What is alcoholism, exactly?
Alcohol use disorder (also known as alcoholism) is a pattern of drinking that includes problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, needing to drink more to get the same effect, or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.
Any alcohol consumption that puts your health or safety at risk or causes other alcohol-related problems is considered unhealthy. It also involves binge drinking, which is when a man consumes five or more drinks in less than two hours or a woman consumes at least four drinks in less than two hours. Binge drinking has serious health and safety consequences.
Physical Alcoholism Symptons
According to Bryant and Squeglia, alcohol consumption disorders can be classed as mild, moderate, or severe. The following are some physical indicators of alcoholism:
- Inability to reduce or eliminate drinking
- Alcohol cravings or intense, uncontrolled wants to drink despite severe health effects and troubles at home, school, or job
- Increased tolerance, or the requirement to consume more alcohol to have the same results.
- When you stop drinking, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, restlessness, insomnia, sadness, nausea, sweating, and tremors.
- Spending time unwell or recovering from the effects of alcohol consumption
- Drinking-related blackouts or memory loss
- According to the CDC, about 10% of adults who drink excessively fulfil the criteria for an alcohol use disorder. This can have serious short- and long-term consequences. It’s been related to liver illness, malignancies of many sorts, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
- Alcohol poisoning and physically harmful activity such as unsafe sex or intoxicated driving are examples of short-term physical impacts.
It’s crucial to be aware of behavioural symptoms in addition to physical markers of alcoholism. Hidden drinking, drinking alone, disregarding tasks, losing relationships, needing to drink before social activities, personality changes, and alcohol-related arrests are just a few examples.
Real Alcoholism Effects
Drinking too much alcohol, whether on a single occasion or over time, can be harmful to your health. The effects of alcohol on your body are as follows:
Alcohol affects the way the brain appears and functions by interfering with its communication routes. These disturbances might alter mood and behaviour, making it more difficult to think properly and move with coordination.
- Heart: Drinking excessively over time or on a single event can harm the heart, resulting in complications such as:
- Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart muscle stretches and droops.
Arrhythmias are abnormal heartbeats.
- Blood pressure problems
- Heavy drinking damages the liver, which can result in a range of disorders and inflammations, including:
- Fatty liver, or steatosis
- Hepatitis caused by alcohol
- Cirrhosis Fibrosis
Alcohol causes the pancreas to create poisonous compounds, which can develop to pancreatitis, a life-threatening inflammation and swelling of the pancreatic blood vessels that hinders appropriate digestion.
“There is a clear scientific consensus that alcohol drinking can cause numerous types of cancer,” according to the National Cancer Institute. The National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services identifies alcoholic beverage intake as a known human carcinogen in its Report on Carcinogens.
Professional Alcoholism Treatment
If you or someone you care about is battling with alcoholism, treatment for alcoholism can help you quit drinking and regain control of your life. You don’t have to experience the consequences of alcohol abuse any longer. Continue reading to learn more about the indications, symptoms, and treatment methods used by drug abuse treatment professionals to address alcohol use disorders, as well as how you or a loved one can receive help and go on the road to recovery.
Some Alcoholism Statistics
People from all walks of life are affected by alcoholism. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 88,000 individuals die in the United States each year from alcohol-related causes. 1 And, second only to tobacco, a poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle, alcohol remains one of the most preventable causes of death in the United States.
Alcoholism has a significant impact on the brain, heart, pancreas, mouth, liver, and immune system, among other organs. Despite its harmful consequences, alcohol is consumed by more Americans than ever before. 2 Understanding the risks of alcohol misuse and how it affects society can help you and your loved ones make better decisions.