Alcohol Abuse Definition and Symptoms
Among various addictions, alcohol addiction or abuse is the oldest as well as the commonest. Not only that, the number of people who get affected by this addiction has been increasing at an alarming pace. According to an estimate, over 18 million Americans have this problem.
But what is alcohol addiction? It is the inability of a person to have control over how much he or she drinks. In some people, this behavior of compulsive drinking begins when they want to have the rewarding as well as the pleasurable effects of alcohol. In a few other people, this addiction develops because they do not want to let the effects vanish. But both the groups repeatedly turn to use of alcohol because they feel that their mood gets enhanced, though temporarily. They also feel that their day-to-day stresses are blocked out, though this feeling is also temporary.
Alcohol Abuse Symptoms1. If people consume alcohol in large quantities and for a long time-span, they are considered to have been affected by alcohol addiction.
2. Trying in vain to quit drinking alcohol is another sign.
3. If people spend a lot of time getting, drinking, and for recovering from the effects of alcohol, this clearly shows signs of addiction.
4. Craving for consuming alcohol or feeling an uncontrollable desire to drink alcohol is yet another sign of alcohol addiction.
5. One of the major symptoms of alcohol abuse is that the affected people will not fulfill their family obligations or the requirements of their jobs.
6. If there is a continuous increase in the consumption of alcohol, it shows that the person has been affected by addiction. Such continuous increases in alcohol consumption are because these people are not feeling or getting the desired effects from their current consumption.
Why does alcohol abuse warrant a treatment?
According to experts, alcohol abuse is not only a biological and psychological problem, but it is a social disease. Therefore, it warrants an appropriate treatment. Very importantly, the disease is multifaceted as well because due to this addiction, not only the affected person but his entire family and the community in which he lives suffer.
Causes of alcohol abuse
The major causes of alcohol abuse are genetic and environmental. In some people, a combination of genetic and environmental causes also results in this addiction. This has perhaps prompted, Charles L. Brewer, a reputed author, and psychologist to comment - "Heredity deals the cards, environment plays the hand."
Medical help is the best way to get over alcohol abuse
Experts categorically advise that those who have the problem of alcohol abuse should go for medical help because the addiction can cause serious medical complications.
- The treatment will begin with a detox program that is medically supervised. Thanks to such an effective detox program, withdrawal becomes more comfortable for the affected people. Of course, there may be a need for sedative medication for helping certain withdrawal symptoms. Once the withdrawal period passes, it will be easy for the patient for recovering and regaining his health.
- Only after the detox eliminates the alcohol from the body, the real treatment begins. The treatment program may be a residential program or an outpatient treatment program. Though both the programs may be effective, those who administer the treatment will choose the one that addresses the unique needs of the patients. In general, treatment programs may consist of:
- Group counseling or therapy.
- Individual counseling and individual therapy.
- Education on abuse.
- Steps to prevent lapse of addiction.
- Planning for post-treatment care.
Those who administer the treatment will ensure that their program supports the efforts of the family members of the patients as well because alcohol abuse of these patients will negatively impact the family members also. Not only that, the family members of the patients should take care of aspects like providing proper nutrition to them and ensuring that they do their exercises.