Alcoholism which is also known as Alcohol Use Disorder is defined as an addiction to excessive consumption of alcohol. This addiction arises when a person is not able to control his/her drinking habits which may lead to consequences as severe as death. The very urge to drink takes such a high priority in a person’s mind that it represses all other commitments thereby resulting in a loss of esteem. It will not be inappropriate to say that alcoholism makes a person highly dependent on alcohol leading to severe damage to physical as well as mental health. This grievous issue is so extreme that even when people might be aware of the ill effects of alcohol consumption and the negative impacts it can have on their life, they cannot (or fail to) abstain themselves from its overuse. Alcoholism can have repercussions that can lead to complete destruction of personal well as professional life. People in the society tend to look down to alcohol addicts. These alcohol addicts also face continuous problems in their workplace and homes because of their incapability to cope up with daily tasks. This results in deterioration of mental well-being of people.
There can be various causes associated with continuous use of alcohol and may also be different for different individuals, although these reasons for many people might still be unknown, alcoholism has been to found to cause chemical changes in the brain. There is a sense of tranquility that gives pleasure to the mind upon consumption of alcohol. Some people might get addicted to this very state and consume more alcohol to gain the same. Other causes might include seeking relief from stress, or escaping from the reality of life (due to loss of dear ones, or a loss in business), or overcoming anxiety. But, the very basic of all reasons is the exposure to alcohol. When people, at a very early stage of life, are subjected to lifestyles where alcohol consumption is very common, they might end up getting used to it and start consuming it in large amounts. It may also happen that due to peer pressure teenagers develop the habit of drinking and face difficulties in overcoming it.
Following are the various symptoms of alcoholism:
Alcoholics are continually faced with the desire to drink more even when they don’t feel good about it. This may lead them to find secluded places and drink when alone so as to overcome the alternate effects of withdrawal like shaking, nausea, anxiety etc. They are forced with this uncontrollable urge to drink and reduce social connections where they often feel uncomfortable and hence resort to escape from the reality.
There can be a mix of multiple treatments that can be sought by people suffering from alcohol use disorder. They can seek counselling so as to overcome it, as well as, go for medication as directed by a doctor. While medicines will help in gaining control over symptoms like shaking, or hallucinations etc. counselling will lead to changes in drinking patterns. Health professional and support groups run rehabilitation programs where people come for assistance so as to do away with alcohol consumption. They might even get motivated by listening to the stories of others who have been successful in doing so. Further, a doctor is required to monitor the alcohol consumption levels in the patient’s body over the treatment period and follow up to evaluate the overall health and other withdrawal symptoms.
Alcoholism is a serious issue and following steps can be taken for its prevention:
It is necessary to be kept in mind that abrupt withdrawal from alcohol can lead to increase in stress levels, anxiety, insomnia etc. It disturbs the nervous system and should be handled cautiously. While these withdrawal symptoms tend to reduce gradually with the number of days, these symptoms can be severe and may even prove to be fatal because of increased side effects. Depending on every individual, alcohol withdrawal is supposed to have a timeline which may vary from one week to one month to a complete year. Thus, it is important to consult a doctor and detoxify as directed by him.