What is Alcoholism?
The term refers to the addiction of drinking alcohol so much that your body eventually becomes dependent on it. On this stage, alcohol becomes the most important part of your life. They often have a physical and/or emotional desire to drink alcohol ahead of their capability to control it, regardless of how it affects their life. The improper use of alcohol consists of misuse, abuse and heavy use of alcohol may cause physical, social, or ethical harm to the drinker.
Symptoms/signs of Alcoholism
The symptoms of Alcoholism can be seen from the person craving for alcohol and has no control over its intake. Especially when a person is addicted to alcohol, he finds hard to stop himself from drinking which is a sign of alcoholic. The most common symptoms are if a person is drinking alone and hiding it from everyone, not being able to control its quantity and always desiring for more. Most of the times, an alcoholic puts alcohol as its first priority and even make excuses to drink. Sometimes, an alcoholic can get easily annoyed when someone asks about their drinking habits and ask them to control its consumption. Moreover, the alcoholic spends a huge amount of money to overcome his need.
Types of Drinkers
Generally, there are four types of drinkers excluding those people who don’t drink alcohol. The first type of drinker is the “Social drinker” which mostly includes teenagers and young adults who usually drinks for having fun with friends and are typically moderate drinkers. The second type is “Conforming drinker”. They drink occasionally only in social gatherings just to fit in the society and avoid receiving negative feedback on not drinking. These people usually take a sip or just grab a glass of wine to show off. The third type is “Enhancement drinker”, people who drink to feel drunk. These people are mostly loud, spontaneous, and violent. The fourth and the last type is “Coping drinker” who drinks to deal with the problems in their life such as depression and anxiety. They consume a large amount of alcohol and experience more alcohol-related problems.
Causes of Alcoholism
People who drink alcohol have different reasons for why they started drinking. We all know that drinking is harmful and could be dangerous for our health. Reasons behind drinking could be to relieve stress from our daily life routines just to refresh our mind and body. Some drinks to develop a sense of pleasure in them. Some drink to cope up with grief and overcome anxiety which can lead to alcohol addiction.
Effects of alcohol on your body
Alcohol addiction might lead to serious health issues which have a minor effect or could be serious or life-threatening. Short-term effects include slow reflexes, breathing problem, blurry vision, digestive problems, and restlessness. Whereas long-term effects are liver disease, heart problems, damaged eye-sight, the risk of cancer, diabetic complications, and sometimes brain defects as well.
How to reduce alcohol intake
Although drinking alcohol can turn into addiction but one can always reduce its intake to be in the safe drinking zone. Taking regular breaks from drinking can reduce the quantity of intake also. Consuming a lot of alcohol makes you dependent on it. Your brain and body get tolerant to alcohol too. To reduce alcohol intake, a person needs to break the cycle of dependency on alcohol by working on the amount of alcohol on daily basis.
Responsible Drinking vs. Problematic Drinking
People who are responsible for their act or behavior even after alcohol consumption are known to be a responsible drinker. They usually drink less than four glasses a day and have a control over their drinking habits. On the other hand, problematic drinking includes people who are obsessed with alcohol and who cannot control themselves from drinking anywhere or everywhere. This high consumption of alcohol leads to health problems. So responsible drinking is the right way to consume alcohol and avoid problematic drinking.
How to treat alcoholism
There are many treatment programs available to help alcoholics to cure Alcoholism if they seek help, but there is no availability of therapeutic cure. Despite reasons diagnosed for alcohol dependence, the initial step for the treatment is to believe in getting help. Alcoholics who are forced to get the treatment or have social pressures do not have a long-term impact on the treatment.
Although every individual has their own treatment plan but mostly following methods are used:
In this, the patient is helped to ease the withdrawal symptoms to recover from alcohol addiction. This is done with the help of medical professionals.
To treat alcoholism, there are two kinds of rehabilitation: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient is when a patient is supposed to stay in the required facility for 30,60 or 90 days under intensive treatment programs. Outpatient rehab allows the individuals take part in a recovery program while continuing their daily life routines.
Through counseling, individuals can communicate and obtain guidance during their recovery. In this therapist will help you recover the sense of drinking to avoid anxiety, depression or any relationship problems etc.
Three medicines are usually suggested to patients which are disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate. These medications help alcohol dependents to reduce their alcohol cravings, also prevent withdrawal symptoms, and maintain soberness.
Once the rehabilitation process is over, that person will slowly get used daily life routine. It’s important to give yourself time and also remain motivated to live a normal life. One can always attend support groups or counseling to stay positive and maintain sobriety in your lifestyle to live a happy, healthy life.
Alcoholism is a term which needs to be discussed with your friends and family to help prevent its use. Talk about it openly with your child; let them know the disadvantages of alcohol use. To remain moderate, one should not take more than 2 drinks per day. Never drink and drive or let your teenagers drive or sit with the drunk driver. Stay safe and help protect others with this.
Author: Malik Noureed Awan