Alcohol is extremely dangerous and one of the most addictive psychoactive substances. Its prolonged and compulsive (ab)use certainly leads to development of alcohol addiction, that is, alcoholism. This is one of the most widespread diseases of today that can affect anyone – regardless of gender, age or ethnic group. Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder can be defined, in short terms, as unhealthy and obsessive use of alcohol at one’s own expense. Alcoholism, definitely a disease, is reflected in the uncontrolled need or desire of alcoholics to consume as much alcohol as possible, regardless of all its negative health consequences. That is why solving this complex problem and eliminating it completely requires treatment of alcoholics.
Regardless of the fact it is a type of psychoactive substance, consuming alcohol is a legal activity. Moreover, moderate and infrequent consumption of alcoholic beverages will almost certainly not cause any adverse effects. However, the problem is that a large number of people, popularly speaking, do not stop at the “first glass”. The devastating statistics show that millions of people around the world consume alcoholic (“strong”) drinks on a daily basis, which inevitably causes alcoholism and many other problems. Unfortunately, even teenage alcoholism has become a common and frequent occurrence.
Alcoholics (alcohol addicts, people struggling with alcoholism) believe and feel that they cannot function normally without alcohol. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that alcoholics do not know how and when to stop drinking alcohol. The result of this state of affairs is a wide range of problems that can affect personal and professional goals, social relationships and the overall health of alcoholics. Avoiding this requires treatment of alcoholics with the latest addiction treatment methods.
Risk factors – What affects the onset of alcoholism?
As we have pointed out, alcoholism does not choose its victim. It can develop rapidly and aggressively and can occur over a prolonged period of time. Over the past several decades, numerous studies have been conducted on the causes and risk factors affecting the development of alcohol addiction. It should be noted that there is no strict formula that can determine the exact reasons why someone became an alcoholic.
However, the fact is that there are numerous “triggers” that cause alcohol addiction. All of these triggers can be classified into several categories.
Causes of alcohol addiction
- Biological factors. Research has shown a close correlation between development of alcohol addiction and biological factors (genetics and physiology). While some may limit the amount of alcohol they consume, others have a strong desire to continue drinking alcohol. According to scientists, the brain contains various chemicals that can make an individual more susceptible to alcohol abuse. Experts say alcoholism can be linked to as many as 51 genes found in different regions of the chromosome. If these genes are passed down through the generations, then alcoholism in family is possible.
- Environmental factors. Some studies suggest that people who live near liquor stores have a positive attitude towards alcohol and, therefore, have a greater chance of consuming it. Alcohol manufacturers, on the other hand, are “bombarding” the public with advertisements for alcoholic beverages on a daily basis. In this way, consumption of alcoholic beverages is presented as an acceptable, fun and relaxing activity, which certainly increases the possibility of developing alcoholism.
- Social factors. Culture, religion, family, work, marriage or friendships certainly influence an individual’s behavior – including chances to consume alcohol. Children who live with parents who abuse alcohol are at greater risk of becoming addicted to alcohol when they grow up. The desire to fit in and various socially stressful situations (mobbing, divorce, dismissal …), are just some of the risk factors for alcoholism.
- Psychological factors. Every person encounters various problems in their life and solves them in their own way. But the way a person deals with the emotions that these problems cause can be triggers for alcoholism. For example, if a person is chronically stressed or suffering from anxiety, depression, or other mental problems, they are more likely to abuse alcohol. In these and similar circumstances, people consume alcohol hoping that these mental conditions will be eliminated or their symptoms at least alleviated.
Treatment of alcoholics – What indicates that someone is an alcohol addict?
There are numerous warning signs or symptoms that indicate that someone is an alcoholic, that is, that alcohol addiction has developed. Also, there are certain early signs of alcoholism, the recognition of which is essential for the treatment of alcoholics at the earliest stage. These signs include frequent and habitual intoxication (frequent binge drinking), or consuming alcohol in potentially dangerous situations, such as driving.
