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  • What
  • Causes
  • Risk Factors
  • Symptoms
  • Definition
  • Treatment
  • Outlook
  • Prevent

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is commonly known as alcohol use disorder or alcohol dependence. Alcohol dependence is a state when the victim drinks alcohol so much that victim’s body becomes eventually addicted to alcohol. When the victim reaches this state, alcohol becomes the most significant thing in victim’s life. Victims of alcoholic dependence continue their lifestyle with alcohol even though it causes negative impact on them. Negative impacts may include but not limited to relationship issues, job loss. Even though the victim recognize that alcohol dependence affects them negatively, but it doesn’t motivate them to quit consuming alcohol.

What Causes Alcoholism?

The exact cause of alcoholism is still unknown. Alcoholism develops when the victim drinks to a level when chemical changes in the victim’s brain take place. This chemical changes enhances the pleasurable feeling when the victim gets drunk, and thus leading to more drinking of alcohol even though it can hard him. Alcoholism gradually develops with time.

What are the Risk Factors for Alcoholism?

The well-known risk factors for alcoholism include:

Known risk factors for alcoholism include having:

  • If male, 15+ drinks per week
  • If female, 12+ drinks per week
  • +5 drinks per day at least once a week
  • Having a parent with alcoholism
  • Having mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia

A person maybe at greater risk for becoming a victim of alcoholism if the victim:

  • Is a young adult undergoing peer pressure
  • Has a lower self-esteem
  • Undergoes high stress level
  • Lives in a surrounding where alcohol consumption is very common and acceptable
  • Has a close relative with alcoholism

What are the Symptoms of Alcoholism?

Alcoholism symptoms are generally based on the behaviours as well as the physical outcomes which take places due to the alcohol addiction. A person being a victim of alcohol use disorder usually engages with following behaviours:

  • Drinking alone
  • Drinking more
  • Being aggressive or angry when asked about drinking habits
  • Poorly eating or not eating
  • Ignoring personal hygiene
  • Missing work or school due to drinking
  • Lack of control on alcohol consumption
  • Finding an excuse to drink
  • Regular drinking during social, economical or legal problems takes place
  • Missing important social, occupational or recreational activities due to drinking

When a person becomes a victim of alcohol use disorder, victim may experience the following physical symptoms:

  • Carving towards alcohol
  • Withdrawal symptoms while not consuming alcohol includes sharking, nausea and vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Blacking out after the night of alcohol consumption
  • Illness which as alcoholic ketoacidosis, or cirrhosis of liver

Definition of Alcoholism and of Being an Alcoholic

Self-Testing: Am I an Alcoholic?

Most often it is truly hard to draw a line between safe alcohol use and alcohol abuse. Consultant psychologist suggest that the victim might be having alcohol dependence if the victim answers “yes” to following questions:

  • Do you need to consume more alcohol to feel the effect?
  • Do you often feel guilty about drinking?
  • Do you become bad-tempered or aggressive when you drink?
  • Do you have issues at school or at work because of your drinking problem?
  • Do you often think that it would be better if you trim down your alcohol consumption?

Professional Diagnosis

Consultant psychologist can diagnose victim for alcoholism by physical examination by asking few questions about victim’s drinking habits.

  • Do you enjoy drunken driving?
  • Have you ever missed work or lost a job because of your drinking habit
  • Do you always need more alcohol to feel “drunk”
  • Do you often experience blackouts due to drinking
  • Have you tried to trim down your drinking however couldn’t

Consultant psychologist may also come up with a questionnaire which will help him to assess the victim. Normally, alcoholism diagnosis do not need diagnostic test. On occasions, therapist may ask for blood test to check your liver functioning or to see any symptoms of liver damage. Unfortunately, alcoholism cause heavy damage to victim’s liver. The basic function of the lever is to remove any toxins from your blood, when the victim consumes a lot of alcohol; victim’s liver had to work harder to filter the toxins and alcohol from the blood. This overstress on the liver leads to liver damage as well as other severe complications.

How is Alcoholism Treated?

Alcoholism treatment varies, however each treatment look forward to help the victim to stop consuming alcohol. To help the victim with the treatment, it may take few stages which includes:

  • Detoxification, so as to free your body from alcohol
  • Rehabilitation, so as to learn new coping and behaviour skills
  • Counselling, so as to address emotional problems which causes alcohol consumption
  • Support groups
  • Medical treatment, so as to improvise health problems related to alcohol consumption
  • Medication, so as to withdraw addiction towards alcoholism

Upon severe alcohol addiction, you need to seek professional help.

What is the Outlook for a Person with Alcoholism?

Alcohol use disorder recovery is really difficult. Victim’s diagnosis will totally depend upon the capability of the victim to stop drinking. Several people who are the victims of alcoholism, when look for treatment are mostly able to conquer their addiction towards alcohol. With the help of a strong support system, victim can completely recover from the alcoholism.

Outlook of a victim with alcoholism shall totally depend upon the health complication which the victim has developed due to consuming alcohol. As consuming alcohol beyond limits can cause liver damage, it can also lead to other health complications such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Damage to brain cells
  • Bleeding in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
  • Cancer in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
  • Memory loss (dementia)
  • Depression
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas)
  • Nerve damage
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome

How Can You Prevent Alcoholism?

The most excellent way to prevent alcoholism is by limiting your consumption of alcohol. Researches suggest that, women should not drink over one drink per day and men should not exceed over two drinks per day. Upon any addiction towards alcohol, its suggested to consult a doctor or a psychologist at early stage.