Alcoholism or Alcohol Abuse is a disease that
involves physical and psychological addiction to the drug
alcohol. It is chronic, progressive and often fatal.
Alcoholism is a major social, economic and public health
problem, involved in over half of all unnatural deaths and
almost half of all traffic fatalities. A high percentage
of suicides involve the use of alcohol in combination with
other substances. Additional deaths are related to long-
term medical complications associated with the disease.
The life-span of an alcoholic is shortened by an average
of 15 years, as a result of the various complications of
This is why it’s best for an alcoholic to get treatment or even check into top alcohol rehabs with private rooms, if they can afford it, before it’s too late.
Alcoholism: causes and risk factors
Heavy drinking over time -Drinking steadily and heavily over time can lead to dependence by altering the levels of certain brain chemicals, causing to crave alcohol to restore positive feelings or avoid negative ones. At-risk drinkers are men who consume 15 or more drinks a week, women who consume 12 or more drinks a week, or anyone who consumes five or more drinks per occasion at least once a week. (One drink is defined as a bottle of beer; a glass of wine/ spirits)
Genetics -genetic makeup may cause brain chemical imbalances and make more susceptible to alcohol dependency. Genetic factors may account for about half the total risk for developing alcoholism
Psychological factors- Some people drink to relieve stress, anxiety, depression or low self-esteem. Having certain clinical emotional disorders, such as severe depression, increases the risk for alcoholism. Social and cultural factors- social environment, which includes elements such as peer pressure, availability of alcohol and social acceptance of its use may also encourage the development of alcoholism.
Age - People who start drinking in their teens or earlier are at higher risk of becoming alcoholic. Rates of alcohol abuse are highest in people aged 18-29, and lowest among those 65 and older.
Gender - Men are more likely to become alcoholics, although the incidence of alcoholism among women has increased over the past 30 years.
Symptoms and signs of alcoholism
Alcoholism includes the following general symptoms:
- Craving: a compulsion to drink.
- Tolerance: If the body is alcohol-dependent, it might need to drink increasing amounts of alcohol to feel its effects.
- Memory problems; confused or sluggish thinking; difficulty concentrating.
- Losing interest in activities that used to bring you pleasure.
- Mood changes (anger, irritability).
- Personality changes (becoming jealous or distrustful).
- Neglecting your physical appearance.
Physical symptoms may include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shaking in the morning
- Poor eating habits and loss of appetite
- Stomach pain or cramps or Diarrhea
- Numbness or tingling
- Weakness in the legs and hands
- Red eyes, face or palms
- Unsteady walking or falls
- Blacking out
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may vary from mild to severe. The more common, milder symptoms may include:
- . Craving: a compulsion to drink.
- . AutonomicHyperactivity- sweating,Tachycardia,Hypertension,Hyperhydrosis,Pupilarydil ation
- . Tremors-Eye lids, Tongue, Hands
- . Restlessness
- . Anxiety
- . Shaking hands
- . Insomnia
- . Increased heart rate
- . Rapid breathing
- . Increased blood pressure
- . Elevated temperature and sweating
- . Loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting
- . Extreme agitation
- . Seizures (Rum Fits)
- . Delusions or hallucinations- Tactile, Visual, Auditory