Alcoholism doesn’t only represent a source of social and familial work problems. It mainly affects health and is a chronic disease that breaks the health equilibrium and turns into a usual activity. The person affected by this problem becomes most of the time addicted, but there are also other factors to take into consideration for that stage, i.e., the hereditary, social, and psychological factors. If the psychological issues also exist, dual diagnosis treatment may be required.
Alcohol problems don’t necessarily involve alcoholism. “Alcohol abuse” is a previous stage of that affection but is easier to deal with and solve because it doesn’t imply a total loss of self-control.
But either for alcohol abuse or alcoholism, there are ways to get help or to help yourself: therapy groups and treatments that make a person understand that he or she is not alone and that he/she must give up this self-destructing activity.
Factors of Risk
Dependence on alcohol appears in case of frequent drinking – in case of men over 15 drinks each week, and in that of women, more than 12. Drinking represents itself a danger that can generate alcoholism, but there are also a series of other factors:
- The risk of alcoholism is greater for people that started to use alcohol at an early age
- Men are predisposed to this problem much more than women
- Genetic inheritance may contribute to the birth of alcoholism
- Family alcohol background affects the children at a mature age
- Depression or anxiety increases the risk of alcohol abuse. More exposed are adults suffering from ADHD
Characteristic Symptoms of Alcoholism
Besides denial, there is a series of factors that may point to alcohol abuse or alcoholism:
- The person hides when he/she drinks, or drinks even alone
- Memory problems that make him/her unable to remember important conversations, facts, or problems, although they are recent
- Unlimited quantity of alcohol use
- Development of alcohol-related habits, including anger when these habits are questioned or prevented by an external event
- Hiding alcohol everywhere in places out of the other’s reach
- The loss of pleasure from past hobbies or activities
- An organic imperative to drink
- Agitation or anger at usual drinking time, when the habit cannot be practiced
- The apparition of family, social, financial, or even legal problems
- The sensation that only a drink would make him feel better
- Nausea, sweating, or shaking after a longer alcohol involuntary or voluntary alcohol absence
Most of the symptoms are common for alcoholics and persons who abuse alcohol. The last category feels neither the necessity to drink nor strange sensations when they lack alcohol. Alcohol addiction generates alcohol tolerance and the need to drink more and more. To determine whether the alcohol consumption is moderate or it touches abuse, a series of questions is required for an answer:
- Whether a person feels an impulse to drink right after getting up in the morning
- Whether that person experiences a feeling of guilt related to alcohol
- Whether he/she thinks that it is necessary to stop drinking
- Whether it bothers him/her for others to comment on his/her drinks.
Two possible answers suggest the suspicion of a drinking problem.
Time to See a Specialist
The first tendency of alcoholic or alcohol abusers is denial, so the chances for him/her to search for medical support are very few. Usually, the one who seeks professional help on his account is the person close to the addict. In case one feels guilty about the inability to control his/her own alcohol use and suspects a problem in him, that person should see a doctor in order to receive treatment information. This discussion is necessary in case of the slightest suspicion that your alcohol use touches abuse.