Recent survey results found that they drink more:
- girls boys;
- the boys who live in the north, followed by those in the center and south;
- those belonging to the middle-upper classes;
- young people who read more use the PC and the Internet.
International diagnostic classification systems have differentiated the concept of addiction from that of abuse. This term includes non-alcoholic problem drinkers who abuse the substance on an ongoing basis.
These people generally maintain a well-preserved psychic, physical and social function
The effects of alcohol intake mainly affect the central nervous system and, depending on the doses taken, and the relative blood concentrations, we pass from a situation of euphoria and excitement to reach, at very high levels, coma and possibly the death from cardio-respiratory arrest.
For decades, medicine has endeavored to establish safe limits to the use of alcohol, by identifying “safe doses” that have progressively diminished with the refinement of knowledge.
Recently, the World Health Organization has criticized the adoption of a definition of “safe dose” that is the same for all.
In fact, there are people who in different circumstances and for different levels of intake have a different degree of “risk” related to the use of alcohol. For example, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people who suffer from diseases caused or aggravated by alcohol, or those who use drugs or psychotropic drugs belong to particular categories that make any alcohol consumption very risky.
The amount of alcohol is usually evaluated in alcoholic units which is equivalent to a glass of wine, or a glass of spirits, or 1/3 of beer.The following table shows the level of risk based on weekly consumption divided by men and women.
- Weekly consumption
- 21 alcohol units
- 14 alcohol units
- 21 alcoholic units
- 14 alcoholic units
- 50 alcoholic units
- 35 alcoholic units
Symptoms can be modified by the following factors
- nature, chemical composition and alcohol content of the substance (beer, wine, spirits);
state of fasting: the presence of food in the stomach allows you to better tolerate higher quantities of alcohol without inducing sensational effects;
- rhythm of alcoholic intakes referred to the elapsed time: naturally a high quantity of ingestions, in a very limited time, corresponds to a greater degree of alcoholic intoxication;
- simultaneous intake of other psychoactive substances (such as barbiturates, hypnotics, tranquilizers, etc.) which mutually enhance the negative effects on the organism;
ambient temperature: low temperatures cause a more rapid elevation of the concentration of alcohol in the blood;
- muscle fatigue: moderate exercise mitigates the harmful effects of alcohol.
The cases of acute and chronic alcohol intoxication therefore create a pathological condition of physical and psychological dependence that requires a complex and time-diluted health treatment plan.
Conventional therapies for alcoholism include different forms of treatment, aimed in part at eliminating the problems associated with withdrawal crises and in part at treating the psychological aspect of addiction with individual and group interviews. The ultimate goal of most therapies is total abstinence from alcoholic beverages, although a controlled return to alcohol is possible according to some experts.