Alcoholism - Health Center
By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST
Alcoholism does not seem like much of a problem to a large number of people. However, deep down it plays a host towards the rising of major issues and problems in a person’s mental and physical growth level. Addicts have a very hard time adapting in the society and are therefore traumatized.
Alcoholism Causes: The Reason Why People are addicted
The causes for the rise of alcoholism in people differ from one addict to the other. This problem rises over a period of time and does not occur over a night. There are many factors such as genetic, emotional and social that gives rise to the generation of alcoholism in people. Due to such reasons, when a person is to cope with the stresses of life, alcohol seems like an easy way out.
Let’s take a close look over the factors which lead to alcoholism in people:
1. Genetic: There is no denying of the fact that alcoholism runs in families. There is a high chance of the occurrence of alcoholism in the upcoming generations when parents have an addictive tendency towards it. Alcoholics who’ve had parents and grandparents DEALING with addiction consciously experiment with alcohol and mostly become addicted to it. Researchers have provided evidence that there is a greater susceptibility of alcohol inheritance in people who have families dealing with the same problems.
2. Emotional issues: Another reason that gives rise to the problem of addiction is the emotional issues that may arise from the physical and mental issues that a person may be dealing with. They may include depression, low self esteem or sexual issues. It has been proved that people who are known to suffer from physical or mental abuse are more prone to turn towards alcoholism as an excuse or escape from their situation and numbing the internal pain. The coping strategy that they hope to gain from alcohol only lasts for some time. It is, however, taken over by addiction
3. Mental Issues: Several mental issues such as depression cause people to turn over to alcohol in order to feel better. People turn towards alcohol as a way towards self medication, but it leads to the formation of dangerous drinking habits and a personal struggle. Within months, the body develops a dependence on alcohol and thus the brain develops a ‘reward mechanism’ by which every time a person drinks alcohol, he ends up feeling better for him.
Apart from these, young people under the peer pressure sometimes are forced to take up drinking in order to be a member of their group. Also, people with low self esteem and problems with relationships turn to alcohol as a way of DEALING with the stress. Alcohol emerges as a way of escape to the people who lead a stressful life and have an easy access to alcohol.
Whatever the reasons, once the body becomes dependent upon alcohol, it becomes very difficult to remove this dependency from the drink and this leads to the addiction.
Alcoholism Symptoms: Signs That Say You Need Help
The problem with alcoholism is that the person who suffers from it cannot see its symptoms. Only the people around him are able to judge that it’s time for an intervention. There is a line between social drinking and problem drinking. If people are saying to you to take some help regarding the same, but you are not able to see it, then take a look at the following symptoms. If you face them all, then it’s time to look for another way of out this problem.
1. Neglecting your responsibilities: People suffering from alcohol abuse repeatedly neglect their responsibilities at work, home and school. The common signs of these may be poor performance at the workplace, missing the classes or meetings, neglecting family needs and the kids and often skipping out on some of the major occasions under the influence of alcohol.
2. Taking extensive risks: People facing a problem with alcohol and substance abuse often use alcohol, even in the situations when it may prove to be physically dangerous for them. For instance, driving while you are drunk, operating heavy machinery under the influence of alcohol or even taking alcohol along with the prescribed medicine can prove to be dangerous for people.
3. Experiencing legality issues: Often, alcohol may prove to be the reason for the rise of legal problems in people. There have been examples where alcoholic people are suited to have created petty fights at social occasions or have driven under the influence of alcohol.
4. Having problems with acceptance: Alcoholics are known to drink even when they have been facing problems due to their drinking habits. If you know that alcohol is going to upset your relationship with your family or cause you a problem at your work, and you still cannot accept the thought of putting it all behind you, then it’s a major sign.
5. De-stressing agent: Alcoholism starts when people tend to use alcohol as a medium of the stressing and relieving them after a hard day at work. However, if alcohol is acting as a way to run away from responsibilities and problems that you should be DEALING with instead, then it’s turning into an addiction.
