Alcohol addiction symptoms, stages of alcoholism, treatment methods.
Alcohol addiction is a progressive systematic use and an irresistible craving for alcohol. People with alcoholism are not able to control their desire for a drink. They will continue to drink even when this habit begins to cause problems. Like all diseases, alcohol addiction can occur in people of any gender, race, with any social status and demographic location. It is difficult to determine the correct cause of the disease. According to experts, alcohol dependence is the result of a combination of genetic, environmental and behavioral factors. Those who suffer from this ailment become physically dependent on alcohol. This is because alcohol affects the neurochemical elements in the brain. Individual attempts to stop cause symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Alcohol and drug addiction are very common. They are a serious problem in the modern world. 50% of deaths from accidents, homicides and suicides in one way or another are related to the use of alcohol or drugs. Often teens experiment with certain types of substances out of curiosity or for company. Many of them do not attach importance to the fact that the dosage and frequency of use are gradually increasing. Ultimately, addiction develops.
What happens when alcohol enters the body?
When a person drinks, alcohol, once in the bloodstream, flows through the body, reaching the brain, heart, muscles and other tissues. As the concentration of alcohol in the blood increases, alcohol intoxication occurs. Due to the influence exerted on the central nervous system, the reaction to stimuli gradually decreases, changes in behavior occur.
There are 6 stages of intoxication:
- Euphoria. This condition is characterized by the appearance of feelings of happiness, fun. Usually occurs immediately after taking the first dose of alcohol. At this stage, there is a decrease in concentration, a slowdown in reactions, a feeling of confidence and emancipation appears. A person can begin to do and say things and words unusual for him.
- Loss of control. This is the stage at which a person begins to more difficult to perceive information, the reaction is slow, vision can blur. At this stage, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain balance, a feeling of drowsiness appears.
- Confusion. At this point, the ability to correctly perceive color, shape, size and movement disappears. Muscle coordination is impaired, which can lead to loss of balance and a fall. Speech becomes incoherent, emotionality increases.
- Stupor. At this stage of alcoholic intoxication, a complete loss of motor functions occurs. There are frequent cases of vomiting, loss of control over the intestines and bladder.
- Coma. There is a loss of consciousness. Body temperature can rise or fall sharply. Sometimes there are problems with breathing and blood circulation.
- Death. There is a respiratory arrest, death occurs.
It seems obvious that a person should stop drinking as soon as the stage of euphoria sets in. But in reality this happens very rarely. The problem is that with the weakening of reason, the ability to make rational decisions comes to naught. The more a person drinks, the more he wants.
Symptoms of Alcoholism
Alcohol addiction can manifest itself in different ways. Signs and symptoms of the disease vary greatly between people. For example, some consume alcohol on a daily basis. While others drink periodically, thereby effectively hiding their condition from loved ones, friends and colleagues. People who struggle with alcohol addiction feel that they cannot exist without alcohol. Drinking is a high priority in their lives.
The following are some common symptoms that indicate a problem with drinking alcohol:
- A constant desire to drink, which distracts from everyday activities.
- Lack of control and willpower. A person begins to drink daily, cannot stop.
- Increased tolerance to ethanol.
- Drinking alcohol at any time of the day. The first thing that wakes up, a man reaches for a bottle.
- Drinking alcohol in situations where it is inappropriate, irresponsible, or dangerous.
- Lack of interest in work, any other activity, family.
- Denial. A person who is addicted to alcohol does not see this as a problem.
- False. Hiding the fact of drinking.
- Detoxification. When you stop taking alcohol, a withdrawal symptom occurs. Irritability, shakiness, trembling, nausea, anxiety, fatigue and insomnia appear.
- Change in social circle. The appearance among friends of drinking companions.
How does alcoholism develop?
Alcohol and drug addiction is a problem with many causes. For some patients, psychological traits, such as impulsiveness, low self-esteem, and the need for approval, encourage the use of stimulants. Some people drink to deal with emotional problems.
Social and environmental factors, such as peer pressure and the easy availability of alcohol, can play a key role. Poverty, physical or sexual abuse also increase the chances of alcohol dependence.
