Heavy regular drinkers can easily become psychologically and / or physically dependent on alcohol. Psychological addiction is best defined as a compulsive need for alcohol, especially when the person consumes in the face of obvious negative consequences.
Psychological addiction can be separated from physical addiction, although the two forms often occur together. Physical addiction occurs when the body has adapted to the presence of alcohol. Stopping drinking when addicted can lead to alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
Who is at risk of addiction and why do people drink excessively?
Although some evidence suggests that there is a genetic basis or vulnerability for alcohol problems, little is known about what may be specifically inherited. There is some compelling evidence that males with alcoholic fathers are at greater risk of developing problems with alcohol; this is especially true if the alcoholic was the grandfather.
However, one of the main limitations of this finding is that these series represent only a small percentage of those with alcohol problems. Since most employees have no family history of alcohol problems, environmental factors also contribute significantly to the development of alcoholism.
Current evidence suggests that alcohol problems are neither only biologically nor exclusively of environmental origin, a biopsychosocial approach seems necessary for an adequate understanding of the development of alcohol problems.
Is alcohol abuse a progressive disorder?
Current research suggests that alcoholics who abuse alcohol more often experience periods of high drinking intensity, separated by periods of trouble-free withdrawal. Only a minority experience a progressive worsening of the problem.
If excessive alcohol consumption causes so many long-term negative consequences, why do people continue to drink a lot?
People drink excessively for a variety of reasons. Although it has always been believed that the drinking problem is primarily in response to negative emotional states (such as anxiety or depression) and interpersonal problems or social pressure, some recent research suggests that many drinkers report drinking mainly when they are in a positive mood to feel. even better.
Whether you drink to get over a negative period or to enhance positive emotions, the benefits of drinking usually occur before the negative effects. This short-term rewarding (reinforcing) effect is believed to be one of the main reasons people are willing to risk the long-term negative consequences of excessive alcohol consumption.
How is it possible to get out of alcoholism or limit alcohol abuse?
Various therapeutic approaches have been used in the treatment of addictions (including anti-alcohol drugs, individual and group therapy, Alcoholics Anonymous, and cognitive behavioral therapy). However, most treatments have shown limited success. The issue of treatment goals is also controversial.
For some time, abstinence – not drinking at all – was considered the only appropriate goal.
Research conducted over the past two decades suggests, however, that reducing alcohol consumption is an appropriate goal for some employees, especially those whose problem is not overly severe. Some recent research suggests that some alcoholics manage to get out of it without formalized help or treatment.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy has significantly contributed to the main discoveries in the field of alcohol in recent decades, particularly in the areas of assessment and treatment and care techniques.
- Cognitive behavioral treatments begin with a detailed assessment of the drinker’s behavior. This information is used to develop an individualized plan to promote positive and beneficial changes in target behavior and related behaviors.
Common guiding principles suggest that treatment: (a) should be individualized; (b) it should be less restrictive (requiring minimal life change while continuing to achieve goals and maintaining results); (c) it should be designed to include components that improve the commitment to change (motivation), allowing patients themselves to be the guide of their own treatment; (d) should address problems related to relapse, since relapse rates in alcoholism are extremely high after treatment.
How long does the treatment for alcoholism last?
The duration of treatment varies according to the patient’s needs. For some this might mean a few sessions; for others it might com