Monday, January 30, 2012

Alcoholism - The Bitter Side of Alcohol

Alcohol consumption is a part of almost every party and event across the globe.  Occasional consumption of alcohol in moderated quantities is generally considered to be safe for a physically fit person.  Alcoholism, on the other hand, may lead to several physical and mental illness, even death.  Alcoholism is another term for alcohol abuse and it broadly refers to a condition where a person is severely addicted to alcohol and his uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages detriments his health and affects his personal and social life as well as the lives of the greater community.

Alcohol abuse is a dual disease, in which, along with physical health problems, psychological effects are also observed.  A person’s social standing and personal relations can be drastically affected due to mental problems emerging from the continuous consumption of alcohol.  Diseases such as cirrhosis of liver, pancreatitis, cancer, sexual dysfunction, epilepsy, etc. are commonly observed in alcoholics.  In addition to the increased health risks, alcoholism can also prove fatal to individuals.  For example, the fact sheets of WHO for 2011 reported a total death toll of 2.5 million people due to alcohol.  The same fact sheets also report alcohol as the world’s third largest risk factor for disease burden.

Alcohol consumption usually begins at an early age for most alcoholics.  The environment that a person lives in plays a huge role in determining a person’s drinking habits.   It is estimated by WHO that 320,000 people in the age group of 15 to 29 die from alcohol.  

People addicted to alcohol often show signs of aggression, depression, abusive behavior, anxiety, etc.  This, in turn, may affect the social behavior of a person and such an alcoholic can harm people around him through violent or traumatic behavior.  Alcohol is a common cause for marital problems and divorces as well.

While addiction to alcohol might be instantaneous or gradual, recovery is usually a long process.  Like other addictions, sudden withdrawal from alcohol can also lead to complications generally termed as alcohol withdrawal syndrome.  Hence, alcohol dependence needs to be treated with care and caution under medical supervision.  

Detoxification is the first step in the treatment of an alcoholic.  Certain medicines are used to avoid alcohol withdrawal due to an abrupt stop in alcohol consumption.  Such treatments should be conducted under expert guidance.  Support of family members is also of prime importance.  In certain cases, patients may be relocated to a rehabilitation center for a few days or weeks.  Follow-up treatments, typically referred to as 'aftercare', are usually required as detox alone does not offer a complete cure for alcoholism.

Alcoholics Anonymous is usually the recommended standard of aftercare treatment.  Patients attend meetings to learn about their alcoholism and how to stay sober for the long-term.  Group therapies and psychological sessions assist greatly in the treatment of alcoholism as well.  Since, there is always a potential danger of relapse; such therapies can aid a person in his/her endeavor to abstain from excessive liquor consumption.  The effects of alcoholism also vary with gender and so does the treatment.  Professional advice and aid can assist effective abstinence from alcohol.  

The Coleman Institute provides alcohol detox for people who seek help for recovery from alcoholism.  Our goal is to provide a safe, easy, and convenient method of detox so that our patients can get clean and stay clean for the rest of their lives.  If you or someone you love is in need of an alcohol detox, please visit our website at for more details.  We're here waiting to help you! 

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