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Alcohol Addiction Tips

Addiction - How To Overcome It?

Psychologist, Jalgaon
Addiction - How To Overcome It?

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a condition in which individual engages in using a substance or seeking a behaviour which leads to rewarding effects in the brain and it reinforce the individual to repeat the using or seeking behaviour again and again. Addiction develops gradually over a period of time and due to the repetition of same pleasure seeking pattern individual become physically and psychologically dependent on the substance or to any other object at the center of addiction.

People can get addicted to many substances like alcohol, nicotine, drugs, solvents, etc. In the case of these substances, physical and mental dependency both can occur. There are other objects and behaviours which also activate brain reward system in the same way and can make people dependent on them, like gambling, shopping, videogames, watching pornography, etc. But in case of these objects or behaviours, psychological dependency can be more prominent.

It has been seen that there are lots of other mental problems found among individuals suffering from any kind of addiction, like anxiety, depression, personality disorders, psychosis, etc. Individual who is addicted to a substance or an object or behaviour indulge into compulsive pattern of seeking the same in spite of their detrimental consequences. Consequences of addiction can be seen on a person’s health, personal life, occupational life and social life. Addiction can lead to severe unmanageability in one’s life.

Especially when it comes to substances, like alcohol, nicotine or any kind of drugs, we must understand how the tolerance level of the brain develops? Tolerance develops when an individual no longer responds to a substance in the way he/she did at first. So, it takes a higher dose of the substance to achieve the same effect as when the individual first used it. This is why people with substance use disorders use more and more of a drug to get the “high” feeling that they seek.

A blog posted by an alcoholic:

“I always wished I could drink like other people. But I never could. I thought it was the third drink that got me into trouble. If I only had two, then I’d be fine. Thing is, once I put that first drink to my lips, I could no longer accurately predict what would happen next. I might go home, but I might not.

You’d think if I made it home, then my drinking was a success. Wrong! If I made it home after two drinks, there was an insatiable need raging within me and I was gonna take it out on you.  After all, you’re the reason why I had to come home. I would punish my family by being silent or mean, or emotionally distant.

Looking back, it was never intentional. I didn’t purposely choose not to go home.  I didn’t leave the house with a suitcase containing a fresh set of clothes, a toothbrush and my cosmetics. Seriously, I was only going out for ‘a few.” 

If anybody can relate to this or can understand this, he or she can understand tolerance, powerlessness and unmanageability.

How to recover from addiction?

To be an addict can’t be anybody’s choice, but recovery can be one’s choice. The first key step to come out of your addiction is developing acceptance. For a person to admit their powerlessness in addiction to drugs or alcohol or to any other object at the center of addiction is a monumental first step to recovery. Powerlessness means the person do not have any control over his/her use of substance. Powerlessness may indicate weakness and helplessness; some may think it fosters a victim mentality. Acceptance starts developing when a person admit that he or she is powerless over the substance or object at the center of addiction and their lives have become unmanageable because of that.

Addiction is a disease and recovery is not an easy process. Individuals who are already into the grip of addiction need to seek help. One cannot go through the journey of recovery alone. There is a myth that addiction is a habit and one can get out of it if he or she has the ‘Will Power’. It’s actually not true. To get out of the disease you need to develop ‘Skill Power’, like skills to understand your physical and psychological mechanisms when it comes to the substance or the object of addictions, skills to handle cravings, skills to be assertive enough to manage social cues, skills to deal with day to day life stressors, etc. And in this process of developing skills and maintaining your recovery, you need the help of professionals.

A complete treatment program has three important approaches. First one is psychopharmacological (medicine) approach, second is psychotherapeutic approach and the third one is the 12 step program of alcohol/narcotics anonymous. A combination of psychotherapies along with the basic essence of 12 step program can bring greater outcomes in individual suffering from addiction.

3265 people found this helpful

Alcohol Problems - How To Help Your Friend/Relative With It?

Dr.Nk Tak 90% (335ratings)
MBBS, M.D. Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Jaipur
Alcohol Problems - How To Help Your Friend/Relative With It?

