April 9, 2010
Understanding The Effects Of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse is a major problem worldwide with whole communities and sometimes nations affected by it. Drinking can easily turn from a fun social activity into a dependency problem, and quite often one is not even aware that this has taken place. The damage that alcohol abuse causes to oneā??s health, to oneā??s near and dear ones and to society is severe. Thousands of unavoidable deaths are attributable to this problem, and it also leads to crime and domestic violence.
It is therefore important that one learns to recognize the signs of alcohol abuse, so that one can help a loved one who is exhibiting such symptoms. Because social drinking is so rampant, and we drink so casually all the time, one sometimes tends to overlook the first signs of alcoholism. The major distinguishing factor in alcoholism is the focus on drinking, in preference to any other activity, including, socializing, sports or working. There may be reasons other than social for one to start drinking. For instance one might start drinking to overcome a traumatic past or to get over a love affair gone badly.
Increased dependence on drinking leads to one becoming an alcoholic, which means that one has become physically dependent on alcohol and no longer has any control over the quantity that one is drinking. Alcoholism is not really about weak will power; it has more to do with altered brain chemistry compelling one to drink.
Even if one does not drink on a daily basis, but indulges in huge bouts of binge drinking one might be an alcoholic. There are some people who believe that drinking soft liquor like beer and wine cannot lead one to becoming an alcoholic. That is just not true, for one would only be drinking more to compensate for the lower percentage of alcohol in the drink. Another big mistake that people make is to not take alcohol addiction on par with other forms of narcotic addiction. Alcohol can be as bad as any narcotic, and giving it up can be just as difficult, with terrible withdrawal symptoms.
Why certain people tend to become alcoholics and others are able to exercise restraint has a lot to do with oneā??s reasons for drinking. If it is for fun, and reasons of socializing, it is okay as long as one does not use alcohol to mask oneā??s lack of social skills or get us out of depression. Also if one has a history of alcoholism in the family one may be more genetically predisposed to becoming an alcoholic. Also people with a history of mental illness are also at risk, as alcohol quite often worsens their symptoms. Or one might turn to the bottle to cope with a life changing situation or an extremely stressful situation.
Thus we see that alcohol abuse takes many shapes and there is a complex interplay of reasons for anyone to turn that way.