The Complete Guide To Understanding ALCOHOLISM
Are you concerned about yourself or someone you know may be an alcoholic? Find out how to recognize the common signs, causes and where to go for help. Continue your reading about the Complete Guide To Understanding ALCOHOLISM.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism known as alcohol use disorder is an addictive stage where there is impaired control over alcohol intake or the inability to manage drinking habits is called Alcoholism. Alcohol use disorder is divided into three types which include mild, moderate and severe. Each of this type has various symptoms and different causes. If left untreated, it can cause harmful side effects and any type of alcohol exploitation can spiral out of control.
An example of Alcoholism is drinking too much at a party and risking a fall or argument and it is a kind of harmful drinking which becomes a habit and happens on a regular basis.
Criteria to define Alcohol Use Disorder
- Drinking more alcohol, or for longer, than intended
- Trying to cut down or stop drinking but being unsuccessful
- Spending a lot of time drinking or feeling sick from a hangover or other aftereffects
- Experiencing interference in daily life and relationships because of drinking or being sick from drinking too much
- Having cravings for alcohol
- Continuing to drink even though it hurt relationships with friends and family
- Cutting back on, or giving up, hobbies to consume more alcohol
- Repeatedly being in situations where alcohol put one at risk of harm
- Having to consume more alcohol to experience the desired effects
- Continuing to consume alcohol even though it worsens a health condition, including anxiety or depression
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when alcohol’s effects began to wear off
When drinking becomes problematic?
- Frequent drinking
- Gulping drinks or otherwise drinking quickly
- Lying about how much alcohol is consumed or failing to realize how much alcohol has been consumed
- Drinking until drunk or being unable to stop drinking before becoming drunk
- Skipping work, school, family responsibilities, or social functions more often in order to drink
- Getting drunk on the job
- Drinking and driving, or performing other dangerous tasks while intoxicated
- Experiencing social, financial, and legal problems due to alcohol consumption
- Using alcohol to self-medicate mental health issues
- Feeling irritable, resentful, angry, or depressed when not drinking
- Experiencing medical problems from consuming too much alcohol.
How Alcoholism Starts?
Often when thinking of how alcoholism starts, it begins as casual or social drinking, or maybe to relieve stress, and eventually it will become a habit when the stages in which alcoholism develops.
Individuals struggling with alcoholism often getunhelpful, unrealistic thoughts and beliefs that contributing towards alcohol dependence and feel as though they cannot function normally without alcohol.
- I can’t relax without alcohol.
- My friends might find me boring if I was sober.
- Just drinking one pint can’t hurt.
What are the causes of Alcoholism?
There is no one single cause that leads to the development of alcoholism. There are many factors that play a role in making a person alcohol dependent.The following are some of the causes:
- Alcohol excites the nervous system and alters the balance of some chemicals in brain, which inhibits impulsiveness
- Alcohol increases levels of dopamine, which is connected with the pleasurable aspects of drinking alcohol
- High levels of stress, anxiety or emotional pain can lead some people to drink alcohol to come out of it.
- Having low-self confidence or depression
- Having drunkard as a friend or a close partner
- The glamorous way in which media portrayed drinking alcohol in advertising and send the message that it’s OK to drink excessively
Signs & Symptoms of Alcoholism
Alcohol addiction is difficult to identify. If you are concerned about you or your loved one is struggling with alcohol use disorder, these are some of the warning signs and symptoms.
- Drinking alone or in secret
- unable to control the amount of alcohol
- Forgetting or Not remembering the conversations and commitments
- Having drink before, with or after dinner and becoming annoyed when this it is disturbed or questioned
- Feeling urge to drink or a need to drink
- Keeping alcohol in suspected places like at home, at work or in the car
- Ordering doubles, drinking to feel “normal” or becoming intoxicated intentionally to feel good.