Alcohol consumption is a common problem in our society. Ranging from economic issues, to strained relationships, to neglect, to abuse, it can lead to multiple problems. The key point is that in many people, it may go completely unnoticed. While different people could have different tolerance levels, there are some definitions to qualify someone as having ‘alcohol problem'.

Alcohol consumption resulting in blood alcohol levels of 0.08 or more; some men might need about five drinks and women might need four drinks to reach this level. When an individual is compelled to drink up to five drinks on a day regularly, it is considered to be a problem.

Symptoms

If you are suspecting that your friend or relative could be having a potential drinking problem, look out for the following symptoms:

  1. Constant, strong craving for drinking
  2. Unable to control their urge to drink alcohol
  3. Inability to succeed in efforts to reduce or stop alcohol usage
  4. Drinking more than the intended quantity on most occasions
  5. Spending extra effort in terms of time and money to lay their hands on alcohol
  6. Strained relationships at work or at home
  7. Health issues including liver failure, poor overall health, intestinal problems, etc.
  8. Failure to see that their health (physical and emotional) is affected by drinking
  9. Failure to acknowledge that there is a drinking problem (denial mode)
  10. Stealing or lying in an attempt to get money for alcohol
  11. Being violent towards spouse or children or even strangers to get alcohol and/or money for alcohol
  12. Not very reliable in assigning tasks or fulfilling responsibilities
  13. Ability to hold more than their regular quantity of drinks, over a period of time, capacity to tolerate more alcohol
  14. Constantly seen in the company of people who enjoy alcohol

What should you tell your friend/relative?

Admit the problem

  • Stay away from people who drink with you or encourage you to drink
  • Space out drinks, drink with food and drink enough water as it will reduce the amount of alcohol getting into the body
  • Involve close friends and family for emotional support
  • Enrol for a detox program
  • Get into exercise, sports, photography which are both creative and productive ways to improve your quality of recreation and life
3320 people found this helpful

Booze & Brain - How Can Former Impact Later?

Dr.Debabrata Chakraborty 89% (162ratings)
DM - Neurology, Fellowship in Stroke Neurology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Neurologist, Kolkata
Booze & Brain - How Can Former Impact Later?

It is a common belief that alcohol consumption is a social menace and is injurious to health. It is the third leading lifestyle causes of death in the United States and takes a toll on the health care costs of the country. Many organs like the liver, kidney, heart, and brain are affected in people who are addicted to alcohol. However, it has been proven that alcohol consumption in minor amounts can have beneficial effects on the human body including the heart.

The side effects depend on a number of factors listed below.

  • Type of alcohol consumption (social or habitual drinker)
  • Amount of alcohol consumed
  • Frequency of drinking
  • Age, gender, and genetic predisposition of the person to develop alcohol-related diseases
  • Family history of alcoholism and its related diseases
  • Age at which the person started drinking
  • The number of years that a person has been consuming alcohol
  • Overall health condition of the person
  • Exposure to alcohol as a fetus

As the adage goes, anything in excess is bad. It is not necessary that a habitual or social drinker who consumes a drink or two per week would end up with these issues. In fact, if recent studies are to be believed, mild to moderate intake of alcohol does have a benefit to overall health.

  • The cardiovascular benefits are the most prominent. Red wine and beer, in particular, are shown to provide benefits against cardiovascular damage in the long run. This could be due to the antioxidant properties of red wine. Alcohol itself (ethanol or ethyl alcohol) also has a positive effect. Some varieties of beer, porter and stout varieties, in particular, are also shown to be beneficial. The anti-inflammatory properties and antiatherogenic (effect on plaque formation in the blood vessel) are what contribute to these positive effects.
  • There is evidence to show that cholesterol profile is improved (good cholesterol increase) and clotting function is improved in people who have mild alcohol consumption.
  • Insulin sensitivity is also better, leading to better control of sugar levels.
  • Light alcohol consumption also is believed to reduce the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. However, heavy alcohol consumption is believed to increase the risk of stroke and other cerebral events.
  • Limited alcohol use is also linked with a reduced risk of dementia. Heavy consumption leads to faster memory decline.
  • The key to note is that these benefits are only when alcohol consumption is mild to moderate. In excess, the negative effects of alcohol are well established and numerous. Some of the most significant ones being cirrhosis of the liver and cancers of various organs including mouth, liver, larynx, oesophagus, colon, breast, pancreas, etc. To reduce these effects, alcohol screening and brief counselling to reduce habituation are helpful.
2400 people found this helpful

Tips For Healthy Life!

