What is alcohol addiction?
Alcoholic addiction is known as the physiological or psychological condition in which a person has a strong reliance or dependence on alcohol. A person may have developed addiction merely by starting out as taking it for entertainment and fun, and then drinking even more until the compulsion dominated the pleasure. Some started taking alcohol as a mean of getting a break or relief from a strained lifestyle or as a way of comfort. However, the end result is still the same, alcohol addiction.In the 1930s, scientists started studying addictive behavior. Since then, science has changed the manner people with addictions are addressed and treated. Science has also given ways to understand and effectively manage alcohol addictions.
According to a recent research, alcohol is consumed by more young people in the U.S., and too much consumption of alcohol is directly associated with almost 75,000 deaths each year. Over 23 million of the 490 million Europeans are reliant on alcohol. Furthermore, alcohol contributes to about one in 10 of all instances of premature deaths every year in Europe alone.
One in five individuals between ages 12 and 20 is a heavy drinker. In fact, approximately one in 30 persons who are alcohol dependent is still below the age of 13. Moreover, Americans are said to spend more than $90 billion buying alcohol yearly. Almost 50% of driving road mortalities involves alcohol intake, which means alcohol kills one person on the U.S.road every 30 minutes.
What causes alcohol addiction?
While the scientists cannot identify specific reasons why alcohol addiction develops, they have recognized numerous contributing factors. Genetic disposition, depression, stress, social environment, and mental health conditions are the primary risk aspects for developing this addiction. These factors clarify why some members of the family with same life experiences may react to alcohol consumption in different ways. Even in families where addiction and abuse are prevalent, some members may respond differently to management or treatment and may face unique trials in recovery.
What are the signs of alcohol addiction?
- Regular negligence to personal and work responsibilities
- Uncontrolled amount of alcohol consumed once they start drinking
- Increase in expressions of rage and irritation, particularly in inappropriate settings
- Dangerous activities that carry risk of financial, legal, or health consequences
- Sleeplessness, which may be then followed by oversleeping
If alcohol abuse is not properly addressed or treated, this can develop to addiction characterized by physical dependence or inability to discontinue the alcohol consumption in spite of facing serious consequences. Once they start drinking, alcoholics have less or even no control over the quantity they take. Symptoms of alcohol addiction represent a stern medical illness:
- Increased quantity of alcohol consumed due to increased tolerance
- Reduced attention to family and professional obligations
- Significant hangovers, and more time needed to recover from repercussions of alcohol use
- Repeated failed efforts to decrease alcohol consumption
- Withdrawal indications when unable to take alcohol
What are the effects of alcohol addiction?
As an individual falls deeper into alcohol addiction, their family, relatives, and friends will start to observe that the person is gradually changing. Alcohol addiction has many effects which include each and every facet of a person’s life.
The alcohol addiction affects a person’s vital body organs such as the liver, heart, stomach, nervous system and brain. This can also result to dangerous diseases such as insulin resistance, pancreatic, heart diseases, liver cirrhosis, alcoholic dementia, sexual problems, cancer, and other nutritional deficiencies. In extreme instances of addiction, it could even lead to death. Some other common physical effects are the following:
- Coughing for no reason
- Bloody noses
- Eyes moving quickly and incapable to focus on anything
- Bloodshot or red eyes
- Irregular pupil size
- Lack of coordination
- Unexplainable drowsiness
- Infection on the skin
- Incessant rubbing or scratching
- Inability to sit still
- Hair loss
Emotional effects of alcohol addiction are not at all times as noticeable as the physical effects. Alcohol addictions are generally closely associated to an emotional concern that has occurred for quite a while. Although it is true that alcohol addiction can be more physical, the causes of the alcohol addiction are frequently emotional. Here are several of the emotional effects an alcohol addiction can bring.
- Increased irritability
- Increased feelings of ostracism and loneliness
- Increased fatigue
- Inability to focus
- Unexplainable anxiety
- Feelings of abandonment
- Fear that the alcohol addiction is uncontrolled
- Fear that even if he gets sober, he will no longer be believed and accepted by his social circle
- Fear of denial if addiction is discovered
- Stress from strained relationships
- Anger at people who don’t understand him
A person who is addicted to alcohol frequently spends more money on buying liquor than paying his bills. Due to bad performance, he may lose his job; thus, make his family members face severe financial difficulties.
Prolonged alcohol consumption can result to psychological damage. A research study shows that there’s a strong link between alcohol addiction and mood disorders, particularly anxiety and depression. It also reveals that alcohol on one point may be used in an effort to self-medicate against several mood disorders. On the other hand, it can also aggravate mood disorders if consumed in excess.
For instance, studies have found that those with alcohol disorders frequently suffer from certain kind of depression. In order to get rid of the signs of the depression, they’ll regularly embark in extreme alcoholic intake, which in turn worsens their medical conditions.
Too much consumption of alcohol can have an extreme effect not only on the user but on the general community as well. Heavy alcohol intake has been associated with increased occurrences of violent offense. Family is often affected if a member is an alcohol dependent. Family concerns such as marital breakups, spouse abuse, and domestic violence are strongly linked to high alcohol consumption.
Usually the person who is alcohol dependent gets into numerous problems because of their actions or behavior in public places.
People who are having alcohol addictions may face a lifetime struggle in making effort to maintain sober. Numerous professionals hold the perception that part of the learning process is relapse, which is something that an alcohol dependent has to experience to finally reach full abstinence from their alcohol addiction.