Alcoholism – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments. Furthermore, the use of alcoholic beverages is as old as humanity itself. Drinking moderately and sporadically is part of the habits of many societies. Determining the boundary between social drinking, abusive or harmful use of alcohol and alcoholism (alcohol dependence syndrome) is sometimes difficult, as these boundaries are fine, vary from person to person and from culture to culture.
What is Alcoholism?
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Alcoholism is the most serious form of problem drinking and describes a strong, often uncontrollable, desire to drink. Alcoholism sufferers often put the baby above all other obligations, including work and family, and can build up a physical tolerance or withdrawal symptoms from the experience if they stop. Alcoholism is sometimes known as alcohol addiction or alcohol addiction . It’s a little different from “harmful drinking,” which is an occasional pattern of drinking that can do harm to your health.
What are the Signs of Alcoholism?
- It can be tricky to spot the signs of alcoholism , as alcoholics can be secretive about it and can get angry if confronted.
- However, if someone close to you is showing any of the following signs, it could be that they are suffering from alcoholism :
- Lack of interest in previously normal activities
- Appearing intoxicated more regularly
- Needing to drink more to achieve the same effects
- Appearing tired, unwell or irritable
- An inability to say no to alcohol
- Anxiety, depression or other mental health issues
- Becoming secretive or dishonest
If you think you may be drinking too much or that your alcohol consumption is starting to have a detrimental effect on your life, taking our alcohol self-assessment can help you understand if there is cause for concern.
How to Treat Alcoholism?
- In many cases, the first step in treating alcoholism is recognizing that there is a problem. As with many health problems , the second step is to seek help from a healthcare professional, such as your
- local general practitioner who can refer you to a specialist.
- Or use mutual help groups: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is widely available, free, and there is no waiting list:
- A doctor will diagnose alcoholism when three or more of the following have been present in the past year:
- An irresistible urge to drink
- An inability to stop or control harmful drinking
- Withdrawal symptoms when stopping drinking
- Evidence of alcohol tolerance
- Pursuing alcohol consumption to the exclusion of alternative pleasures
- Continuing to drink despite clear evidence of harmful consequences
- There are different treatments available for people diagnosed with alcoholism , but a key stage of treatment is detoxification.
- Detox involves stopping drinking completely so the body can adapt to being alcohol -free . During this time, a person may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms .
- Ongoing treatment usually falls into one of three main camps:
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The most commonly used drugs for the treatment of alcoholism are:
- Disulfiram, also known as anti-ethanol, is a drug known for its aversive effect.
- that is, if it is used in conjunction with alcohol , nausea, vomiting, facial flushing, tachycardia and blood pressure may occur.Naltrexone: medication developed for the adjunctive treatment of alcohol dependence that
- acts on the opioid system, blocking the rewarding effects of alcohol and preventing relapses
- Acamprosate: medication that acts as an antagonist of glutamatergic receptors, attenuating symptoms of alcohol withdrawal .
- Only a doctor can tell you which drug is most suitable for you, as well as the correct dosage and duration of treatment. Always follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter and NEVER self-medicate. No
- stop using the drug without consulting a doctor, and do not change the prescribed doses.