Alcoholism is when you have signs of physical addiction to alcohol and continues to drink, despite problems with physical health, mental health, and social, family, or job responsibilities. Alcohol may control your life and relationships. It is a progressive disease, which means that without treatment, it gets worse over time. It is the third leading cause of preventable death after Smoking and Obesity.
Consumption to make you Alcohol Dependent
The quantity of Alcohol you drink can control your chances of becoming dependent. Alcohol consumers at risk for developing alcoholism include:-
- Men who have 15 or more drinks a week
- Women who have 12 or more drinks a week
- Anyone who has five or more drinks per occasion at least once a week
One drink is defined as a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 1 1/2-ounce shot of liquor.
Risk Factors of Alcoholism
Following are more prone to abuse alcohol or become Alcohol Dependent:-
- Young adult under peer pressure
- Patient of Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders or Schizophrenia
- Have easy access to alcohol
- Have low self-esteem
- Have problems with relationships
- Live a stressful lifestyle
- Live in a culture alcohol use is more common and accepted
- Genetics. Particular genes have not yet been identified that causes of alcoholism, genetic factors account for 50 to 60 percent to alcohol abuse.
- Family history of alcoholism.
- Gender. Men are two to three times more likely to become alcoholics than women.
Causes of Alcoholism
- Genetic factors. Although there is no scientific evidence, 50 to 60 % cases of alcoholism are believed to be due to genetic factors.
- Stress. Many cases of Alcoholism are result of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or other agonizing thoughts.
- Social Factors. Peers are alcoholic and encouraging you to drink. Heavy drinking is considered as evidence of power or masculinity.
- Cultural Factors. Few classes and societies encourage consumption of Alcohol, in addition media portrays drinking appear glamorous or sophisticated.
Symptoms of Alcoholism include:-
- Private, alone or secretive drinking
- Alcohol yearnings
- lack of ability to control the amount you drink
- Blackouts (not remembering events or conversations)
- Bad temper when you can’ t get a drink at your regular time
- Trouble in supporting a relationship or a job
- Withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety
- An enhanced alcohol consumption
- Liver disease
- Alcoholism is liable for various diseases, disorders and actions:
- Cirrhosis of the liver: 32 percent
- Motor vehicle crashes: 20 percent
- Cancer of the esophagus: 29 percent
- Liver cancer: 25 percent
- Stroke: 10 percent
- Homicide: 24 percent
- Suicide: 11 percent
Drink during the pregnancy can result in mentally retarded children and underweight babies at birth.
Recognition. The first step for the alcoholic it to acknowledge that there is an alcohol dependency problem.
Detoxification. It is a process that takes between four and seven days. The alcoholic is placed in a treatment center where he or she is given medications (usually tranquilizers) to control the symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol. These symptoms may include sweating, nausea, vomiting, seizures, or a severe reaction called delirium tremens (also called the DTs). In delirium tremens, the person may hallucinate and have very high blood pressure and rapid breathing. It can be fatal if not treated. Benzodiazepines — tranquilizers used during the first few days of treatment to help you withdraw safely from alcohol. These drugs include:
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Chlordiazepoxid (Librium)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Oxazepam (Serax)
Anticonvulsants — may also help with withdrawal symptoms and don’t have the potential for abuse (as benzodiazepines do). They include:
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- Valprioc acid (Depakote)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Gabapentn (Neurontin)
- Baclofen (Lioresal, Lioresal Intrathecal, Gablofen)
Recovery and Support Programs for Alcoholism. Recovery and Support Programs can be of great help to stop drinking completely. These programs typically offer:
- Mental health support
- Medical care
Treatment can be either in a special recovery center (inpatient) or a program while you live at home (outpatient). Medications are sometimes prescribed to prevent you from drinking again. The medications are often used with long-term treatment with counseling or support groups.
- Acamprosate is a drug that has been shown to lower relapse rates in those who are alcohol dependent.
- Disulfiram (Antabuse) produces very unpleasant side effects if you drink even a small amount of alcohol within 2 weeks after taking the drug.
- Naltrexone (Vivitrol) decreases alcohol cravings. It is available in an injectable form.
- Alcoholism Shortens Life More Than Smoking (nlm.nih.gov)
- Alcohol Abuse and Dependence (cetuesday.com)