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Alcohol dependence

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The Alcoholism

According to the World Health Organization's directives, based on professor E.M. Jellinek researches (conducted on more than 2,000 patients), the behavior of various social groups towards alcohol can be classified as follows:

For those that are not familiar with the alcohol addiction, the category marked with a red arrow might rise questions. This category includes abusive alcohol consumers that despite their drinking habit did not lose the control over the amount of alcohol they drink, but suffer from similar physical injuries like the alcoholics.
There is a big distinction between habit drinkers and alcoholics. A habit drinker maintaines intact his/her capacity to control the amount of alcohol he drinks being able to go back to a normal alcohol consumption. An alcoholic lost the control over the alcohol and he is not able to go back to a normal alcohol consumption.

An alcoholic is the drinker who cannot stop the alcohol consumption without
displaying unpleasant physical or psychological manifestations
(delta type alcoholics, individuals addicted to small amounts of alcohol)
frequently drinks big amounts of alcohol that harm himself and those around him
(gamma and epsilon type alcoholics)

One of the main characteristics of the alcohol addiction is a irresistible, permanent or temporary desire to secure and drink alcohol, followed by the need to increase the amount of alcohol consumed.

Everybody around the alcoholic knows that he is sick and need help, except the alcoholic. For a long time, an alcoholic will believe that he acts normally like everybody around him and blames others for his alcohol problem. When the alcoholic does not accept help even if the health problems are obvious, this is a sign of the disease.

Only few alcoholics match the preconceved stereotype image of a decayed and shabby drunker.

In many cases, the alcoholic is a man or a woman with family, job and responsibilities.

These are the people that are physical and/or psychological addicted to alcohol. A constant alcohol consumption causes the alcoholic to lose control over the alcohol amount they drink and impedes them to see the real behavior they display when are drunk. They, temporary or permanent, feel the need to drink. In time, this desire becomes extremly important for the alcoholic until it dominates him/her. Some people start drinking just like everybody does, but in time the alcohol need turns into an obsession.

However, there is no behavioral pattern that perfectly describes an alcoholic. Each person displays different behavioral manifestations followed by different consequences. Some alcoholics drink daily, others after certain period of time, some drink massive amounts of alcohol, other only small amounts. Some alcoholics only drink beer, others only wine or strong drinks. While some people become addicted to alcohol during their youth age, others request a longer time until they become alcoholics. There are few types of alcoholism, each characterised by different symptoms.

Alcohol addiction is part of the main category of substance addiction, but is characteries by few particularities.

It general, we talk about a physical addiction when the alcoholic dipslays withdrawl syndrome. However, an addiction causes metabolic and cerebral biochemical changes that make the delimitation between the physical and psychological addiction difficult.

The physical addiction is caused by a constant alcohol consumption when the body gradually adjust to the alcohol (resulting an increased alcohol tolerance).

A person is physical addicted to alcohol when his/her body needs alcohol in order to function normally.

A normal body sensation sets up only when the body receives alcohol. Without alcohol, an alcoholic feels like something is missing.
If the alcoholemy - blood alcohol's concentration - is not restored when the alcohol is metabolized, the body cannot re-adjust to the alcohol absence and the withdrawl syndrome occurs. The withdrawl syndrome includes: trembling, vomiting, abundant sweat, sleeping disturbance, and anxiety. The intensity of this syndrome extends from an common weakness state with digestive problems to serious manifestations, sometimes lethal, like delirium or epileptic convulsions.
Epileptic convulsions occur during drinking breaks or during detoxification treatment. Around 5 to 10 percent of the alcoholics displays withdrawl syndrome in the first 48 hours, more frequent between 13 and 24 hours of sobriety.

The psychological addiction includes first the desire, then the obsessive need to use alcohol as a coping strategy. Alcohol creates the illusion that problems can be solved, the day to day situations and conflicts become more pleasant or bearable. This type of addiction develops slow, unnoticed being caused by insignificant reasons (like alcohol consumption caused by a bad mood, apathy, or because sometimes it takes only a glass to feel happy).

A psychological addected person uses alcohol to obtain the desired, psychological comfort state, and to solve stressful situation or indispositions.

When too many life's circumstances are felt stressful, boring or frustrated, the alcohol becomes the only remedy of a psychological balance. Every time the alcoholic loses control over the alcohol consumption, he loses territory in his fight with the alcohol, and more psychological energy is wasted in the effort to restore this control.
When the alcoholic cannot drink, he/she feels discomfort or even fear. In order to avoid this feelings, the alcoholic will try to build up a safe supply of booze and to organize his entire life around the alcohol. The alcoholic bonds with the alcohol, an emotional connection that will surviave long time after the physical addiction was overcame.

In general, alcohol detoxification, (to eliminate the physical addiction),
lasts between 5 to 15 days.

In general, breaking down the alcohol consumption habit, (to overcome the
psycholigical addiction) stabilize after two years.

  »  Alcohol consumption
  »  The Alcohol
  »  Alcoholemy
  »  Alcohol abuse
  »  Drunkenness
  »  Dependence
  »  The Alcoholism
  »  The alcoholism a disease
  »  Alcoholism's casualty
  »  Evolution of dependency
  »  Loss of control
  »  Consumption's effects
  »  Co-dependency
  »  Alcoholism treatment
  »  Avoid the consumption




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