Almost everyone has tried alcohol at least once in their life. Someone does this very rarely, someone only on holidays, and there are those for whom the daily use of alcohol, for example, beer, is a familiar and acceptable way of life. In many countries, drinking alcohol is socially driven and an easy and affordable way to relieve stress. Few of us think about the negative effects of alcohol on the human body and the consequences of its use. Drinking alcoholic small quantities, it causes excitement of the nervous system, which is often manifested by an elevated mood, a feeling of self-confidence increases, there is a feeling of joy, relaxedness. But it should be remembered that alcohol is a strong psychotropic drug, the use of large quantities has a strong toxic effect on the brain, inhibiting its functions.
Alcohol abuse is an addiction called alcoholism. The problem of alcohol addiction is not new but has been known to people since ancient times. What is alcoholism? How not to cross this line between norm and pathology? How to understand if you or your loved ones have an addiction? How to get rid of it?
What is alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a pathological dependence on the use of alcoholic beverages, both physical and psychological. Alcohol addiction is a disease that cannot occur suddenly, like the flu or appendicitis, alcoholism develops imperceptibly and rapidly.
How does alcoholism develop?
Alcohol addiction is a progressive disease with characteristic stages of development, smoothly replacing one another.
Zero stage or prodrome
This stage is characteristic of most people. This is the so-called “domestic drunkenness”. Irregular alcohol use from case to case, which a person can painlessly stop at any time for any period of time.
A person prefers the type of recreation that involves the use of alcohol. He is still able to resist the desire to achieve a state of intoxication, but more and more often does not resist it. The body’s tolerance increases, a person needs more and more alcohol to get drunk. As a rule, among people, this fact is perceived as a sign of good health, but in fact this is an attempt by the body to establish a mechanism for a more efficient removal of toxic substances. Over time, the doses grow uncontrollably, the ability to control the amount of alcohol consumed is lost. At the first stage, insomnia, irritability, headaches, disturbances in the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and the cardiovascular system are observed, and chronic fatigue syndrome develops.
The alcoholic does not admit the fact of dependence, he believes that at any moment he can stop, and persistent physical dependence develops.
A person needs regular alcohol consumption, without it he is no longer able to interact and function normally, losing self-control, mental disorders, limb tremors, insomnia, headaches develop, appetite is disturbed, mental abilities and performance are reduced, memory lapses are observed. In a state of alcoholic intoxication, the patient behaves inadequately, sometimes dangerous for himself and others, he has hallucinations, the sense of responsibility is dulled, the work of many organs and systems of the body is disrupted. Binges become longer and more frequent. Severe withdrawal symptoms.
This is an extreme stage of alcoholism, in which the body’s resistance is significantly reduced, the alcoholic gets drunk from small doses of alcohol, drinking it almost daily. The third stage is the stage of personality degradation with irreversible mental disorders. In the brain, destructive processes occur, as a result of which dementia, dementia develop, epileptic seizures, delirium (delirium tremens), uncontrolled attacks of aggression, memory lapses occur. An alcoholic patient for the sake of a new portion of alcohol is ready to break the law, steal, lie, threaten, this is practically a deranged person. Drunkenness becomes a habitual way of life. From the physiological side, pathological processes are observed in the liver, kidneys, pancreas, impotence, osteoporosis, polyneuritis develops, the cardiovascular system is affected,
Female and child alcoholism
Modern women are kind of versatile soldiers showing enviable endurance. They give birth and raise children, solve many everyday issues, build a career, self-develop.
There are many leaders and research workers among the fair sex. Being in such a busy rhythm of life every day, a woman is looking for ways to relax, and very often this “lifeline” is the regular use of a glass of wine after a hard and busy day, an easy and affordable method to relieve nervous tension. But over time, one glass is not enough, the doses grow, thus, an addiction is imperceptibly formed. Today women make up one-fifth of all people suffering from this pathology. The statistics on the number of alcoholics is growing inexorably, and the disease is “getting younger” every year. Childhood alcoholism is the most dangerous and difficult. The psyche of a teenager is fragile and unstable. Drunkenness at an early age develops many times faster and affects all organs and systems in a very short time, often leading to death.
The main causes of childhood alcoholism:
- Unfavorable family environment
- Desire to assert yourself
- Peer pressure
- Trying to get away from psychological discomfort
When alcoholism reaches the second and third stages, it is almost impossible to get rid of this addiction on its own. To avoid serious consequences, you must promptly seek qualified help.