September 4, 2007
Halting Your Drinking Problem
Alcohol abuse patterns vary. Some people get drunk every day; others drink large amounts of alcohol at specific times, such as on the weekend. It is common for someone with an alcohol or drug problem to call in sick for work on Monday or Friday. He or she may complain of having a virus or the flu. Others may be sober for long periods and then go on a drinking binge that lasts for weeks or months. Someone with alcohol dependence may suffer serious withdrawal symptoms, such as trembling, delusions, hallucinations, and sweating, if he or she stops drinking suddenly ("cold turkey"). Once alcohol dependence develops, it becomes very difficult to stop drinking without outside help. Medical detoxification may be needed.
Is alcohol causing a problem in my life? Have your family or friends ever complained about your drinking? Have you been late to or absent from work because of hangovers? Have you ever driven after drinking? Have you had trouble with the law after drinking? Have you gotten into a fight after drinking? Do you drink even when you don’t feel well? Has your doctor told you that you have health problems related to drinking? Have you ever tried to quit drinking? Have you ever had a blackout while drinking? Do you sometimes have a drink in the morning to stop your hands from trembling or to ease a hangover? Do you end up drinking more than you meant to drink? Have you stopped doing things you used to do because you would rather drink? Do you drink more than you used to drink? If you said yes to any of these questions, drinking may be a problem for you.
Anecdotal evidence also suggests the first six weeks of the first semester are crucial to freshmen academic success, according to the NIAAA report. And because the early part of freshman year is when many students engage in heavy drinking, it may interfere with successful adaptation to campus life, the report read. About one-third of first-year students fail to enroll for their second year.
Financially these costs are estimated at more than 100 billion dollars per year. The financial costs are also high for those 1 out of 10 people who do seek help for their alcohol problem. Besides the above costs there are many others that are associated with alcohol abuse and addition. There are alcohol related automobile tickets and/or accidents. Blackouts can be a serious consequence of drinking. Depression often becomes a problem and relationships are damaged or completely ruined. People often start drinking at parties or socially from time to time and then may progress to serious and problematic drinking. There are people who are more at risk when it comes to alcoholism than others. Families who have members who are prone to having problems with alcohol should be especially careful when it comes to drinking.
This is how alcohol takes control of the alcoholic’s life! Their thinking is literally impaired! The alcoholics don’t really have a mind of their own. Alcohol speaks for them. Many decisions an alcoholic makes are based on or around drinking. Most alcoholics think they are independent minded, but they are far from being independent thinkers. Unbeknownst to the alcoholic who is in denial is how dependent minded they really are. Always concerned about when and where they are going to get their next drink. Alcoholics will make up acceptable reasons WHY they can drink. It’s a fact of their life that seventy five percent of their waking minds are spent on thinking about drinking or drinking alcohol. Alcoholics have a hard time growing up, even when they are adults. Their reasoning is not sound, but foolishness to the ears. Because they are locked in their own little world of alcohol, they never mature into the potential of who they can become because they are being drowned with alcoholic lies everyday.
The slurring phase of being drunk. The next parts of the brain that come into the firing line, the parietal lobes are affected at a blood alcohol level of approximately 0,10 g/100ml. Then your motor skills become impaired, you have difficulty speaking, you speak in slurred fashion (which oddly enough, you cannot hear yourself), you start shivering, and complicated actions become very difficult to execute (I always used to watched alleged drunk drivers trying to fasten their shirt buttons – an everyday activity that suddenly becomes as difficult as threading a needle). At the same time your sensory abilities are hampered. The can’t-see-properly phase or being drunk. If the occipital lobe is reached, the alcohol level is usually about 0,20 g/100ml. Your visual perception ability becomes limited. You have increasing difficulty to perceive movement and distance. Your depth perception becomes impaired and your peripheral vision decreases. If you now drive at dusk, you will have great difficulty seeing the little boy running after his ball, or your fellow drinking buddy, staggering by the roadside.
Consuming alcohol on a regular basis also becomes a habit after a while, just like driving down a familiar road. If there is a problem, or a social setting that calls for alcohol, you may be grabbing that bottle of beer or glass of wine without even thinking about it. Once you get in the habit of drinking alcohol on a more or less regular basis, your body gets used to the alcohol in the blood stream and reacts with withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. These withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe.