The chronic disease of alcoholism is also known as “alcohol dependence.” This disease will remain with a person for their entire life and will become progressively worse with time.
A person who has this disease will experience a “loss of control.” This means that once they start drinking, they are not able to stop without professional help. For the alcoholic, it does not matter whether they experience difficult times caused by their drinking-they continue nevertheless.
It is common for an alcoholic to have health problems, a break down of relationships, and even, perhaps, a run-in with the Law. Notwithstanding these serious issues, the alcoholic will continue his/her excessive and uncontrollable drinking.
Regrettably, it is a sign of the times that alcohol abuse and alcoholism are both increasing world-wide!
There is some confusion between alcoholism and alcohol abuse. It must be clearly understood that they are not the same-each one must be seen on its own merits.
With the disease of alcoholism, there is always a physical addiction together with tolerance, including outward signs of withdrawal. Alcohol abuse does not consist of physical dependence, although it does cause the person problems as a result of heavy drinking.
Alcohol Dependence: Physical signs: When a person relies on alcohol to cope, there are always physical signs present. The alcoholic may have alcohol-related sicknesses, such as liver disease.
The person becomes used to a certain amount of alcohol, and, because of tolerance, has to increase this amount to become intoxicated.
This often leads to “blackouts”-during this time, the alcoholic has no memory of their actions. Once withdrawal symptoms are present, the person is said to be dependent on alcohol.
The exact cause of alcoholism is still unknown. Some drinkers are able to consume alcohol in a responsible manner, whilst others are not able to stop after taking the “first drink”-simply stated, they have no control of their actions thereafter. It is important to remember the following: The more alcohol a person consumes may influence the possibility of them becoming dependent on alcohol!
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Risk Factors: A single drink is equal to one standard bottle of beer, a glass of wine, and half a shot of any other liquor.
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It has been medically proven that a man who consumes more than fifteen drinks within a seven day period has a greater chance of becoming dependent on alcohol.
A female who drinks in excess of twelve alcoholic drinks in one week also runs the risk of becoming alcohol dependent. Once the person is “dependent,” they will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Besides the above mentioned, any person who consumes five or more drinks in one sitting within one week has the same chance of becoming dependent.
Other known Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Risk Factors: If a person comes from a family with a history of alcoholism, there may be a greater chance of that person also becoming one.
This is not a medically proven fact yet.
Possible risks include the following:-There is a stronger probability that a person may become an alcoholic if they come from a home where one of their parents has a history of alcohol abuse or was an alcoholic.
-Young students who are resident at a university may run the risk of binge drinking.
-Persons with a medical history of mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety disorders, are at greater risk of becoming problem drinkers.
-A person with easy or free access to alcohol is also a high risk.
-A stressful way of life increases the chances.
-A person’s upbringing, where it was considered socially acceptable to consume large amounts of alcohol, may also play a part.
Symptoms of Alcoholism
A person with alcoholism will always show certain symptoms indicating his/her dependence on alcohol. These may include some or all of the following:
-Acts of violence whilst drinking.
-They become rude or sometimes even aggressive if someone mentions their drinking.
-They find any reason to drink alcohol.
-Their performance at school or in the workplace gradually decreases.-Absenteeism becomes the norm.
-They have to drink on a daily basis as they are not able to function without the use of alcohol.
-They lose their appetite and replace food with more alcohol.
-They have no interest in how they look to others.
-They are known to become secretive about using alcohol.
-They have the “morning shakes”-also known as delirium tremens (DT’s).
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Any person who is alcohol dependent and has become a habitual drinker will experience withdrawal symptoms if they are not able to consume alcohol.
These symptoms may begin within five to ten hours after the last drink. However, some alcoholics only start to show signs of withdrawal after a few days.
Withdrawal symptoms may include the following:
-Nausea and vomiting.
-Cold and moist skin.
-Loss of appetite.
-Inability to think clearly.
-Delirium tremens (DT’ss).
There are also recorded cases of persons who suffer from severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
This results in them having a high fever with seizures and may, in severe cases, cause the death of the alcoholic.
Help is available today! For further information please contact: 0027 (0) 7960 44 249.
Guest Article By John