ALCOHOL can take a serious toll on your health and vary in severity from mild to life threatening. Not only the alcoholic individual is affected but also his family and friends. Alcohol is the number-one drug problem in the United States. Nearly 17 million adults in the U.S. are dependent on alcohol or have other alcohol-related problems Related post, and about 88,000 people die from preventable alcohol-related causes.
WHAT CAUSES ALCOHOLISM?
This cause is not well-established, but there is evidence for biologic and genetic predispositions for this disease. First-degree relatives of individuals with an alcohol use disorder are four to seven times more likely to develop alcoholism than the general population. A gene (D2 dopamine receptor gene) is linked to an increased chance of developing alcoholism when it is inherited in a certain form.
However, many factors contribute to the development of this major problem. One of these concerning factors is stress Related post. A lot of people tend to embrace alcohol when they find themselves in a point where nothing else could minimize their thoughts—of course, in their view.
One thing is certain… men are more likely to engage in binge drinking or heavy drinking. One study showed one-third of men age 18-24 met the criteria for alcohol dependence, and those who start drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence. Also, they are more likely to become violent due to alcohol use.
WHAT ARE ALCOHOLISM SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS?
At this point, you should agree that alcoholism is a serious disease, which is often diagnosed more through adverse effects and behaviors.
Those with an alcohol use disorder will deny the excess consumption of alcohol no matter from whom they are confronted. The alcoholism sufferer’s personality will be distorted, that’s why when you’re living with an individual who consumes alcohol, you will have problems speaking with him. There are signs and behaviors that indicate someone may have a problem with alcohol including frequent falls, blackouts,
insomnia Related post, irritability, depression Related post, frequent intoxicated appearance or weight loss.
The end stage of alcoholism is chronic alcohol which is linked to medical conditions such as cerebellar atrophy, pancreatitis Related post, gastritis, alcoholic cardiomyopathy (heart disease Related post), cirrhosis, anemia, Wernicke’s encephalopathy, seizures, malnutrition, confusion, Korsakoff’s dementia, hallucinations, gastrointestinal bleeding and neuropathy.
A range of medical conditions are caused by or made worse by alcoholism as well as by the alcoholic’s poor adherence to medical treatment.
WHEN SHOULD SOMEONE SEEK MEDICAL CARE?
When the alcoholism affects your social life or interferes with another health condition that person should definitely discuss the problem with a professional. The main issue is that denial is a huge obstacle between the treatment and patient and alcoholics rarely seek professional help by themselves.
In many cases a family member seeks professional help for their relative and even if the patient accepts the treatment because of the pressure from his family, he or she should know that only motivation to change will bring the results they need.
Alcohol puts your life at risk! Alcohol is involved in 40% of motor-vehicle fatalities, 70% of drownings, 50% of suicides, and up to 40% of violent crimes, including homicide, rape, assault, and child and spousal abuse. When alcohol has contributed to a severe injury, you should seek help immediately, because an intoxicated person may no notice they have a fractured neck vertebra and paralysis can occur instantly.
IT IS POSSIBLE TO PREVENT ALCOHOLISM?
This may not sound very good, but in order to prevent alcoholism one must rely on abstinence, because to become a dependent on the substance, one must first have access to it. If you have a family history of alcoholism, this could be a warning sign that you are at an increased risk of becoming dependent on alcohol. Also, an early medical or psychiatric intervention can help prevent the heavy consumption of alcohol.