Full Detailed Information on Alcoholism

Nov 21 20:17 2007 Ricky Hussey Print This Article

Overview of alcoholism and its causes, symptoms and treatment.

Alcoholism is a term with multiple and sometimes conflicting definitions. In common and historic usage,Guest Posting alcoholism refers to any condition that results in the continued consumption of alcoholic beverages despite the health problems and negative social consequences it causes. Medical definitions describe alcoholism as a disease which results in a persistent use of alcohol despite negative consequences. Alcoholism may also refer to a preoccupation with or compulsion toward the consumption of alcohol and/or an impaired ability to recognize the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption.CausesAlcoholism is a type of drug addiction. There is both physical and psychological dependence with this addiction. Physical dependence reveals itself by withdrawal symptoms when alcohol intake is interrupted, tolerance to the effects of alcohol, and evidence of alcohol-associated illnesses.Alcohol affects the central nervous system as a depressant, resulting in a decrease of activity, anxiety, tension, and inhibitions. Even a few drinks can result in behavioral changes, a slowing in motor performance, and a decrease in the ability to think clearly. Concentration and judgment become impaired. In excessive amounts, intoxication may result.Alcohol also affects other body systems. Irritation of the gastrointestinal tract can occur with erosion of the lining of the esophagus and stomach causing nausea and vomiting, and possibly bleeding. Vitamins are not absorbed properly, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies with the long-term use of alcohol. Liver disease, called alcoholic hepatitis, may also develop and can progress to cirrhosis. The heart muscle may be affected.Is alcoholism a disease? Yes. The craving that an alcoholic feels for alcohol can be as strong as the need for food or water. An alcoholic will continue to drink despite serious family, health, or legal problems. Like many other diseases, alcoholism lasts a person's lifetime; it usually follows a predictable course; and it has symptoms. The risk for developing alcoholism is influenced both by a person's genes and by his or her lifestyle.Signs and symptomsBefore treatment or recovery, most people with alcoholism deny that they have a drinking problem. Other indications of alcoholism and alcohol abuse include:    * Drinking alone or in secret    * Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink    * Not remembering conversations or commitments, sometimes referred to as "blacking out"    * Making a ritual of having drinks before, with or after dinner and becoming annoyed when this ritual is disturbed or questionedMedical TreatmentA team of professionals is often needed to treat the alcoholic. The physician usually plays a key role in medical stabilization and facilitating treatment entry, but others are routinely needed beyond the initial management (for example, alcoholism counselors, social workers, family therapists, psychologists, and pastoral counselors).Treatment of the alcoholic can be divided into 3 stages. Initially, the person has to be medically stabilized. Next, he or she must undergo a detoxification process, followed by long-term abstinence and rehabilitation.Is alcoholism inherited? Research shows that the risk for developing alcoholism runs in families. The genes a person inherits partially explain this pattern, but lifestyle is also a factor. Your friends, the amount of stress in your life, and how readily available alcohol is also are factors that may increase your risk for alcoholism. But remember: Risk is not destiny. Just because alcoholism tends to run in families doesn't mean that a child of an alcoholic parent will automatically become an alcoholic too. Some people develop alcoholism even though no one in their family has a drinking problem. By the same token, not all children of alcoholic families get into trouble with alcohol.

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Ricky Hussey
Ricky Hussey

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