On the other hand, some of the warning signs and symptoms of alcoholism include the following:
- Drinking greater amounts of alcohol over an extended period of time;
- Failed attempts to reduce or stop alcohol consumption;
- Great craving for alcohol;
- Alcohol consumption results in failure to fulfill obligations at work or at home;
- Continuing with alcohol consumption despite the harmful effects and problems one experiences due to intoxication;
- Abandoning or reducing participation in certain social activities or ceasing hobbies due to alcohol consumption;
- Developing tolerance for alcohol. In this case, the alcoholic needs to consume more alcohol to experience the same effect, that is, the same amount of this psychoactive substance does not satisfy the addict’s urge and “appetite” for drinking;
- Often, alcohol consumption is kept secret, hidden from other people;
- Extreme mood swings, anxiety and irritability;
- Short-term memory loss;
Apart from psychological, there are certain physical signs of alcoholism. These are, among other things, weight loss, poor hygiene, dry skin due to the dehydrating effects of alcohol, which causes wrinkles and early aging. Physical symptoms of alcoholism include broken capillaries, poor or uncoordinated movements, slow speech, disorientation. In most cases, the alcoholic smells of alcohol. If alcohol consumption causes liver damage, then yellow sclera and skin are one of the symptoms of alcoholism.
Consequences of alcohol abuse – How does an alcoholic behave?
The effects of alcoholism really have a devastating effect on the whole body. Alcohol is a psychoactive substance, which means that one taking is enough to affect the brain or the central nervous system. The psychological consequences of alcohol consumption include mood swings, moodiness, poor judgment, slow mental reactions, memory problems, and even suicidal thoughts.
On the other hand, chronic and overuse of alcohol can also lead to serious psychological problems such as insomnia, depression, psychosis or bipolar disorder. If we talk about the behavior of alcoholics, we can classify all consequences of alcoholism into short- and long-term. The short-term effects of alcoholism are indistinct talking, drowsiness, diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, upset stomach, memory lapses and the like. Long-term effects of alcoholism include alcohol poisoning, irregular heartbeat, ulcers, nerve damage, vitamin B1 deficiency, gastritis, and the risk of stroke.
Alcohol addiction also has negative physical effects on the life and health of alcoholics. Alcoholism can cause many cardiovascular problems (high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, heart attack, arrhythmia). Alcohol addiction is also negatively reflected on the liver, and can cause liver cirrhosis and fibrosis. Another consequence of alcoholism is pancreatitis. Studies have shown that long-term and chronic alcohol abuse is also associated with cancer risk. Alcohol abuse leads to immune system weakening. It should be emphasized that in men, alcoholism causes erectile dysfunction, while in women it can cause menstruation to stop.
The solution is there – Treatment of alcoholics is possible!
Therefore, alcoholism is a dangerous disease that can completely overwhelm the addict’s life. No matter how devastating the situation may seem, nothing is hopeless. This is because treatment of alcoholics (as well as, in general, treatment of addicts) and return to normal life are indeed possible. For over two decades, luxury addiction hospital treatment VIP Vorobiev has been successfully addressing this problem and treating patients from all over the world.
This is because, in the process of treating alcoholics, VIP Vorobiev clinic uses state-of-the-art and innovative treatments and therapies, which is why success in healing is guaranteed! Treatment of alcoholics in our clinic is gradual and, more importantly, completely safe, medically tested and painless. Treatment for alcoholism includes:
- This is the first, basic and most important phase in the treatment of alcoholics. For the purpose of determining and assessing the patient’s psychophysical condition, a urine test, hepatitis B and C tests, HIV infection test, blood test, biochemical blood test and an ECG examination by an internist are performed.
- At this stage, dangerous and unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal are eliminated. In the detoxification phase, a spectrum of medical methods that “clean” the body from alcohol and its toxic residues is applied.
- This phase, which involves establishing a negative attitude toward alcohol, involves several therapies. These include aversive therapy, N. E. T., therapy, as well as lateral therapy.
- Pharmacological blockade. At this stage, the patient is given medications that prevent (block) the effect of alcohol as a psychoactive substance.
- Anti-relapse outpatient support. In order to preserve the results of treatment for alcoholism, we stay in contact with the patient and monitor his condition for one year after leaving the hospital. This phase also includes regular check-ups so that the patient feels confident when sober.
A team of internationally renowned experts and physicians from VIP Vorobiev clinic will help you leave alcoholism in your past once and for all!