Alcohol addiction and dependence

A physical and psychological dependency on alcohol is alcohol addiction (also known as alcoholism). A person who is addicted to alcohol may not be able to control his\her emotions (due to the changes in brain and neurochemistry). In some cases due to peer pressure people begin with a sip and it goes on a long way, as the consumed alcohol influences the brain function and gives them an extreme feeling of pleasure and makes them feel energized. Also referred to as alcohol use disorder is organized in to mild, moderate and severe categories. Each category has its own harmful side effects and symptoms. Alcohol addiction treatment can be both challenging and complex, and is always depend upon the persons desire to get better.

Individual addicted to alcohol may not always exhibit the similar features as they will depend upon various factors like medical history(individuals) and background. Apart from the symptoms, there are signs that indicate problem include:

  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of interest at school or work
  • Erratic and violent behavior
  • Lack of interest in family and friends
  • Inability to control drinking
  • Decreased involvement in extracurricular activities.

Apart from fatal heart and liver diseases, alcohol can also lead to:

  • Sexual problems
  • Bigger risk of cancer
  • Bone loss
  • Ulcers
  • Birth defects
  • Diabetes complications
  • Vision problems
  • Suppressed immune system

As there is no cure for alcoholism, overcoming alcohol addiction requires both various therapies or treatments and personal dedication and is also a long process. Alcohol addiction treatment plan depends on various personal circumstances like: personal commitment to becoming and remaining sober, level of support from family and friends and also prior history of alcohol dependence. The types of treatment include:

  • Behavioral treatments are led by health professionals and are aimed at changing behavior in drinking through counseling.
  • Medications help people to reduce or stop drinking and also to prevent relapse and may be used alone or in combination with counseling if necessary.

Apart from behavior modification and medications, treatment also include detoxification.If a person attempts to stop consumption of alcohol, serious medical consequences may arise due to the long-term addiction and abuse, and hence proper supervision and medical advice is recommended.Withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism include: Nausea or vomiting, hallucinations, Persistent insomnia, extreme anxiety or agitation, seizures, profuse sweating (even in cold conditions).Sudden consumption of alcohol discontinuation can often induce delirium tremens condition and hence in order to safely discontinue heavy drinking, medical detoxification is needed.