Dr.Pramila Sachin Kadam 87% (389ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), PGDMLS, Master of Hospital Administration
Ayurvedic Doctor, Thane
Tips For Healthy Life!

Tips For Healthy Life

  • Eat a variety of food.
  • Cut back on salt.
  • Reduce the use of certain fats and oil.
  • Limit sugar intake.
  • Avoid hazardous and harmful alcohol use.
     
3 people found this helpful

How Substance Use Is Studied And Treated?

Ms.Pallavee Walia 91% (227ratings)
PGDRP Rehabilitation Psychology , M.A Clinical Psychology, Certificate in Guidance and Counselling (CGC)
Psychologist, Agra
How Substance Use Is Studied And Treated?

Psychologists and other researchers study the antecedents of substance use and how what we know about the human brain and its development can inform our understanding of why people use substances and how their use becomes problematic. 
They often study specific types of alcohol and drug problems, their origins and effects, how these problems change over time, how they are distinct from or may overlap with other conditions and how they may interact with biological, social, behavioral and other cultural issues.

Prevention & treatment -
Psychologists and other professionals apply the findings of research to treat substance use in individual people, couples and whole families and may sometimes provide treatments to people brought together as a group or in a community. 
They also may integrate more biological approaches, such as the use of medications, with social and behavioral treatments, work to motivate people to engage in the process of change, maintain long-term changes and even prevent the development of alcohol and drug problems in the first place.

Behavioral therapies for opioid use disorder -
That's a missed opportunity, experts argue, since evidence-based behavioral treatments used in concert with medication have the potential to make a real difference in long-term recovery" substance use is not just about biology. When someone comes into treatment for opioid use disorder, there's a lot of history that predates that, and a lot of things that happened when they were engaged in drug use" says Sharon Walsh, PhD, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Kentucky college of medicine who studies opioid use disorder and its treatment" it's critical for people to also have behavioral interventions as needed. You need to treat the whole person to get them well"

5 people found this helpful

Check If You Have A Problem With Drinking Alcohol!

Dr.Dawny Mathew 96% (2304ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Psychological Medicine-DPM
Sexologist, Trivandrum
Check If You Have A Problem With Drinking Alcohol!

Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
__Yes
__No

Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
__Yes
__No

Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
__Yes
__No

Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover (eye-opener)?
__Yes
__No

If you answered Yes to at least 2 questions, then you may have a problem and require professional help.

How To Deal With Addiction?

Dr.Yash Velankar 93% (493ratings)
M.S.Psychotherapy and counseling, M.A-Philosophy, B.A.M.S, Meditation Therapist, Cerificate in REBT
Psychologist, Mumbai
How To Deal With Addiction?

Alcohol, tobacco and drugs; these are some of the most common substances that people can get addicted to. Getting addicted is easy but to get rid of your habit is hard.

Here are a few things that could help:

