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Alcohol Addiction Problems and Treatment: A quick guide

Alcohol Addiction Problems and Treatment: A quick guide

All the problems associated with alcohol dependence are quite common in today’s lifestyle. People consume alcohol for numerous reasons, and excessive consumption can bring a negative impact on both their personal and professional lives. Therefore, recovery is essential to avoid extensive damage from alcohol problems. It is equally important to know how to help patients who are on the right path to sobriety.

Alcohol problems

The term “alcohol problems” includes a variety of conditions, like maladaptive, impaired, or harmful social behaviours, health complications, and alcohol dependence. Alcohol-related problems are not experienced only by chronic excessive drinkers, but also by people who drink a lot on isolated occasions.

The alcoholism disease incorporates three basic ideas:

1) A few people can have a certain vulnerability to alcohol misuse.

2) Excessive drinking grows through well-defined stages until the person can no longer handle their drinking habit.

3) It can further lead to numerous types of physical and mental diseases.

Different Aspects of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol-related problems:

Excessive consumption of alcohol alludes to a regular or weekly intake of alcohol, and it surpasses a stated amount. Alcohol misuse means indulging in alcohol consumption that leads to mental, physical, or social harm to a person. There isn’t a single issue but numerous types of alcohol problems that can negatively affect your life, relationships, and personal growth.

Alcohol dependence

Diagnosis of alcohol dependence is done if three or more of the following have been experienced at some point over a year.

  • A strong desire to consume alcohol accompanied by difficulty in managing the addictive behaviour with regard to onset, termination, or levels of consumption.
  • Physiological withdrawal state and indication of tolerance, such that increased doses of alcohol are needed to experience euphoric effects that were initially created by lower doses.
  • Progressive neglect of substitute pleasures or interests, along with spending a lot of time-consuming alcohol and retrieving from its effects. Persisting with substance use, despite seeing the clear evidence of noticeable harmful consequences.

Keep into consideration that alcohol leads to physical, psychological, and social damage. Excessive consumption of alcohol causes physical damage in multiple ways.

First, it has a direct toxic effect on the brain and liver.

Second, it is normally followed by a poor diet which may cause a deficiency of protein and Vitamin B.

Third, it increases the risk of accidents, especially head injury.

Fourth, it is followed by general neglect which can lead to increased susceptibility to infection.

Gastrointestinal disorders are common, notably liver damage, gastritis, peptic ulcer, Esophagal varices, acute and chronic pancreatitis. Additionally, Alcohol consumption is associated with hypertension and an increased risk of stroke.

Alcohol-related psychiatric disorders

Intoxication phenomena – Excessive intake of alcohol causes respiratory depression and vomit inhalation. Things like memory blackouts and short-term amnesia are often reported prior to heavy drinking.

Withdrawal phenomena – It happens across the severity spectrum, from mild anxiety and sleep disturbance, to the life-threatening state of delirium tremens. The signs and symptoms usually happen in people who have been drinking a lot for years and in those who keep a high intake of alcohol for weeks at a time.

The symptoms follow a drop in blood concentration, which happens once the person wakes up because the drop in concentration occurs while they are asleep. Dependent drinkers frequently take a drink after they wake up to get rid of their withdrawal symptoms. Early morning drinking is a major red flag of alcohol dependency.

With a growing need to stave off withdrawal symptoms during the day, the drinker turns secretive about the amount consumed, they hide the bottles or carry them in their pockets. Moreover, cheap alcohol is consumed daily, as the quantity is more and you have to pay less to purchase it. The early and a common sign of alcohol withdrawal is acute tremulousness that affects the hands, legs, and torso.

The patient may not be able to sit still or hold a cup steady. Not only this, but they are restless and easily startled. Nausea, vomiting, and sweating profusely are frequent signs, along with consistent bouts of insomnia. If alcohol is consumed, these symptoms may be relieved quickly, if not, they may last for numerous days. As withdrawal grows, misperceptions and hallucinations may also happen. Also, there may be an epileptic seizure, and after 48 hours delirium tremens can start developing.

