Alcohol has been popular throughout these days after discovered as far back as 4,300 BC. Its popularity couldn't be controlled even banned. There seems to be no slowdown today. Here we look at the dangers of regular excessive alcohol consumption.
What is alcohol?
Alcohol is one of the byproducts of mixing yeast with sugar. The actual chemical name is ethanol and this is the only form of alcohol "safe" for human consumption.
Different methods of fermentation have led to a variety of drinks. Most people today can easily consume alcohol without it being a problem. However, it's when consumption is excessive and / or prolonged that difficulties can occur.
What is an alcohol problem?
The definition of an alcohol problem is when the amount that is drunk can't be controlled. This can be for a variety of reasons:
Cravings - After a period without alcohol there are cravings and an urge to drink again.
No control - The inability to control the amount of alcohol drunk on a given day / night.
Withdrawal symptoms - Physical sensations like shakiness and anxiety are felt when alcohol has not been consumed for a longer period than normal.
Tolerance - When there is a need to drink more to have the same feeling.
Signs of an alcohol problem
A problem with alcohol may not be obvious to the sufferer. There is difficulty in admitting the problem exists. Some signs of a possible alcohol problem include:
work / job problems
- time off / excessive sickness
- excessive lunchtime drinking
- physical symptoms
- psychological symptoms
- change in personality
- shy becomes confident
- relaxed becomes angry
- family problems
- concealment of bottles etc.
- guilt about drinking
- dislike of conversation pertaining to alcohol
- social problems
- drink related offenses
- fighting / assault
- DUI / drink driving
- ongoing drinking after problem identified
- Getting treatment for an alcohol problem
Alcohol problems can be easily identified if the sufferer is honest and there are now a variety of treatments available. The most common and the one everyone thinks of is Alcoholics Anonymous and their 12 step plan and meetings. There are further methods.
A doctor or physician now has 2 drugs to help wean someone off alcohol (antabuse and naltrexone). The medical professional can also help identify and treat any underlying problems that could be causing the alcoholism.
Counseling or cognitive behavior therapy can be a vital tool. Not only the sufferer but the sufferers family can be involved in the treatment.
Cutting down by gradually by regularly decreasing the amount that is drunk is a popular method. The aim is to reduce alcohol intake to safe levels. These are 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.
If the problem is severe and any alcohol consumption is hard to control then complete abstention might be the best choice. Even this should be done gradually as well to ease the inevitable Withdrawal symptoms.
There is research to show alcohol Addiction is genetic, it certainly seems to run in families. Whatever the cause, alcohol can be a debilitating Addiction that can have a devastating impact on families as well as the sufferer themselves.