Chronic alcoholism is a disease with the ability to hold a firm grip over an addict’s life, from their decision-making, emotional wellbeing, and physical health. Alcohol is considered a depressant, but different levels of consumption may have varying effects on the body.
In 1991, the American Medical Association defined alcoholism as a medical and psychiatric disease, and it is estimated that one in every 12 U.S. adults will experience some level of alcohol addiction or dependence in their lifetime – that’s nearly eighteen million people.
This makes alcohol the most addictive substance in the country, a battle medical professionals have been fighting for decades. There are many devastating effects alcohol can have on the body and the mind, including heart and liver problems, lifestyle changes caused through lack of commitment to responsibilities, depression, neurological conditions and tragedies that occur while impaired, such as falls and car accidents.
When “Drowning Your Sorrows” Becomes an Addiction
Alcohol is often depended upon by many people to relive stress, anxiety or emotional trauma. This can leave many addicts relying on it to make them feel better, leading to an addiction if use goes on too long or too much is consumed. Like other drugs, alcohol has the power to change the user’s mindset, from depressed to happy and vice versa. People who are going through a tough time emotionally or financially may turn to alcohol in order to wind down or take their mind off the problem, and in moderation alcohol can be enjoyed by everyone, but addictions should not be ignored, due to the many physical and mental effects continued overuse can have.
Alcoholism is a disease that can leave addicts in state of dark depression, unable to help themselves out of their situation or from being able to see they have an issue. Grievances, the loss of a loved one, work problems and money issues are the most common causes of alcohol dependency.
Defining the Problem and Finding a Solution
Those suffering from the disease often understand what harm they are doing their body, but continue to use anyway. This is one of the first signs that an addiction has occurred. Alcoholism can also have an effect on the individual’s personality, making them lethargic and anxious when they have not been drinking.
The physical body is known to change too, with reddened skin and the “shakes,” seen when an alcoholic is sober and their body is struggling to function without the drug in its system. Regular heavy drinkers can also become violent, especially if confronted about their addiction whilst they are drunk. This can destroy relationships and make it even harder to help a sufferer.
Treatments for alcohol abuse are plenty, and there are many varying forms of therapy available, meaning there is one to suit each sufferer as everyone is different. From detoxing and counselling to medication and meditation, those who want to find help should know that there are many options to choose from once they decide to begin recovery.
Alcoholism is a disease, not a phase that will go away over time. Instead, with more and more use the addiction becomes stronger and dependence is more likely, meaning that seeking treatment as soon as impossible is imperative to avoid causing neurological problems and damage to the liver and the lifestyle of the individual.
One of the main problems regarding alcohol addiction is that it is one of the few drugs that is readily available to most people of age, and it is a legal substance that can be hard to prevent from getting into the hands of an addict. Because of this, the loved ones of those suffering from alcoholism are the first step in promoting addiction rehabilitation through intervening in the drinker’s access.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an alcohol dependency, consult the help of a professional and see how alcohol is affecting your life.