What is alcohol addiction?
Alcoholism, often known as alcohol addiction, is a disorder that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Experts have attempted to identify factors that may predispose someone to alcoholism, such as heredity, sex, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. However, there is no single cause. Psychological, genetic, and behavioral factors can all play a role in the disease's progression.
It's critical to remember that alcoholism is a sickness. It can disrupt the brain's chemistry and cause a person with an alcohol addiction to lose control of their behavior.
Alcoholism can manifest itself in a number of ways. The severity of the disease, as well as how often and how much alcohol someone consumes, differs from person to person. Some people binge drink and then stay clean for a while, while others drink heavily all day.
Someone has an alcohol addiction if they strongly rely on drinking and are unable to stay sober for a long period of time, regardless of how the addiction looks.
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What Is Alcohol?
Alcohol is a popular Psychoactive drug that is commonly consumed in social settings. Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, is the intoxicating ingredient in alcoholic beverages that produces the feeling of being drunk. The main types of alcoholic beverages include beer, wine, and liquor.
With an average ABV of 5%, beer has the lowest alcohol content by volume (ABV). The quantity of alcohol a body can metabolize in one hour for most beers is 12 ounces, or a standard drink. The average ABV of wine made from grapes is 12 percent. It has a higher alcohol content than beer but a lower alcohol content than liquor. A basic wine drink is a 5-ounce glass. Whiskey, rum, tequila, gin, and vodka are among the liquors that are regularly mixed with non-alcoholic beverages to make mixed cocktails. The average alcohol by volume (ABV) for liquor is 40%, and a regular drink is 1.5 ounces.
About 20% of alcohol consumed is absorbed through the stomach, while the remaining 80% is absorbed in the small intestine. Alcohol travels from the bloodstream to the rest of the body, disrupting the normal functioning of the body's systems. The bulk of alcohol taken is metabolized by the liver. Long-term alcohol consumption and excessive drinking can place a pressure on this organ, resulting in health problems. Alcohol interacts with neurotransmitters in the brain, causing changes in mood, alertness, and perception.
What are the symptoms of alcoholism?
Addiction to alcohol might be difficult to spot. Alcohol, unlike cocaine or heroin, is freely available and acceptable around the world. It's frequently in the center of social situations and is directly associated with joy and celebration.
For many people, drinking is a way of life. It can be difficult to distinguish between someone who enjoys a few drinks now and then and someone who has a serious issue when it is common in society.
Some symptoms of alcohol addiction are:
- increased quantity or frequency of use
- high tolerance for alcohol, or lack of “hangover” symptoms
- drinking at inappropriate times, such as first thing in the morning, or in places like church or work
- wanting to be where alcohol is present and avoiding situations where there is none
- changes in friendships; someone with an alcohol addiction may choose friends who also drink heavily
- avoiding contact with loved ones
- hiding alcohol, or hiding while drinking
- dependence on alcohol to function in everyday life
- increased lethargy, depression, or other emotional issues
- legal or professional problems such as an arrest or loss of a job
It's critical to search for early warning signs of addiction because it tends to get worse over time. Someone with an alcohol addiction may be able to prevent major consequences of the condition if they are recognized and treated early.
If you're concerned that someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, it's better to approach them with compassion. Don't put them down or make them feel bad. This may push them away and make them more resentful of your assistance.
What health complications are associated with alcoholism?
Alcohol addiction can result in heart disease and liver disease. Both can be fatal. Alcoholism can also cause:
- diabetes complications
- sexual problems
- birth defects
- bone loss
- vision problems
- increased risk of cancer
- suppressed immune function
When someone who is addicted to alcohol takes unsafe risks while drinking, they may endanger others. Drunk driving, for example, claims the lives of 28 people in the United States every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Drinking has also been linked to a higher rate of suicide and homicide.
These complications are reasons why it’s important to treat alcohol addiction early. Nearly all risks involved with alcohol addiction may be avoidable or treatable, with successful long-term recovery.
What are resources for treating alcoholism??
For more information about alcoholism or to help a loved one find options for help,
it may be best to consult our clinic.
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