history of depression.
Chronic Severe Type
This type of alcoholics involves middle-aged people with family histories of alcoholism, mental illness and addiction to other substances.
How To Avoid The Trap Of Alcoholism
No one can ever dare to get involved into a practice that will end up messing their lives. the same case applies to alcoholism. Not even a single person would want to strive with alcoholism for their entire lives.
Alcohol addiction awareness is very important. Alcoholism can be sneaky and creeps into a person’s lifestyle in very subtle ways that can go unnoticed for long. In the joke of enjoying life with peers, you can slowly get into alcohol addiction due to failure to control how you drink and when.
Instead of opting to use alcohol to curb mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, find for other good ways to manage and control stress. Alcohol will only give you a short-term relief from stressors and once you become used to drinking, you end up becoming an alcohol dependent person.
Is anything disturbing you? Don’t hold it to yourself. Speak up. Find someone you can confide in. if the condition progresses, seek counselling from professionals. This, will make you find a lasting solution to life’s challenges instead of drinking alcohol.
Being a responsible parent is key to controlling alcoholism. To avoid family histories of alcoholism and depression, parents must drink responsibly. Talk to your children about effects of alcoholism. Cultivate good morals to your young ones. Let them know how they ought to take control of their lives and avoid the trap of alcohol dependent. Always know that your kids will copy
Be careful who you hang around with. Your peers can influence you to drinking. Trying to meet their request to and feel the sense of acceptance and before you notice it, you are already an alcohol addict.
When To Seek Help
In order to know when to get help, you need to know some few tips to help you get started fast. The time to seek help is now. Don’t wait until your health is in a wanting condition for you to seek help. Seek professional medical assistance as soon as you experience the warning signs of alcoholism discussed above.
How Much Does Alcoholism Treatment Program Cost?
Each addiction treatment centre offer different charges for various alcohol treatment programs. Find out whether your insurance company covers some aspects of addiction care. This might greatly reduce the amount of money your family will spent on alcohol treatment.
How Long Does Recovery Programs Take?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), recovery time can vary depending on the length of addiction and the issues arising from that addiction.
It is highly recommended for alcohol addicts to seek help from professional medical practitioners when seeking alcohol recovery program.
Take warning! Mishandled withdrawal may lead to death. Studies show that over 10% of people with alcoholism experience life threatening withdrawal symptoms. Rehab is very effective in alcohol treatment. Relapse rates is greatly reducing. Focusing on relapse prevention is key towards curbing this chronic drinking disorder.
What Do I Do To Help Someone With Addiction?
Immediately you identify a friend or a family member with alcohol addiction, help him or her find help from professionals. Talk to that person about the need to seek professional help instead of fighting the battle alone. Encourage them to know that it is never too late. Let them know that help is waiting for them.
Why struggle with alcohol addiction while you can find help? If you are sick and tired of alcoholism, seek help and start your journey towards the happy and fulfilling life you’ve always admired.