What aggravates the problem is the progressive nature of the disease. In the early stages of the â??mental obsessionâ? having one or two drinks may be all that is needed to get the “song” to stop. Soon it will take six or seven drinks and then later possibly ten or twelve. It comes to a point when the only time the song stops is when he passes out.
The progression of the disease is so slow that even the alcoholic himself can, at times, fail to recognize the point at which he loses control and alcohol takes over his life.
It canâ??t be any wonder that denial is a common symptom of the illness. For those that do recognize there is a problem help can be as close as the white pages of the telephone directory. Unfortunately there are those who need help however they do all they can to resist it, for these people intervention may be the only alternative.
There is some truth to the adage that if you are a child of an alcoholic, you donâ??t ever really grow up.
Obviously you will grow up physically — but psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually many of us are still trapped in early childhood. We were never given the option of learning a “normal” way of thinking, feeling or reacting.
Children of alcoholics are raised by people who never grew up themselves. We had no “normal” example to follow. How are we supposed to understand how healthy families relate to each other? We certainly havenâ??t had any experience with it ourselves!
As we grew we became adults, got married and raised children who, just like us, have no idea how healthy and functional families operate. How could we understand how to be good parents? We’d never seen one in action! The cycle continues.
You may be wondering what resources are available to help you cut down on or stop alcohol use on your own.
If you are thinking of quitting drinking you need education and emotional support, especially if you have abused alcohol or are alcohol-dependent. Some resources that can help you stop drinking include:
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Alcoholics Anonymous guides those all over the world who have a wish to quit drinking by arranging meetings with other people who have this problem. The groups are made up of people who have similar alcohol problems.
Family physicians or other medical practitioners, psychologists, or other health professionals.
Inpatient or outpatient treatment centers or hospitals.
There are many local and national alcohol treatment hotlines available (check your local white and yellow pages).
You can also search for these organizations and health professionals by accessing their Web sites online.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) arranges meetings all over the world to help those who have a desire to quit drinking. You can also receive information, education, and assistance to help you quit drinking alcohol by talking with your doctor, calling an alcohol treatment hotline, or asking your local hospital or alcohol treatment facility.
Today is the day you can begin quitting drinking alcohol. If you are thinking of doing this the first step might be to see a doctor, contact a support group, or even set a date in the near future to quit.
While it is possible for some people to quit drinking on their own, others might need medical assistance to get through the physical process of withdrawal.
If you are thinking of quitting drinking it is important to discuss with your doctor whether you will need to withdraw from alcohol under medical guidance. Medications are available that will help you safely quit drinking alcohol. Medications are also available to assist in maintaining sobriety. With your doctor’s help, withdrawal from alcohol is safer.
Stopping alcohol use can:
*Help you avoid or decrease the likelihood of health problems that arise from alcohol use, such as liver damage.
*If you drink and are pregnant you can quit in order to prevent harm to your unborn baby.
*Aid in reducing related family concerns or relationship problems.
*Increase your ability to be productive at work, school, and home.
*Reduce any legal issues that you might have as a result of misuse of alcohol.
â?˘ Two of the most widely abused substances in the world are alcohol and caffeine.
â?˘ Two broad categories encompass the idea of Alcoholism – abuse and dependence. Dependence is considered the more severe problem since the person typically needs higher quantities of alcohol to become intoxicated. In addition, a person dependent on alcoholic will go through withdrawal symptoms, if alcohol is reduced or stopped.
â?˘ How a person will use alcohol is chiefly influenced by feelings developed during the first 20 years of life. Other peoples attitudes and behaviors toward drinking, peer pressure, societal and familial relationships all impact a personâ??s attitude.
â?˘ The problem of alcohol abuse and dependency and its related problems are escalating. Currently nearly 15% of the US population could be diagnosed as problem drinkers. Roughly 5% to 10% of male drinkers and 3% to 5% of female drinkers could be identified as alcohol dependent – in the USA alone this amounts to about 12 million people.
â?˘ Something in the range of 20% of teens is considered “problem drinkers.” Problem drinking often results in accidents connected to alcohol use, or having difficulties with the law, family members, friends or school.
â?˘ Typically within 10 minutes of taking the first drink the effects of alcohol emerge and will peak between 40 to 60 minutes. Alcohol will stay in the bloodstream until the liver breaks it down. If alcohol is consumed quicker than it can be broken down, the personâ??s blood alcohol concentration level rises.
â?˘ Every state has its own legal definition of what constitutes intoxication. Intoxication is defined by your blood alcohol concentration. The maximum legal limit usually falls between 0.08 and 0.10 in most states.
It is essential to understand the specifics regarding alcoholism since alcoholism is considered one type of drug addiction.
The particular facts that surround alcoholism include recognizing that physical and psychological dependence is involved when dealing with this addiction. Alcohol acts as a depressant on the central nervous system and leads to depression. Depression itself leads to decreased activity, increased anxiety, tension and inhibitions.
Another reality of alcoholism is that alcohol affects how our body and organs function. Gastrointestinal tract irritation can occur through erosion of the esophagus and stomach linings, which in turn causes nausea, vomiting and even bleeding.
Further facts include that when people drink regularly they are not absorbing vitamins properly, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies if the abuse of alcohol continues. Problems with the liver can develop and can lead to a disease called cirrhosis.
Through continued abuse the muscles of the heart can be affected. Sexual dysfunction also occurs in men, causing problems having or maintaining an erection; women may stop producing estrogen.
Come on; admit that you remember what it was like. That stupid melody kept repeating in your head no matter what you did.
You probably tried to listen to another tune, sing another song, or turn on the radio; however, the one in your head just kept on playing. We have all been there. Something was happening in your mind that you didn’t consciously put there and no matter how hard you tried you couldn’t get it out!
Above is a basic example of what a mental obsession is — a mental thought process over which you have no power over. If you comprehend the music scenario, you might understand more about the nature of the disease of alcoholism.
In the mind of an alcoholic, when the drinking “song” starts playing, he becomes powerless to resist the noise. The song wasnâ??t consciously put there and the only obvious way to get it to stop playing, for the alcoholic, is to take a drink.
Unfortunately, for the alcoholic, the mental fixation with alcohol is much more subtle than simply a song playing in his mind. What is truly sad is the fact that he may not even know it’s there. The only thing the alcoholic recognizes is that there is a sudden urge to take a drink — a physical compulsion to drink.
Many people have a problem when thinking of alcoholism as a disease because it simply doesn’t seem like one. It doesn’t look a disease; nor does it sound, smell, or act like a disease. To cap it all, it regularly denies it exists and refuses to accept treatment.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence offers a detailed and complete definition of alcoholism, but perhaps the simplest way to describe it is “a mental obsession that causes a physical compulsion to drink.” Alcoholism has been accepted by professional medical organizations for many years as a major, constant, progressive and at times deadly disease.