  1. Set a date: Addicts who tell themselves that they will quit tomorrow often never end up doing so. Set a date for yourself when you will have your last smoke and drink. Ideally, you should set this date a few weeks from the day you decide to give up your bad habits to allow yourself to be mentally prepared.
  2. Find new friends: Peep pressure is one of the most common reasons for an addiction to begin. Hence, the first thing to do when you are trying to give up a bad habit is to stay away from the people you associate with that habit and make new friends.
  3. Hold yourself accountable to someone: While you can give in to yourself, it is harder to make excuses for doing something when you are being held accountable by someone else. Find a mentor or a friend who will be there for you and who will ‘sponsor’ your deaddiction.
  4. Find your weak spots: Every habit is triggered by certain factors. If you have decided to try and give up a bad habit, identify the factors that trigger it and avoid them. For example, your morning cup of coffee may trigger the need for a cigarette. By replacing coffee with juice, you can make your morning a little easier.
  5. Take up a new hobby: A hobby is a great way to distract yourself from cravings. Crossword puzzles and Sudoku are great as indoor hobbies while swimming is an excellent outdoor hobby. You could even try gardening or crafts.
  6. Exercise: One of the many benefits of exercising is that it can help boost endorphins and make you feel happier and thus less likely to crave cigarettes of alcohol. Aim for at least half an hours exercise each day.
  7. Maintain a journal: Some days are good and some days are bad. To give yourself a balanced view of your deaddiction process, maintain a journal. Write down your achievements as well as your pitfalls and be proud of what you have achieved for yourself.
  8. Help someone else: The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. Similarly, with addiction, the best way to be strong and give up a bad habit is to help someone else do it. This way, you are forced to be a good example and give up the habit yourself.
  9. Ask for help: Do not be so proud as to not be able to ask for help when you need it. Remember, it is better to appear weak and ask for help rather than go back to your addiction.
  10. Don’t give up: Relapses are common but they do not have to be the end of your efforts. If you do have a bad day and have a few drags of smoke or maybe a drink, tell yourself that it’s ok. Identify the reasons why you gave in to yourself and start afresh from the next morning.

Treatment through Mindfulness

The practice of mindfulness involves two primary elements: focused attention and open monitoring. During the practice of focused attention, attention is concentrated on a sensory object (often the sensation of breathing) while one acknowledges and then stops from distracting thoughts and emotions. Focused attention practices are often preceded by the practice of open monitoring. Open monitoring is a metacognitive state of awareness in the sense that it involves monitoring the content of consciousness while reflecting back on the process or quality of consciousness itself. This form of mindfulness practice is thought to reduce anxiety to a larger extent.

2618 people found this helpful

Alcohol - How Can It Impact Us?

Multi Speciality, Mumbai
Alcohol - How Can It Impact Us?

Alcohol addiction commonly known as alcoholism is a fairly common problem that has shown to affect people from every walk of life. Scientists have tried to pinpoint the absolute cause behind alcoholism, but to no success. Certain factors like sex, genetic, and socioeconomic factors have shown to have some effect on alcoholism. The cause of alcoholism is never singular. Alcohol addiction is indeed a disease, where a person may not have full control over his actions and is seen to change the neurochemistry of the brain.

The symptoms of alcohol addiction can be seen in many ways and the severity of the situation varies from person to person. Other factors such as the frequency of consumption may also be specific. While some people are heavy drinkers and drink throughout the day; others may drink occasionally and remain sober for a few days.

A person who is dependent on alcohol will prioritise drinking over other essential activities and will eventually cause disruption in his social life, work or other areas of his life. It can also create a negative effect in the victim’s life along with their families and their near and dear ones.

What are the signs of alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse?
The signs and symptoms of alcoholism or addiction are rather conspicuous. Since drinking alcohol is common in social events in most cultures around the world, it becomes difficult to recognise when someone is addicted to alcohol, unlike drugs like cocaine and heroin.

The physical signs of alcohol abuse include:

  1. Loss of control over the quantity of alcohol consumed.
  2. Lack of adequate sleep, followed by overcompensation for sleep.
  3. Expression of anger and other negative behaviours my increase in inappropriate places and situations.
  4. Lack of proper attention towards the priorities in life.

How does alcohol affect the body?
Chronic abuse of alcohol can have negative effects on almost every part of your body and plays havoc in your system. Alcohol is liable to cause irreversible damage to several organs of the body which is vital for sustenance:

  • Nervous system
  • Stomach or Intestines
  • Liver
  • Heart
  • Brain

Alcoholism in itself can lead to several diseases like:

5472 people found this helpful

De- Addiction - Know More About It!

Multi Speciality, Mumbai
De- Addiction - Know More About It!

Reducing, limiting or stopping the intake of alcohol can be a bumpy road. Impossible as it may seem, it is possible to recover from alcoholism with proper care and support. Recovery being a gradual process, denial often plays a spoilsport. The first step is to accept that alcohol abuse is occurring and take the necessary steps to remedy it.