- Experiencing problems like nausea, sweating and shaking if you don’t drink
- Losing interest or no interest in hobbies and activities that used to bring pleasure
- slurred speech,Bloodshot eyes and memory lapses
- problems in school and Declining grades
- suspicious behavior and Frequent mood changes
Risk factors of Alcoholism
There are number of risk factors that play a role in the development of an alcohol addiction. Some of them are
- People who start drinking at an early age by age 16
- Personal Choice Factors
- Genetic Factors may increase your risk of alcohol dependency
- Men are more likely to become dependent
- Family history
- Being severely depressed or having anxiety
- Psychological Factors
- Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults
Short-Term Side Effects of Drinking Too Much
- Sleepiness or fatigue
- Slowed reaction times
- Loss of balance
- Slowed brain activity
- Slurred speech
- Perceptions and physical sensations becoming unclear
- Changes to vision, including blurry vision
- Changes in emotional state
- Lowered inhibitions
- Disruption of sleeping patterns
- Increased urine production
- Lowered body temperature
- Flushing in the face
- Nausea and gastrointestinal changes
Dos and Don’ts of Alcoholism
- DON’Tgo out with people who force you to drink or make you feel uncomfortable if you’re not drinking
- Avoid drinking games, if you do so you’ll end up drinking more alcohol more quickly than your body can handle.
- DON’Tgo to places where you’ll feel socially uneasy or bored if you don’t have a drink in your hand.
- DON’Tkeep alcohol at home. It will be easier to resist if it is not nearer to you.
- Set a liquor limit by telling yourself that you will not drink during the week, or you will have no more than one drink a day, set your mind not to exceed your maximum.
- If you observe any symptoms in your child, take some time and talk openly with your child but respect your child’s need for independence
- Make your child clearly understand the legal and medical consequences of alcohol drinking.
Complications of drinking Alcohol
- The person feels tired most of the time.
- Alcohol affects the short-term memory in particular.
- The eye muscles can become significantly weaker.
- There is a higher chance of developing hepatitis and cirrhosis, an irreversible and progressive condition.
- Gastritis or pancreas damage can occur.
- Regular heavy drinking is likely to raise blood pressure.
- There is a higher risk of cardiomyopathy, heart failure and stroke
- There is a high risk of developing diabetes type 2
- Excessive consumption of alcohol can stop or disrupt menstruation.
- There may be problems getting or sustaining an erection.
- Consuming alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects
- The newborn may have a small head, heart problems, shortened eyelids, and developmental and cognitive problems.
- Alcohol interferes with the production of new bone, leading to a thinning of the bones and an increased risk of fractures
- There may be numbness in the extremities, dementia, and confused or disordered thinking.
- There is a higher risk of developing several cancers, including cancer of the mouth, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, breast, prostate, and pharynx.
- There is a higher chance of injuries from falls, road traffic accidents, and so on.
- Alcohol is a major factor in spouse-beating, child abuse, and conflicts with neighbors.
- Employment or educational problems and unemployment are often alcohol-related.
- Suicide rates among people with alcohol dependence or who consume alcohol inappropriately are higher than among those who do not.
- Alcohol abuse increases the risk of mental illness, and it can make existing mental illnesses worse.
- People who consume alcohol are significantly more likely to spend time in court or in prison when compared with the rest of the population
How is Alcoholism (Alcohol Dependence) Diagnosed?
- Tolerance for the intoxicating effects of alcohol
- Withdrawal symptoms or drinking to relieve withdrawal symptoms
- Consuming more alcohol than intended or drinking for a longer periods of time than intended
- A desire to reduce drinking and unsuccessful attempts to do so
- Spending a lot of time obtaining, consuming and recovering from the effects of alcohol
- Missing or leaving early from important social events in order to consume alcohol
- Drinking despite awareness of increased social and physical problems as a result
Treatment for Alcoholism
The treatment options for Alcoholism depend on the extent of your drinking and whether you’re trying to drink less (moderation) or give up drinking completely (abstinence).
Sometimes there will be no cure for alcohol dependence or alcoholismEvaluation if it becomes an addiction. Overcoming addiction requires both personal dedication and various treatments or therapies and it can be a long process.
There are some counseling programs that can help in reducing the amount you drink andalso some alcohol support groups available to you. Your best possible treatment plan will depend on your personal circumstances, including your
- prior history of alcohol dependence
- level of support from family and friends
- personal commitment to becoming and remaining sober
- financial situation
When you consult your doctor, tell about your goals.Tell yourdoctor whether you are trying to drink less or stop drinking completely.Together, you can begin to make a treatment plan and also your doctor can refer you to a treatment center or experts who can help.