Stages of alcoholism
There are three of them:
1. At the first stage, people develop psychological dependence, alcohol is perceived as a way to solve a psychological problem. Drinking fills the void, helps to forget negative situations for a while and relieve the stress associated with them. Psychological dependence is not the result of chemical changes in the brain. An addict takes alcohol on a regular basis to relieve emotional stress. The first stage of the disease is characterized by an increase in doses and frequency of ethanol intake. Psychological dependence is manifested by a feeling of dissatisfaction in a sober state, by constant thoughts about alcohol, and by raising the mood before drinking alcohol. The stage lasts from a year to 5 years.
2. In the second stage, people who feel the need to drink for pleasure, emotional enjoyment, have physical alcohol dependence. Even the appearance, thought, or smell of alcohol can cause a feeling of pleasure. This is due to chemical changes in the brain. Over time, the body gets used to the systematic intake of alcohol. The amount of drink to achieve the desired effect of pleasure increases. When trying to stop, a person experiences intense withdrawal symptoms (withdrawal). Alcoholism of the second stage has a progression period of 5 to 15 years.
3. At the third stage, alcohol tolerance decreases, intoxication occurs after taking small doses of alcohol. Long drinking bouts, decrease in intellectual abilities and mental degradation are observed. The stage lasts 5-10 years and most often ends fatally.
Causes of alcoholism
Alcohol addiction is a disease. The causes of the abuse are still unknown. The craving experienced by an alcoholic can be as strong as the need for food or water. There are a number of factors that can cause alcohol dependence in humans:
- Genetic predisposition. Studies show that people whose parents or other close relatives were addicted have a risk of addiction to alcohol.
- Physiological reasons. People who start drinking at an early age are more likely to develop alcohol dependence. Also, various ailments can become a factor in the development of addiction. For example, liver diseases, head injuries, mental disorders.
- Psychological trauma. Addiction to alcohol can develop against the background of traumatic events, difficult periods of life.
Alcohol addiction has a negative effect on the body and mind of a person, his appearance, as well as on his personal and professional relationships. Most importantly, alcohol addiction kills. Those who suffer from addiction can die in painful and extremely unpleasant ways. It can be infections, bleeding, accidents. Listed below are some of the consequences of alcohol abuse:
1. The effect of alcoholism on the appearance:
- The effect on the skin is expressed in the premature appearance of wrinkles, the occurrence of rosacea. All these are side effects of alcohol abuse. Alcohol dehydrates and dilates capillaries under the skin. This explains the redness of the face in alcoholics.
- Hair. The dehydrating effects of alcohol can make your hair dry, brittle and prone to brittleness.
- Eyes. When ethanol is abused, the blood vessels in the eyes may burst, which leads to the appearance of red eyes. Alcohol abuse can also cause the eye protein to turn yellow.
- Weight. Alcohol is extremely caloric due to the presence of a large amount of sugar in it and leads to an increase in body weight.
1. The effect of alcohol on the body. Health problems that alcohol abuse can cause:
- oncological diseases,
- heart diseases,
- high blood pressure,
- damage to the heart muscle,
- alcohol poisoning.
3. Impact on the mind. Alcoholism not only affects the appearance and physical health, but can also cause serious harm to the mind. It is believed that alcoholism increases the risk of the following symptoms:
- personality disorder,
- memory loss,
- loss of consciousness,
- mood swings,
- decreased sex drive,
- the appearance of suicidal thoughts,
3. The effect of alcohol on relationships. Dependence is extremely strong. Close and dear to people it is incredibly difficult in the fight against addiction. Often patients deny their addiction, which makes treatment even more difficult.
About 12% of women abuse alcohol compared to 20% of men. Studies also show that this gap is gradually narrowing. This trend is due to the fact that in women alcohol dependence develops faster. Problems associated with alcohol, such as brain atrophy or liver damage, also occur more often in the fairer sex.
Women are more vulnerable due to some biological factors. First, they tend to weigh less than men. The body of women contains less water and more adipose tissue, in which alcohol lingers. Secondly, women are more emotional, harder to tolerate stress and more prone to depression.
There are many ways to overcome alcohol addiction. The treatment tactics are selected individually, depending on the stage and duration of alcohol abuse. Currently, there are many drugs for alcohol addiction.
