Alcohol addiction is a disease that occurs when drinking alcohol is abused and prolonged. The negative effects of alcohol abuse can be seen in a deteriorating quality of work, legal matters and negative social effects in a person’s personal life. Alcohol addiction can also lead to domestic violence and can affect a child’s life in a negative and fearful way. Call 800-303-2482 to receive any help you need right now, our counselors are available to speak with you anytime you need help.
For many, alcohol abuse has other psychological effects on the user and his or her family such as depression and antisocial behavior. There are certain symptoms of alcohol abuse such as spending way too much time drinking alcohol and wanting to be alone, away from family and friends. With some alcoholics, alcohol takes precedence above all other activities with friends and family and becomes an obsessive behavior—excluding everything and everyone in life.
There are certain risk factors for alcoholism such as: anxiety, depression or other mood disorders. If one has a low self-esteem or feels out of place with others, he or she is more prone to become an alcoholic. There doesn’t seem to be a basic cause of alcoholism but often happens due to psychological, environmental and genetic factors. Many feel that environment and not connecting with one’s spouse or family in a positive way, are contributors to becoming an alcoholic.
Alcoholism can also lead to serious illnesses such as cirrhosis of the liver, binge drinking, drunk driving accidents and serious concerns with hormonal abnormalities with teenagers. Other symptoms of a person being intoxicated are bloodshot eyes, being argumentative or too passive, smell of alcohol on one’s breath and a clear deterioration in a person’s hygiene and appearance.There are various treatments for alcohol addiction such as support groups, medications, residential treatment, drug testing and prevention programs. It is important to note that with supervised treatment about 70% of those who are alcoholic are able to lessen the days that they drink alcohol and within six months often have better health.
Alcoholism is diagnosed by medical information that is given to a doctor or other healthcare professional. Doctors can also give a person a physical examination that includes lab tests and then a diagnosis can be made on alcoholism. Mental health professionals can also find out about alcohol addiction by asking questions about his or her use of alcohol, past drug abuse and other issues such as anxiety, depression, hallucinations or other behavioral disorders. Other psychological issues are also explored with a mental health evaluation such as schizophrenia or other personality disorders.
Medications that are used to treat alcoholism are: Trexan, Revia and Naltrexone. Naltrexone is considered to be one of the most effective ways to treat alcoholism because it lowers the cravings for alcohol. Some research indicates that psychiatric medications often are quite effective in helping an alcoholic to recover from his or her addiction to alcohol. In addition, medication such as Vivitrol, that is injected once a month by a healthcare professional, can also be effective with this illness.
It is important to remember that once an alcoholic has successfully completed a program of care and supervision, continued support will be needed. Support groups help a recovering alcoholic to stay sober and also help them with certain lifestyle changes that are necessary to prevent a relapse. Alcoholics Anonymous has given support and hope to recovering alcoholics for years and years.
Help may also be needed from a family doctor to ensure that other health concerns are being monitored during recovery such as high blood pressure, liver diseases and heart disease. For those whose alcohol problems are more serious and ongoing, they may need a residential treatment program.
Such a program often includes individual and group therapy, a safe and secure environment, helpful lectures, involvement of the family, ongoing discussions with a counselor and a professional staff that is caring and experienced in helping those who have alcoholic problems. Alcohol addiction doesn’t have to be an end to one’s life; it can be the beginning of a whole new life when is spotted and something is done about it.