When the body becomes so accustomed to alcohol that the person loses complete control over his will to control his drinking, he/she is known to have developed the condition of alcoholism. It is actually a chronic disease, which causes the body to become dependent on alcohol. One classic sign of alcoholism is that the person keeps on drinking, although he/she knows that it is causing all kinds of problems in his/her life. This problem cannot be dealt without help. There are a number of methods to help the addict recover from this condition. They may include alcohol treatment medications, counseling and self-help groups.
Physical Effects of Alcoholism
The symptoms may vary or get intense as the person steps in the higher stages of alcoholism. One noticeable sign of alcoholism in men and women is a strong feeling which causes or compels the person to drink, even if he/she wishes not to. Also, the addict loses his/her ability to keep a check on the amount of alcohol he/she drinks. The person probably would drink till he/she passes out. Another physical symptom is the body developing a tolerance to alcohol so that it requires a high amount of it, to feel its effects. In times when the person does not get to drink, he/she experiences what are known as the alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These may include sweating, nausea, vomiting, shaking, etc.
Apart from the ones above, there could be other physical symptoms which may be caused by the complications caused by drinking too much of alcohol. These symptoms may be those of liver diseases, digestive problem, heart diseases, diabetes, sexual disorders, menstruation problems, vision defects, and even birth defects. Bone loss, and cancer, numbness of limbs, may also be visible.
Psychological Effects of Alcoholism
Psychological symptoms arise when the neurological functions of the person start getting disrupted by the too much intake of alcohol. Symptoms which indicate the malfunctioning of the nervous system include alcohol dementia, short-term memory loss, confusion, disordered thinking, drinking in secret, feeling guilty post drinking, black-outs, losing interest in things which were important once, increased irritability, and feeling a strong urge to have a few pegs soon after getting up.
In most cases, people who are close to the addict help him/her realize about the problem and that he/she requires help. Depending on how grave the problem has become, different treatments for alcoholism are brought into practice. They may consist of counseling, a short period of intervention by an expert or advising a residential inpatient stay. The treatment plan may consist of detoxification and dealing with the withdrawal symptoms, counseling, medications, coping with psychological problems and preventing complications. Apart from what the doctors recommend, the addict has to make a conscious effort to distance himself from everything that has to do with alcohol. Also, the person must inculcate healthy habits, a good diet and regular exercise to speed up the recovery.
Know that early intervention is the best way to prevent the development of alcoholism, especially in teens. Parents must always be on their toes about the lifestyle that their kids are beginning to lead. Their influence, and that of peers and media are some very important elements when it comes to preventing alcoholism. Parents must also watch out for signs and symptoms in their kids which are indicators of alcohol problem. These may include losing interest in studies or hobbies, disturbance in relationships with friends and family, poor performance in studies, mood changes, abnormal behavior, etc. Parents can keep their kids from getting into alcoholism by setting good examples with their own alcohol use. Having an open discussion with them and making them aware of the repercussion of drinking, do provide a great deal of help in preventing alcoholism in teenagers.