Wine, beer, spirits, vodka and other types of alcohol have been around for ages and are taken advantage of as a great way to enjoy a meal in almost every culture. However, defining when one glass is one too many, and understanding the concept behind alcohol addiction is one that is on a completely different level than enjoying the drink in moderation. Understanding and defining this allows you to move into a new understanding of drinking.
There is one slight difference between moderate alcohol consumption and alcohol addiction. That is how you react to drinking a few. According to psychologists and medical associations, alcohol dependence and alcoholism is defined when an individual becomes dependent on having to feel differently by taking in a drink. Without the drink, the individual may feel out of control or at a low tolerance level. This is combined with feeling a withdrawal from the substance if it is not available.
What happens when you get to the point of addiction? In short – a lot. In fact, it was noted that between 8 and 21% of individuals that commit suicide are also alcoholics. If the alcohol doesn’t lead to this point, you can still expect other difficulties, such as the following.
– Physical changes: Cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, epilepsy, polyneuropathy, dementia, heart disease, nutritional deficiencies
– Mental changes: depression, anxiety, panic disorder
– Behavior changes: loss of control – many with alcohol dependency have problems maintaining a job, keeping family and friend relations close and lose social stability
Of course, knowing all this is just the beginning. Suffering from alcoholism and going through some of these painful symptoms is probably at a completely different definition from these basic, researched reactions to alcohol dependency.
Along with this, alcohol dependency as an addiction can be one of the toughest to fight. The main problem is that the nature of the addiction is based off psychological dependency. On top of this, once alcohol is taken up again, the whole cycle of addiction to alcohol can kick in.
If you are facing alcohol dependency, or know someone who is, you can still overcome it with some help. Joining a treatment group is the best way to start, while allowing yourself to be able to define why the psychological dependency is there. During the first parts, you will most likely have to move through a detoxification, where there is a withdrawal from alcohol. After this, is the ability to move into a recovery process that helps with moving away from the drug.
For some is also the ability to move into medications. Antabuse, Naltrexone, Acamprosate and Topiramate are the top four that are recommended by alcoholics. These produce chemicals that react in your body when alcohol is consumed, which reverses the chemicals that cause the addiction. Of course, it is stated that this can not be used alone, without having psychological prevention occurring at the same time.
If you are fighting alcoholism, or know someone who is, then it is important to understand the problems you may be facing, as well as potential for treatment. Facing the dependency on alcoholism, and working towards a solution, can also help towards a better and healthier option for living.