Alcohol Addiction Symptoms and Signs

Alcohol is a word that appears so much in our daily lives and culture that it is difficult for a non-alcoholic to imagine a life of alcohol addiction. Yet,…

Alcohol is a word that appears so much in our daily lives and culture that it is difficult for a non-alcoholic to imagine a life of alcohol addiction. Yet, no matter how much one may despise the term and the addiction, psychiatrists describe an alcoholic as one who exhibits any or all of these qualities: an irresistible thirst for alcohol, total loss of control once he or she starts drinking, and a certain tendency of relapse into the addiction after a session of rehabilitation.

Effects of alcohol: Alcohol dependency can have serious and deleterious effects on the individual’s health, and more importantly, on the family.

Some of the physical effects of alcohol addiction are liver cirrhosis; damage to the nervous system and pancreas, heart disease, alcoholic neuritis, and sexual dysfunction and related disorders, any of which can be a cause of death in the alcohol addict.

By far, the greatest reason for which alcohol is considered a social evil is the effect it has on the family. Children of Alcoholics (COAs) experience the effects of having an alcoholic parent or sibling from the earliest stages of their upbringing. Alcoholic parents are proven beyond doubt to be vastly inferior as caregivers.

Most alcoholic parents generally discourage their children from socializing. They are known to be unpredictable, volatile and inconsistent in dealing with children. They transmit most of the symptoms of their addiction to their children, who suffer psychosomatic ailments like depression, headache, eating disorders, stomach upsets and insomnia. COAs are almost certain to develop learning disabilities.

Worst of all, these negative influences and effects grow into their adulthood, since childhood impacts emotional development of later life greatly. Such children normally have tendencies like fretfulness, undue nervousness and maladjustment with society, and usually become unsuccessful parents themselves.

It is common to find that the education of such children gets disrupted because huge portions of the family income get spent on alcohol consumption by the addict in the family. When these children, bereft of love, try to find other avenues from which they can fill this lacuna at home, there are good chances of their ending up looking for the missing emotional comfort with the wrong people. This can lead to further family and social tensions. They could find solace in such habits as drugs or alcohol itself, or worse, crime.

Domestic violence, one of the most important products of alcoholism, costs the American economy anywhere between $ three billion and $ 10 billion a year by way of losses caused by absenteeism, healthcare costs, reduced employee turnover and so on.

Withdrawal symptoms: these can often lead to various complications. These include nausea, sweating, nausea and continuous shaking of the hands.

Addiction treatment programs: alcoholism addiction treatment programs take up long term, step-by-step methods in helping the addict deal with the addiction. A detox center first rids the body of the toxins the addiction would have brought in.

Drug and alcohol rehab centers try to inculcate coping techniques in the addict. A treatment center comes up with detailed counseling, supportive programs and encourages interaction with self help groups. Some rehabs encourage harm-reduction techniques such as group therapy, psychotherapy, medication, rationing and moderation of the drink and nutritional supplementation.