Alcoholism Self introspection you need to think
- Ended up drinking more or for a longer time than you had planned to?
- Wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
- Spent a lot of your time drinking, or recovering from drinking?
- Felt a strong need to drink?
- Found that drinking – or being sick from drinking – often interfered with your family life, job, or school?
- Kept drinking even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
- Given up or cut back on activities that you enjoyed just so you could drink?
- Gotten into dangerous situations while drinking or after drinking?
- Didn’t quit drinking even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious? Or when it was adding to many health problems?
- Had to drink more and more to feel the effects of the alcohol?
- Had withdrawal symptoms when the alcohol was wearing off?
Self-care for Alcoholism
Self-care is very important to recovery. Self-care in recovery involves taking care of your mind, body, and soul. It helps you from not making the wrong choices when you feel strong emotions like anger, disappointment, etc. So, First thing you need to do is to take good care of yourself, then only you can offer your best to your loved ones.
Take time each day to do the things for you and spend time with family and with the friends who don’t have any addictions. It will not only help you stay away from addiction of alcohol, but also help you stay present for your relationships.
The following are some of the things that you can do to take care of yourself, physically, psychologically, and spiritually in recovery.
- Get enough sleep: when you’re tired everything feels worse and irritated. So try to get a good sleep every night, and consult to your doctor if you have trouble falling or staying asleep. Take naps when you can, they often act as a refreshment.
- Brief intervention: Brief intervention is mainly important to prevent alcohol dependence. If you are worried about your drinking or have had an alcohol-related accident or injury, you may be offered a short counseling session known as a brief intervention.
- Eat when you are hungry: Don’t allow yourself to get overly hungry. That will lead to irritability and anger. Regularly eat healthy foods throughout the day but be mindful to eat foods that make you feel satisfied and energized.
- Get some exercise: Physical activity is not only good for your body, but also helps ward off depression too. Even if you were not an exerciser before you got sober, you will find that increasing your physical activity, even a small amount, improves your mood.
- Keep your doctor appointments: Don’t miss appointments with your doctor, psychiatrist, or your therapist.
- Take your medication: If you are prescribed medication, for psychological, psychiatric, or medical issues, be sure to take it and to not run out between refills.
- Take a bath: Sometimes a long soak in a bubble bath can help calm down overwhelming feelings.
- Get outside: Spend some time outdoors – go to the park, or for a walk around the block, somewhere that stimulates your senses with a beautiful view, the smell of pine trees, or the touch of a gentle breeze.
- Talk about your feelings: Reach out to someone who understands, like a loved one, supportive friend, sponsor, or therapist when you are feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes just talking about what you are feeling takes the power away from it.
- Shut-down negative self-talk: Pay attention to the thoughts that you are having and consciously shut-down the negative self-talk. This isn’t always easy, but if you imagine that you are hearing someone say those things about someone you love instead of yourself, it might make it easier to quiet them down.
- Practice acceptance: Identify things that are upsetting to you that you have no control over, and try to let go of the negative feelings associated with them.
- SpendTime with Friends: Get together with someone who makes you laugh. They say that laughter is the best medicine for a reason.
- Do something creative: If you already have a creative interest in something, work on it. If you don’t, try something new. Being creative and focusing on an activity gets you out of your own head and lowers stress and anxiety.
- Just write: Expressing things on paper can be very calming. Writing may be about your day, your feelings, writing poetry, or writing about your dreams and goals.
- Read a book or watch your favorite movie:This can help you reset your mind and make you fell stress free.
- Spend time with friends and family: Spending a quality withfriends and family will help you overcome your addiction of alcohol.
- Tell yourself the truth: Tell yourself the truth about negative thoughts and feelings that begin in your mind. So be objective and be honest with yourselfbecause everything that we think isnot necessarily true.
- Don’t over schedule yourself: It’s ok to say no, or to not accept every invitation. If you lead a busy life, make sure to build some time for yourself into your schedule to relax. Self-care is an important part life.
- Pray or meditate: Set some time to pray or meditate each day. A short period of quiet time can give you peace of mind Even if you aren’t spiritually inclined.
- Go to meetings or support groups: Enjoy the association at any recovery-related support groups. It’s always good to be around people who you know and who can understand you well.
