August 22, 2009
The clinical term for alcohol dependence is alcoholism. Alcoholism is loosely defined as the inability to control the amount of alcohol that is consumed. Alcohol is considered to abused when unhealthy drinking habits exist such as drinking too much in one sitting or drinking to excess daily. Continued abuse of alcohol can lead to dependence which in turn can affect nearly every aspect of the abusers life. Addiction is dangerous as the person who is addicted often feels that without alcohol in their lives there is nothing to live for. A dependence of this nature is mentally and physically unhealthy and is very difficult to break the dependence, as explained in this Alcoholic book review.
If you hang around people who drink often you may be aware already of what the signs of alcoholism are. The signs include problems with work or school, drinking in situations where you will be driving, blackouts, legal problems, and getting hurt or hurting others while drinking. A few other symptoms of addiction include cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include sweating, nausea, or anxiety. Dependency is dangerous for many reasons however one of the most vital is that the person often must drink more and more in order to feel the same way when drinking. Denial is common among alcoholics as they are often too close to the problem to be convinced that it is ruining their lives.
If a person who has been dependent upon alcohol decides to quit they may go through withdrawal which can be emotionally and sometimes physically painful. In addition to a high level of distress, alcohol withdrawal is also associated with impairment in social, occupational, and other areas of an individual’s functioning. Other medical symptoms of withdrawal include autonomic hyperactivity, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, hypothermia, tremor, nausea, vomiting, insomnia and frequently anxiety.
Another problem in today’s society is binge drinking by teenagers. Binge drinking can cause many problems among teens, not the least of which is poor performance in school, difficulty in simple math or the inability to read a map. Adolescent alcohol abuse and dependence may prove to be more damaging than alcoholism in adulthood by killing brain cells in the hippo campus, blocking brain receptors that form memories and causing protracted neurological impairments, the researchers say. research suggests that teens who binge drink may do damage to their memory and learning abilities by severely hampering the development of the hippo campus.
There are several reasons for why teenagers might begin experimenting with alcohol in the first place. Genetics are often a large factor. If a teen has grown up in a family where drinking is a problem, he or she might be more likely to develop the same problem. A teenager’s personality can also have a lot to do with alcohol abuse. If the teen is rebellious, feels like a failure, or is unable to form close relationships with people, he or she is more likely to seek out alcohol and other substances. The thrill of taking a risk could also leading to abuse of alcohol. There are many more, such as easy access to alcohol, or having untreated ADHD or depression. Peer pressure is also a large factor in the abuse of alcohol by teens.
If you are concerned that someone close to you is abusing alcohol, there are several courses of action that you can take. If they have experienced alcohol poisoning, like unconsciousness, seizures, of difficulty breathing, or withdrawal symptoms like confusion or trembling, you should call 911, especially if they are talking about suicide or other forms of violence. If the person involved has a history of drinking, but refuses to get help, you should call a health professional at once. Oftentimes, if the person agrees to be evaluated for a possible treatment, they probably won’t follow through with it, in which case you should definitely call a doctor. Many people stay in denial of the fact that they are addicted to alcohol, which is very serious as it can lead to further abuse.
In order to be successful with treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence, the abuser must be willing to admit that there is a problem and that they want to stop drinking. There is also a physical aspect of the success of alcohol abuse treatment. If the drinker is physically dependent on alcohol, treatment can take a long time. Completely stopping to drink needs to be the first step, and then treatment focuses on relieving withdrawal symptoms. Afterward, it focuses on staying sober. Some people may need medicine that help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal.
Also, counseling and support groups are a fundamental part of treatment, as it helps with the mental aspect of recovering from alcohol abuse. There are many Alcoholic books on the Internet to chose from, but you can rely on Ed Philips Alcoholic book to find all of the answers to how to stop drinking alcohol.
August 14, 2009
If you are a sufferer of alcoholism, you are probably cheating yourself into thinking that you are just a consumer of alcohol, whereby the reality is that alcoholism is consuming you. That includes the consumption of your salary, your physical energy, your time that could be better spent and the one that tops the list is your health.
Alcoholism means addiction to consuming alcoholic beverages despite the knowledge of their detrimental physical and social consequences. Medics define alcoholism as a disease which disables a person from controlling the urge to take alcohol. Alcoholism, therefore, implies a tendency for compulsive consumption of alcohol and an inability to acknowledge its negative effects.
Some people consume alcohol, have problems with it but suppress its characteristics and symptoms. This is termed as ‘alcohol abuse’. It also implies that the subject indulges in excessive drinking of alcohol but does not completely lose his control over its use. He may not have become fully dependent upon it like an alcohol addict.
This is a very serious disease as backed up by statistics produced by the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, which has estimated that in the region of 18 million Americans abuse alcohol. This is also highlighted by figures showing that over 100,000 Americans die of alcohol related health problems and that 50% of road deaths are due to driving under the influence of alcohol.
Even when it comes to the really hardened alcohol consumers, they too will refuse to admitting that they are addicts. They will drink with a certain caution and will spread out the drinks they consume in different places throughout the day. The problem is that once they start like that, it is so difficult to keep on track as they will drink larger quantities and at a faster pace.
Their memory begins to fail them as they begin to forget their social commitments and this is medically termed as ‘blacking out’. Interest is lost in any pleasurable entertainment or activity as their mind begins to only focus on the next drinking occasion. Irritation is caused if they are unable to get their next dose and they will eventually fall out with the most important people in their lives. Their tolerance to high alcohol levels grows and they end up just drinking more and more in order to feel its effects.
Alcoholism or otherwise the physical dependence on alcohol is a disease that gradually takes over our body. The balance in brain chemicals like gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), is altered with the increase of alcohol intake which will help to the control the impulsiveness while glutamate will excite our nervous system. The dopamine level in the brain increases through the presence of alcohol which can lead to excitable behavior. Continued drinking will either multiply or deplete these chemical levels causing the body to crave for more alcohol, whichever the case may be.