Here is a list of a few steps that the psychiatrist will suggest to get rid of alcoholism:

  1. Doing a cost-benefit analysis: The first thing a psychologist suggest is to do a cost-benefit analysis. For instance, the benefits of drinking could be having fun, a possible way to relax, forgetting about the problem at hand etc. On the other hand, the benefits of not drinking could be a better state of physical and mental well-being, improving relationships, having more time and energy to lead a healthy life etc. Similarly, the cost of drinking could be problems in relationships, depression, anxiousness, poor performance at work etc. The cost of not drinking, on the other hand, could be finding other solutions to deal with problems, losing drinking buddies, taking up more responsibilities etc.
  2. Setting goals: The next step is to set goals pertaining to giving up alcohol for good. It is important to be realistic while doing this. The goal should be specific and precise in nature. For instance, the goal could be writing the date of quitting alcohol in a personal diary or something such as drinking a certain amount of alcohol during weekdays and weekends etc. It is important to announce or share the goal with dear ones. It helps to reduce temptations and avoid bad influences.
  3. Cutting back drinking or quitting at one go: The next step is to work towards the goal. Once the goal is set, it must be adhered to. Keeping a personal diary to measure everyday drinking goes a long way in quantifying and ultimately limiting it. Instead of going out and drinking with buddies, drinking at home could help curb alcohol intake. Drinking slowly is also helpful when trying to quit alcohol.
  4. Get sober safely: While some people can give up drinking over-night, some need medical and psychological assistance to quit. Either way, it makes sense to seek expert advice while quitting alcohol. Suddenly quitting alcohol can result in withdrawal symptoms. Nausea, headache, anxiety, sweating, shaking, elevated heartbeat etc. are some of the withdrawal symptoms. It is possible to counter these symptoms medically.
  5. Change in lifestyle: While the body gets used to an absence of alcohol, it is necessary that certain lifestyle changes are made. For instance, daily exercise, building a good support network, developing a new interest, eating healthy food, meditation etc. helps a person to quickly get used to life without alcohol.
5635 people found this helpful

Binge Drinking Problem - What Should You Know?

Dr.Rupali 91% (95ratings)
M. D. Psychiatry, Diploma In Psychological Medicine-DPM, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Greater Noida
Binge Drinking Problem - What Should You Know?

Binge drinking is a problem that has been noticed nowadays in many teenagers and youngsters. Whether it is at an event or a party, drinking high doses of alcohol in one sitting is known as binge drinking.

Binge Drinking in Women Is Different from Men

Binge drinking for men is the consumption of more than five alcoholic beverages in one sitting. But the case is different for women. For women binge drinking is defined as a woman consuming more than four alcoholic beverages in a single sitting. Also, it has been found in a survey that almost 75% of the binge drinkers are college students. Among these, the ratio of men is much higher than women.

What Leads to Binge Drinking?

  1. Lack of control: One of the most common reasons is, of course, the lack of control. When such a person comes in contact with alcohol, they tend to over-drink because they have no control over their drinking.
  2. The weekend fun: Secondly, another reason is seen in the case of youngsters between the age of 18 years to 35 years. These are youngsters who have a tendency of meeting friends and going out on weekends after the week’s toil. They know that after this weekend they will be able to enjoy their favourite bottle only in the next weekend. Hence, they binge drink.

Results of Binge Drinking

It becomes difficult to check how much alcohol will affect a person, because it depends on various factors, such as height, weight, age and also at times, alcohol tolerance of the person. But of course, there are some common results of binge drinking. Some of such results are:

  • Unintended and unprotected sex leading to pregnancy or even STD in some cases 
  • Accidents that may lead to severe injuries and even death at times
  • Physical or mental assault of others that the person may regret later on.

When Is Help Required?

When the person has a habit of driving after drinking, neglecting family and doing harm to others as well, help is surely needed. Here, short 4-5 sessions with a therapist may help. A regular drinking habit is no doubt a reason to worry. But binge drinking is another reason that can lead to bigger problems and hence, needs to be examined closely too.

2895 people found this helpful
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