Alcoholism is a disease that becomes chronic and progressive as time goes by, the consequence of which can be fatal. Studies by the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reveals that for those that indulge in alcohol, day in and day out, it is just a matter of time before their liver suffers irreparable damage. Dependence on alcohol can be of a psychological, physiological, social or genetic nature. Alcoholism is an abuse of the body and mind, and alcohol dependence considered suicidal, Problem drinkers indulge in alcohol on a regular basis, but unlike chronic drinkers, are not physically and/or emotionally dependent on alcohol. On the other hand, those dependent on alcohol develops a craving that becomes so chronic, as time goes by, that if you offer them a choice between food and alcohol, they would readily choose the latter.
Studies have shown that men are far more addicted to alcohol than women, although, the incidence of alcoholism among women is presently on the rise, particularly among adolescents and college students. The National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) summed up its survey by concluding that there is presently a steady and unrestricted increase of alcohol abuse among those eighteen years of age and over.
As far as women are concerned, the tendency to indulge in alcohol abuse has become a physiological and sensitive issue, considering the fact that alcohol becomes more concentrated in their bloodstream because of their body’s lower water and higher fat content; whereas in men, the enzyme in their stomach breaks down alcohol before reaching the bloodstream. The effect in women is, therefore, more acute than in men, confirming the likelihood that alcohol abuse appears to lead to more serious, long-term consequences. The rate of premature death related to alcohol abuse, is 50 to 100 percent higher for women than for men. This also accounts for the fact that women develop liver disease even when the level of their alcohol intake is lower than that of men. Studies have shown that female alcoholics generally succumb to psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders, the adverse effects of which linger even after the drinking stops.
The intake of alcohol affects everyone differently. There are those that get intoxicated with the first drink. There are others that can consume four or five swills before showing any effect, the reason being that they have built up a tolerance to alcohol. Chronic alcoholics develop a craving that persists as they continue to drink.
Alcoholics generally suffer from depression, anxiety, memory loss, lack of coordination, personality disorders, including aggression and antisocial behaviors. The adverse effects of intoxication include high blood pressure, higher heart rates, irregular heartbeat, stroke, lower rates of respiration, as well as slow reflexes. Excessive alcohol affects the brain and nervous system. It causes fatigue, loss of memory, weakness of eye muscles, liver disorder, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and blood sugar problems, birth defects, neurological problems and cancer.
Detoxification and withdrawal: The process involves medications to prevent delirium tremens or withdrawal seizures. Alcoholics who stop drinking, experience symptoms of withdrawal during the first week. The outcome of detoxification includes insomnia, hallucinations, convulsions, anxiety, profuse perspiration and fever. Of course, with proper supervision and care, such symptoms generally pass before the alcoholic begins to recover.
There are those that partake of alcohol socially and can exercise enough willpower and self-control in their capacity to limit their drinking under such circumstanes. Regrettably, there are those that drink socially but somehow begin to indulge in alcohol at home when they get depressed and overloaded with care and other grievances.
Those that are categorized as chronic drinkers need to focus on the fact that, sooner or later, the price that they pay for doing so, should be calculated in terms of having to suffer the irreversible consequences, physically, mentally and psychologically.