- Attendworship or religious services: If you belong to any religion try to, attend worship services. This can provide comfort, lessen anxiety, and help you to be mindful.
Investigations for Alcoholism
- Blood urea
- SGOT and SGPT enzymes
- a/g ratio [albumin]/globulin
FAQs of Alcoholism
What Is Alcohol Poisoning?
Alcohol poisoning is the outcome of excessive intake of alcohol. Those suffering from alcohol abuse are prone to poisoning and excessive intake of alcohol can impair many essential bodily functions.
What will be the Cost of Alcohol Treatment?
The treatment for addiction to alcohol can be expensive.
Are There Risks & Rewards to Your Heart from Drinking Alcohol?
Larger amounts of alcohol can cause bigger problems than it solves. Avoiding alcohol consumption is good for individuals struggling with heart issues or with the potential for other problems.
What Is a Safe Level of Drinking?
There are some general guidelines exist to help people determine how much alcohol they can safely drink, but the recommended limits do not guarantee safety for all people at all times.
What are the reasons to cut back Alcohol?
Here are some reasons why you might think about cutting down on drinking.
- Improving your health
- Improving your mood and sleep
- Saving money
- Protecting your baby’s well-being
- Avoiding dependency (if there’s a family history)
- Interactions with other drugs
- Avoiding alcohol-related injuries in the young
- Avoiding alcohol-related health conditions in the old
- Avoiding intoxication, poor behavior and risk taking
Can one simply cut back on consumption?
The best method for resolving an alcohol abuse problem is different for different persons, depending on the severity of the problem and other factors.
The major factor to consider is whether the drinker is physically dependent on the substance. Alcoholics have a strong desire for alcohol, and they can’t stop drinking after just one drink.
Their bodies actually depend on the substance and they need alcohol to feel good, to relax, or to relieve tension. If they don’t drink, they experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, tremors, or anxiety.
Will alcoholism kill you?
Yes, excessive drinking of alcohol can kill you. There’s not just one way, there are so many ways how alcoholism can kill you, and not just can it lead to premature death, but excessive drinking can significantly diminish your quality of life as well.
Can alcoholism be cured?
The answer for this question lies between yes and no like many diseases. Often this is asked by a concerned partner or friend, and sometimes it’s by someone who suffers from the disease.
What are alcoholism causes?
- Stressful environments
- Drinking at an early age
- Mental Health problem
- Taking alcohol with medicine
- Family History
When Alcoholism takes over?
Alcoholism takes over when an alcoholic reaches End Stage. It is a point that is significantly different than the initial stages. During the early stages of the disease, the alcoholic drinks heavily, and experiences hangovers just as anyone who drinks heavily would expect to experience.
During the end stage, however, the addiction has taken over, and the person can no longer manage their drinking impulses.
What are the effects of Alcoholism to the Body?
Alcohol starts impacting on your body from the moment you take your first sip. While an occasional glass of wine with dinner isn’t a cause for concern, the excessive drinking of wine, beer, or spirits can take its toll.
- The following are some of the effects of alcoholism to the body
- Digestive and endocrine glands
- Inflammatory damage
- Sugar levels
- Central nervous system
- Digestive system
- Circulatory system
What is the impact of Alcoholism on today’s society?
Alcohol is the most common drug used among adults and it is associated with an increased risk of injuries and accidents. Even a single occurrence of excessive drinking can lead to a negative outcome.
Alcoholism and chronic use of alcohol are associated with numerous psychiatric, social, and family problems. It is important for every social worker to remember that alcohol and alcohol problems affect the health, safety, and well-being of people.
How to find a Functioning Alcoholic?
The functioning alcoholic manages to appear normal and sober and in some cases even achieves success in a high-powered career field, all while consuming larger and larger amounts of alcohol on a daily basis.
The way the loved ones find out he or she is a high-functioning alcoholic is after an unexpected alcohol-related event, such as a drunken driving accident or a diagnosis of severe liver disease that is caused by alcohol.
What is the limit to drink alcohol?
You have to set a liquor limit by telling yourself that you will not drink during the week, or you will have no more than one drink a day, set your mind not to exceed your maximum.
Are there any counseling programs foralcohol dependent people?
Yes, there are some counseling programs that can help in reducing the amount of alcohol you drink andsome alcohol support groups are also available to you.