Alcoholism is a serious form of psychological and physical dependence, derived from the excessive and uncontrolled intake of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol addiction is one of the most serious problems for the psycho-physical health of the individual, as well as one of the leading causes of mortality at a young age.
- Alcohol rapidly increases the amount of dopamine, which causes feelings of pleasure and well-being in the individual who drinks. However, after an initial state of excitement, alcohol causes a serious decrease in attention, slows down perception and thinking skills.
- Physically it causes nausea, dizziness, vomiting, difficulty speaking. In the event that the amount of alcohol ingested is so excessive that it cannot be absorbed by the body, it causes ethyl coma and in some cases, death.
Alcohol addiction is progressive as for drugs, from a first phase of Tolerance, where the body gets used to the presence of alcoholic substances, the person needs ever greater quantities of Alcohol to achieve the same euphoric effects, thus begins to experience negative psycho-physical symptoms of Withdrawal in the event that Alcohol is not readily available.
Alcohol withdrawal causes symptoms
Hyperactivation of the autonomic nervous system, excessive sweating, agitation, tachycardia, palpitations, insomnia, tremors, nausea, anxiety, hallucinations, mood instability. To calm these negative symptoms, the person drinks again, establishing the dysfunctional and harmful circuit of addiction.
- Alcohol consumption gradually becomes compulsive, the person is absorbed by a persistent desire and fixed thoughts towards alcohol, called Craving.
- Alcohol addiction involves a disorder and a strong limitation in the life of the person, as well as in the family and work sphere.
- From a physical point of view, Alcohol produces a state of intoxication and nutrient deprivation, due to the reduction in the use and absorption of food.
The physical damage caused by alcohol abuse is serious and complex: liver cirrhosis and cardiovascular disease, epilepsy, pancreatitis, sexual dysfunction, nutritional deficiencies, sleep disorders and eating disorders.
Alcohol also causes serious damage to the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system with balance and walking problems (Ataxia), polyneuropathies and with serious consequences on mental health: anxiety, psychosis, depression, delirium, aggression, destructive behavior, disorder bipolar, borderline disorder.
Often further serious social problems arise: alcohol abuse is correlated with a high risk of committing crimes, due to the theft of sums of money, harmful and violent behavior, alcohol is one of the main causes of road accidents, and is associated with the abuse of other drugs.
The causes of alcohol addiction are complex: there may be internal psychological and relational problems in the subject, family or socioeconomic discomfort, but at the same time advertising messages and cultural habits lead to the consumption of alcoholic substances, especially among the youngest, presenting it as an essential behavior to be able to have fun.
Does it concern me?
By answering the questions listed, you will be able to better understand if Alcohol Use Disorder affects you. If one or more of the following are positive, it may be useful to investigate the situation with a professional:
- Do you drink alcohol for longer and in larger quantities than you originally intended?
- Do you constantly want to drink? Are your efforts to reduce alcohol fruitless?
- Much of your time is devoted to getting alcohol, drinking it, and recovering from its effects?
- Do you feel an uncontrollable urge to drink?
- Does the use of alcohol lead you to failure in some area of your life (family, work, social …)?
- Do you continue to drink alcohol despite creating social problems?
- Do you drink alcohol even when it could be physically dangerous?
- Do you need more and more alcohol to get the desired effects?
- If you don’t drink alcohol, do you start to have withdrawal symptoms? Do you engage in behaviors to avoid experiencing these symptoms?