The term “alcoholism” refers to a chronic pathological condition characterized by the continuous or periodic consumption of excessive quantities of alcohol, to such an extent as to determine the appearance of a real addiction in the body.
Addition to causing behavioral
Physical and psychological alterations, which can adversely affect the consumer’s state of health, alcohol abuse can have negative effects on his social, working and relational life, as the alcoholic:
- feels the need to progressively increase the dose of alcohol taken, because the body undergoes a phenomenon of addiction and tolerance;
- in the event of a sudden interruption of consumption, a withdrawal syndrome occurs;
- loses lucidity, reducing the ability to judge, and exposing himself or third parties to dangers that he is not able to perceive as such (for example driving or engaging in promiscuous behavior);
- he easily loses control, reducing his inhibitions, indulging in the use of inappropriate language, as well as violent or angry behavior.
The most significant physical damage, on the other hand, involves the brain and liver.Finally, chronic alcohol consumption during pregnancy could cause irreversible damage to the unborn child.
Empty bottle of a hard alcohol How much alcohol can you consume?
Given that there is no safe dose or even less beneficial for the body (alcohol itself is a toxic and carcinogenic substance), the consumption of alcoholic beverages should be moderate and conscious.
Moderate is defined as a daily amount of alcohol corresponding to no more than
- 2-3 alcohol units (36 grams) in humans,
- 1-2 alcohol units in women (about 24 grams),
- 1 alcohol unit in older people (12 grams).
A single alcoholic unit, corresponding to 12 grams of ethanol, is contained in:
- a small glass (125 ml) of medium alcoholic wine;
- a can of beer (330 ml) of medium strength;
- one bar dose (40 ml) of spirits.
Causes and risk factors
Alcoholism tends to occur more:
- In men, compared to women;
- In those with a family history of alcoholism (one or both alcoholic parents); several studies have shown a greater susceptibility even in children of alcoholics adopted by other families, to underline the existence of a genetic predisposition;
In those who abuse alcohol at an early age (as there is a greater risk of the expression of genes that increase the risk of developing addiction and degenerations can occur that affect the proper development of the cerebral cortex);
In patients with depression and other mental disorders, as alcohol consumption can help relieve their feeling of being unwell;
In those who have suffered childhood trauma (in these patients the risk of developing alcohol dependence is associated with the increased risk of suffering from a personality disorder);