The best option an alcoholic has is to look at Alcoholism treatment programs available on the internet, as alcoholic support is available for quick effective treatment.
The decision to confront an alcoholic is never an easy one to make. The most important thing is you should never attempt it when the alcoholic is currently under the influence of alcohol. The confrontation should be planned when he or she is sober. Confronting an alcoholic is sometimes called an intervention and must be carefully planned according to recommended expert guidelines, preferably those issued by a knowledgeable organization like Al-Anon which is the support group for family members of alcoholics. Also, prior to confronting an alcoholic, you should check with the person’s doctor or a specialist in treating alcoholic disorders to determine how to prepare yourself and any others who might be helping you to confront a drinker about whom you are concerned. We have listed nine tips that may be helpful in preparing for an intervention.
Instead of formulating a confrontation plan on your own, see what the experts advise by talking to the Al-Anon association in your area. People there can advise you how to plan the intervention, and provide useful resources and information, too. If Al-Anon is unavailable in your area, make an appointment with a licensed therapist, counselor, or psychologist to discuss the nature of the problem and how it might best be approached. Although confronting an alcoholic can be similar in many respects for many families, it is a good idea to clarify unique circumstances or personal characteristics that could make a difference on the outcome.
When someone you care about comes home drunk, it can be tempting to let loose and criticize him roundly for being intoxicated yet again. But that will not serve the purpose, as the drunk will tune out the criticism for the time being, or forget about it the next day, when sober, and thus be unable to do anything about it. It is essential to catch the person when sober, and hopefully when he is in a reasonable frame of mind to hear your concerns. If no spontaneous opportunities occur, you can try to schedule a talk after dinner or at another time when the two of you can be uninterrupted.
Other relatives, close friends, or even members of Al-Anon that you may have met can by your supporters, as they may have been in comparable situations as you at some point. They may even decide to join you in confronting the alcoholic in your family. That decision can depend on you and the circumstances involving the person who drinks too much, as well as professional opinions about the situation.
You cannot be weak or indirect when confronting an alcoholic. You must use a matter-of-fact tone in your voice and simply state the cause and effect of the individual’s drinking. Use examples of the alcoholic’s troubled behaviors and the consequent results. Try to support your statements with dates, amounts of alcohol consumed, occurrences of negative behavior and even the amounts spent on drinking. It requires a lot of backbone to confront an alcoholic, so make sure to stand strong and firm. Stay calm and refer back to the facts should the alcoholic want to argue.
An alcoholic often learns how to sidestep responsibility and manipulate other people to disregard his misdeeds or cover for him at work or in public in order to continue his habits. If you find yourself enabling the drinking, the alcoholic may presume he can have his way again to get out of the intervention without making any changes. Part of an intervention’s impending success lies in the family member who leads it being able to change also. Ending the cycles that support the alcoholic’s drinking is essential in helping them overcome their problem. Never allow the alcoholic to defeat what you are trying to accomplish.
Coupled with confronting an alcoholic with the consequences of his behavior is the need for a plan of recovery. If you are working with Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon, they can help you with making arrangements for a problem drinker to enter a rehabilitation program, either on site at a facility for this purpose, or as an outpatient in a local clinic or support group. In some cases, a halfway house might be an appropriate alternative. Find out ahead of time if a particular detoxification program will accept the problem drinker you are working with, and make preliminary arrangements for the person to be admitted immediately following the intervention. Make it clear that you cannot guarantee the drinker will enroll, much less stay with the program, unless he accepts the program as part of his new life of abstaining from drink.
If the alcoholic agrees to go into rehab, family members should try to provide support and encouragement during the detoxification phase and rehabilitation program, which involves patient and family education and can last anywhere between several days to several months. Most programs last 28 days or less, given people’s job and family responsibilities, and some of the rehabilitators can continue as a non-resident while resuming career and household duties. However the program plays out, love, acceptance, and willingness to support changes in lifestyle can go a long way toward helping the alcoholic become successful in rehabilitation.
As I mentioned above briefly, family members who are living with an alcoholic must also be willing to take responsibility for their own behavior and make any necessary changes, as well. Some required adjustments might include refusing to cover for an alcoholic’s inability to go to work by reporting him absent, paying bills that the drinker should pay when he has spent his paycheck for alcoholic beverages, and letting the drunkard abuse or terrorize the family by acts of recklessness or violence. It is not surprising that sobriety can actually make life harder for the drinker and his family as everyone adjusts to new rules and learns how to follow through consistently. Some alcoholics can be ill- tempered, demanding, and peevish, while others may act guilty, embarrassed, or repentant.
After confronting an alcoholic, results may not appear automatically. The drinker may vacillate between agreeing to rehab and resisting it, or he may enter rehab but leave early or fall off the wagon after completing the program. Nothing is guaranteed. After confronting an alcoholic, all you can do is continue to hold your line and wait for the drinker’s response. That alone will determine the outcome of your intervention. If the drinker opts not to continue treatment or it proves unsuccessful, the family should continue to receive counseling and support as they make decisions about the future.
One of the most difficult things is to live with an alcoholic. Their inability to control their drinking creates problems for not only themselves but for everyone around them. It can be hard for family to separate themselves from the drinker and create effective boundaries against the alcoholic in order to prevent the drinker’s problems from spreading. With knowledge, professional support, and loads of assurance, relatives can incorporate a dose of tough love into their confrontation to give that person a chance at recovery. An intervention is a positive step in the right direction, a direction that includes admitting a problem and choosing to have the willingness to take action to end the addiction. These steps will lead to a better life for both the drinker and those he loves.