Also, along with drug therapy, psychological support is an important aspect of treatment.
The first step to recovery is to acknowledge the problem. People struggling with alcohol abuse can easily convince themselves that they have no problem. Or that they are doing everything possible to combat this ailment. But these patterns of thinking are fundamentally wrong.
The second important step is to detoxify the body. Usually for this, the patient should be hospitalized. Detoxification therapy is performed to cleanse the body and relieve a hangover syndrome. It consists of several stages:
- The appointment of intravenous or intramuscular injections from poisoning, diuretics, anticonvulsants, laxatives, vitamins B and C.
- Compliance with drinking and high-calorie diet.
- In case of mental disorders, tranquilizers are used.
- In cases of sleep disorders, sleeping pills are used.
The next step in the treatment of abuse is to choose a rehabilitation center for alcohol dependence. In such institutions, an individual approach to each is carried out, appropriate therapy, diet, special physical exercises, control and monitoring of the patient are prescribed. While in the rehabilitation center for alcohol dependence, the patient is away from the usual company, alcohol is excluded. In a word, there is no temptation. This is a definite plus in the treatment of addiction.
Also widely used as one of the methods of treatment is the coding for alcohol dependence. This method consists in a psychological or physical impact on a person. Coding can be carried out by a specialist both at home and in the hospital. The following encoding methods are distinguished from alcohol dependence:
- psychotherapeutic (hypnosis),
- laser technique.
Solving the problem at home
Alcoholism is a tragedy for both a person and his family. Is it possible to get rid of alcohol addiction at home? Can. It is worth noting that not all people who decide to permanently part with addiction, achieve a result. Most often, after a brief abstinence, a breakdown follows, after which a person begins to drink even more. As a rule, the problem lies in the illiterate choice of a remedy for alcohol dependence. The most important thing in treatment is the desire and willpower of the patient. Help and support from loved ones also play an important role in the fight against abuse.
For the treatment of alcohol dependence at home, the first thing to do is to stop communicating and meeting with drinking buddies.
An important feature in the treatment of alcohol dependence is the lack of free time in humans. To do this, you need to devote yourself to a hobby, for example, drawing, reading, horseback riding.
How to get rid of alcohol addiction at home? To treat cravings for alcohol, you can try to use traditional medicine methods. It can be various tinctures, decoctions, tea. They have diuretic, tonic properties, which is additional support in the fight against alcoholism. The following are some recipes for alcohol addiction:
- Bearberry broth. Essential ingredients: 2 tbsp. l bearberry, 200 ml of water. Pour the leaves of the plant with water and bring to a boil. After 15 minutes, the broth is ready for use. Take a tablespoon daily.
- Tincture of herbs. For cooking, you will need plants such as yarrow, wormwood and thyme. Mix all the ingredients. Pour boiling water. Insist a couple of hours. Filter broth to take 4 times a day. The duration of treatment is 2 months.
- Tea from herbs. The necessary ingredients need to take 20 grams. This is wormwood, St. John’s wort, yarrow, caraway seeds, angelica, mint. A mixture of plants pour boiling water and let it brew.
What can be done to reduce the risk of addiction to alcohol or drugs? Tips for preventing alcohol dependence are given below:
- Refuse alcohol. Do not be afraid of the negative reaction of friends or unfamiliar people.
- Choose the right social circle.
- To be able to enjoy life without the influence of alcohol or other stimulants.
- Know the enemy in person. Have an accurate understanding of the effects of the harmful effects of alcohol or drugs on the body.
- Be smart, have an opinion and control your life. Do not succumb to the influence of other personalities.
Alcohol addiction is a terrible tragedy of the 21st century. According to statistics, about 4 percent of the population suffers from addiction to alcohol. The abuse of alcohol can have negative consequences not only for human health, but also for the overall quality of life. Self-control of alcoholism is quite difficult due to the wide distribution and easy availability of alcohol. However, there are proven treatments. They will help you manage addiction, fight it, and regain control of your life. Regardless of the chosen treatment tactics, it is necessary to adhere to the correct lifestyle, not only until the results are obtained, but throughout life.