Alcohol Addiction – The Effects

February 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Addictions

First beer or glass of wine, second, third …..your peers keep pouring till you have lost count. First you lost count of the drinks, then you lost count of money spent, then you lost count of the time spent … And finally you are spent. Spent of relationships or family, spent of job, spent of ambition, spent of self-worth… Enter the realm of alcohol addiction.

Unable to cope with mental torture posed by the difficulties in life, some who are low in self-confidence try to find relief in alcohol. Initially they booze to find relief from mental torture by the problems in life. Booze boosts their confidence levels. They feel comfortable among others with alcohol on them. Having tasted the pleasure in this, they do this repeatedly. Alcohol addiction sets in.

They start missing out on school and work. They create trouble both at home and school or office. Family relationships and work place relationships both suffer. Friends are lost. Memory loss takes place more too often. They swindle money to buy alcohol. They have a tryst with the cops. They know what they are doing is wrong. They try to give up on alcoholism. But fail. They feel guilty and miserable. Later they booze to find relief from withdrawal symptoms of alcohol addiction.

Withdrawal symptoms of alcohol addiction range from tremors in their body to hallucinations. The effect of alcohols, change over time and over repeated alcohol abuse. Severe cases end up with cardio disorders, liver and kidney problems, stomach disorders, sexual dysfunction, bone loss, nervous disorders and an increased risk to cancer.

Alcohol addiction brings about other social consequences as well. Many of the traffic deaths, drowning, fire accidents, murders and suicides can be linked to alcohol addiction. Closer home, child abuse, domestic violence and family breakups could be fallout of alcohol addiction.

The alcohol addicts themselves are known to be mostly from families who abused alcohol. Those with emotional disparity are more likely to abuse alcohol. Men are more prone to have alcohol addiction. Genetically too some are more predisposed to becoming an alcohol addict. The earlier in life they get addicted, the more longer and less likely are the chances of rehabilitation.

Addiction treatment involves weekly one-to-one counseling if the addiction is less severe. For more intense cases intensive inpatient care in hospitals is provided. The addict is made to go through detoxification.

Alcohol treatment allows the addict to first continue with alcohol intake but with a reduced frequency and quantity. This is to allow time for his body to cope with withdrawal symptoms. Slowly over the days he is weaned off alcohol completely. Simultaneously he is also put on medications to curb his mood swings and desire for alcohol. Lifetime prescriptions of lifestyle changes are given to him. He has to be careful not to relapse. His family too has to keep a watch on him.

Alcohol anonymous, a support group, can also help the addict with addiction rehab. They have their centre in a number of places and they offer individual as well as group therapies.