The warning signs of alcoholism follow. The person displays the following symptoms such as:
• Great anxiety
• Shakiness and insomnia
• Irritability and loss of appetite
• Fatigue and headache
Even though sometimes alcoholics want to cut down on the amount of drinks that they have, they find it very difficult to put away the desire to stop drinking as alcohol consumes most of their time and energy. If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms, then it is time to seek some intervention and take a turn for better things.
Quitting Alcoholism: A Self Help Guide
It may prove out to be a long journey in order to quit alcoholism, but the first step is trying. Though at times, addicts complain that it is almost impossible to give up, with the timely support and help, alcohol addiction can be overcome, no matter how bad it seems. The following are the basic steps in order to start the detoxification and making leaps towards quitting alcoholism.
1. Committing and abstinence:
It is impossible to bring out a change overnight when you are dealing with alcohol addiction. However, since recovery is a measured process, admitting that you have an addiction is the first step. It is important to acknowledge your problem rather than running away from it in order to change your drinking pattern. The most standard way to deal with the addiction is to weigh the pros and cons of drinking.
Usually, when people draw out the pros and cons of their drinking, they end up understanding the tremendous loss which they inflict upon themselves. When this acceptance comes in, it becomes possible for the person to commit towards decreasing the intake of alcohol and thereby give it up gradually.
2. Setting goals and working towards change:
The second step, next to acceptance is to set up the goals in order to be more realistic to give up your drinking problem.
These goals may consist of abstaining from all kinds of temptations in the nearby environment which may prod you to keep on drinking. It may involve announcing your decision to your family, friends and colleagues so that they can monitor your alcohol intake. Also, you should be avoiding all kinds of people that may prove to be a bad influence to you, or who do not support your decision of giving up on drinking.
It is very tough to give up drinking completely in the beginning. However, the goals which you set up for yourself, may include the following:
• Setting up of a drinking goal: You must choose for yourself a limit of drink that you can have in a day. It should not be more than two drinks a day.
• Maintaining a diary: Maintaining a dairy has proved out to be a great exercise as you can keep a track of the drinks that you have on a weekly basis in that. This will prove to be a record for your drinking habits and will help you to monitor your progress in the upcoming months.
• Staying away from alcohol: Make sure that you do not keep any supplies of alcohol in your home and get rid of the earlier supplies as well.
• Take short breaks: it is recommended to slow down your drinking in order to quit. Make sure that you sip your drinks slowly and keep a break of one hour between your drinks. Also, ensure that you do not consume alcohol on an empty stomach. Always eat when consuming alcohol.
3. Seeking support:
Once you decide to quit your alcohol addiction, a variety of symptoms may crop up. Along with the alcohol withdrawal, a large number of symptoms such as headache, shaking, SWEATING, nausea, vomiting, anxiety and restlessness as well as trouble concentrating may come up. This leads to the decrease in the overall efficiency of the body and may cause an elevated heart rate along with the condition of high blood pressure. These symptoms of delirium start appearing in people as soon as they give up on their alcohol consumption.
When experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek medical help over the same. These symptoms however are short lived and may end up after five days.
4. Diverting your concentration:
The best way to divert your concentration away from alcohol once you have stopped quitting is by taking care of yourself and combating all the mood swings and building a strong support system around you that will ensure that you can stay motivated and on the path of recovery all the time. Also, it is important to develop new hobbies and activities that can provide your life with a meaning and purpose. With the diversion of attention, it becomes very hard to pay enough attention to alcohol. Also, it is a must to continue the treatment as staying sober will be the biggest challenge once you have decided to overcome your alcoholism.
5. Handling the cravings:
It is normal to have cravings once you have decided to abstain from alcohol. However, it is mandatory that you should abstain from all of them in order to quit drinking all together. If certain people are acting as the trigger to invite you into drinking, then you should be avoiding them at all costs. Also, that would mean making immense changes into your social life and circle of friends. Practice saying no to alcohol and the people when they OFFER you a drink at a social gathering. Also, make sure that whenever you get cravings like these, you talk to someone whom you can trust or you could distract yourself for the time being by engaging in some other meaningful activity.
Though it is agreed that quitting alcohol is not a simple task, but by following the above mentioned techniques, it will become simpler for you to abstain from drinking alcohol and getting rid of your addiction problem.
After all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.