What Is Alcoholism?

Acoholism is present when a person craves alcohol and cannot limit or contain his or her drinking. If someone experiences withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, or anxiety when alcohol consumption has ceased, or if there is a need to drink greater amounts of alcohol in order to feel a high, that person is most likely alcoholic.

Some may think that it’s just a matter of having the will to stop drinking, but alcoholism is more complicated than that. An alcoholic’s craving for alcohol is so great that it suppresses their ability to stop drinking. The majority of alcoholics need assistance to stop drinking. With treatment and support from family and friends, many have been able to stop drinking and rebuild their lives. It is a sad fact however that there are still some who are unable to stop in spite of these aids.

What are the causes and effects of alcoholism?

Scientists say that someone who has alcoholic addiction in his/her family is more likely to develop alcoholism if they choose to drink. Alcoholism can also develop or worsen based on a person’s environment and traumatic experiences in life. These factors may include culture, family, friends, peer pressures, and the way the person lives.

Alcoholism can lead people into serious trouble, and can be physically and mentally destructive. Currently alcohol use is involved in half of all crimes, murders, accidental deaths, and suicides. There are also many health problems associated with alcohol use such as brain damage, cancer, heart disease, and diseases of the liver. Alcoholics who do not stop drinking reduce life expectancy by 10 to 15 years.

• Too much alcohol can destroy brain cells, possibly leading to brain damage.
• Alcohol greatly disturbs the structure and function of the central nervous system, hindering the ability to retrieve, consolidate, and process information.
• Moderate consumption of alcohol can affect cognitive abilities while large amounts interfere with the oxygen supply of the brain causing a blackout when totally drunk.
• Alcohol addiction may also inflame the mouth, esophagus, and stomach, and could cause cancer in these areas, especially in drinkers who also smoke.
• Splurge drinking may produce irregular heartbeats, and abusers experience a higher risk of high-blood pressure, heart attacks, and other heart damage.
• Alcohol also can harm vision, damage sexual function, slow circulation, be the grounds for malnutrition, and water retention.
• It can also lead to skin and pancreatic disorders, weaken the bones and muscles, thus, decreasing immunity

A large portion of alcohol taken in is broken down in the liver. It is important to note that the liver has a fixed rate of breaking down the alcohol, so as the liver is overused, disorders and malfunctions can result, making the liver the primary location of alcohol’s damage. Liver damage can occur in three stages. The first stage is liver enlargement whereby liver cells are penetrated with abnormal fatty tissue. The second stage is the alcoholic hepatitis whereby liver cells swell, inflame, and eventually die. The third stage is cirrhosis in which fibrous scar tissues are formed, hindering the flow of blood through the liver.

What to do with alcoholism? Have a desire to stop the alcohol addiction. You must have a serious desire to stop from being an alcoholic. Have the initiative to identify the cause of your being alcoholic. Knowing the cause of one problem is an important part to its solution. If being alcoholic is due to some traumatic experiences, you must let go and be delivered from it. Forgiveness is a good thing to do. Seek counseling to aid in healing. Make the decision to get help. Recognizing the need for help is one important thing to do. There are a lot of alcohol rehabilitation centers that could give you assistance for your treatment. You can also get different kinds of help from your family, friends, and above all from God. Keep reading to find two inspiring success stories of recovery from alcohol addiction.

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