Associated Psychiatric disorders – As the patient becomes obsessed with the need to consume alcohol, interpersonal skills, attendance to normal interests and responsibilities can decline. Suicidal rates among alcoholics are a lot higher compared to people who don’t drink. Alcoholics have impaired psychosexual function, they start to believe that their partner is unfaithful to them.

Auditory hallucinations – It leads to insulting or threatening voices that can happen to the patient, and this symptom has a good diagnosis if temperance can be handled.

Social damage – Marital and family tension is virtually inevitable.

Treatment of Alcohol Abuse 

Keep in mind that your alcohol problems and mental health are heavily inter-connected. The one treatment that’s best for you depends on your condition and goals. Most people find that a mixture of treatments works well, and you can acquire them together through a suitable program. If you prefer, you can stay at a treatment centre for a while. However, there are many programs where you can stay at home and visit the centre periodically for treatment. Consult our mental health professionals to understand what might be the best treatment procedure for you or your loved one.

Some common treatments for the various types of alcohol problems are:

  • Educating them about alcohol dependance and addressing their denial
  • Motivation Enhancement Therapy
  • Professional Support and advice
  • Withdrawing alcohol (controlled drinking)
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Couple therapy

Family Therapy

  • Medication (disulfiram, acamprosate) prescribed by Psychiatrists
  • Raise awareness about the contrast between alcohol user’s aims and behaviour.

Treatment of alcohol dependence is generally performed with medication (benzodiazepines) in the first week, and it’s accompanied by psychological treatments such as group therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy and couple therapy.

Some medications to assist and maintain sobriety are Disulfiram. It works by obstructing the oxidation of alcohol so that acetaldehyde gathers and leads to unpleasant reactions upon alcohol consumption. Drugs like acamprosate which subdues the desire to drink alcohol may also be used.

Why Seek Treatment?

When you make up your mind to stop alcohol consumption, you will be involved in activities that need immense focus and dedication because you’ve spent a large chunk of your time on alcohol in the past. Once you are sober, there is a high possibility that you may relapse and start consuming alcohol again. Therefore, self-help groups, psychotherapy, and regular medication can prevent a relapse from happening by offering an opportunity to learn from your own mistakes. Rehabilitations programs have a great rate of recovery.

People are exposed to a new life without alcohol after becoming a part of a professional de-addiction center. Your life goes in a positive new direction, which helps you deal with withdrawal symptoms in the best way. Also, you will realize the beauty of the world waiting outside. The concept is simple, under no circumstances should you spoil your health just because of puerile reasons. Always think about the right path and reach out for alcohol problems help if you or your loved one is addicted to alcohol and want to live an alcohol-free life.

FAQ: Alcohol problems: All you need to know 

Q1. Why do some people react differently to alcohol compared to others?

Alcohol has a huge impact on each organ in the body. It is a central nervous system depressant that is quickly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream, and it is metabolized in the liver by enzymes. However, the liver can only metabolize a tiny amount of alcohol at a time, leaving the excess alcohol to circulate throughout the body. The alcohol’s impact and intensity on the body are directly associated with the amount consumed.

Q2. Is drinking alcohol bad for my health if I am underage?

Absolutely, yes! Many studies suggest that alcohol consumption by adolescents and young adults increases the risk of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. Some expert’ research have also displayed that people who consume alcohol before age of 15 are six times more likely to become alcohol dependent compared to adults who start drinking at the age 21.

Why Choose Cadabams?

If you’re determined to lead an alcohol-free life, selecting the best rehabilitation center is the best way to start fresh and healthy. At Cadabams, experts can help addicts to find all the assistance they need to start rehabilitation and lead a normal life. They can help you manage and overcome your alcohol, drug, and other kinds of addiction via well-planned programs.

You can call us on our mental health helpline +91 96111 94949 for further details on getting alcohol treatment in India or any alcoholism-related emergencies.

Disclaimer – We strive to treat our patients with dignity and the utmost sensitivity for a broad spectrum of alcoholism-related issues, and ensure that we use politically correct language with them. We understand that alcohol addiction is a disease, and it is not a sign of weakness. In case you, or a loved one, are struggling with alcoholism and share a unique perspective on how we can improve this content for our readers, do reach out to us at info@cadabams.org