Alcohol Abuse: Help, Support and Overcome
Alcohol Abuse Overview
Alcohol abuse, distinct from alcoholism, is the repeated use of alcoholic drinks in spite of negative consequences. Binge drinking, a form of alcohol abuse, is defined in the USA as consumption of more than 5 units of alcohol for men and more than 4 units for women. Alcohol abuse affects the ability to concentrate and therefore adversely impacts work, interpersonal relationships, health, and very importantly, the safety of people around the diseased individual.
According to a report from US News Health Day, dated June 1, 2011, children of both sexes, who suffer from ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) are 150% more at risk of developing substance abuse than regular children. This includes the abuse of alcohol apart from other substances like drugs and tobacco.
University of Minnesota researchers assert that between the two genders, the scale is tipped towards males being victims of alcohol and other substance abuse. Women, in general, according to their findings, tend to get into depression or anxiety, rather than manifesting antisocial disorders, like substance abuse or vandalism.
Alcohol abuse is a serious problem with possible life threatening implications. Initially, the victim can face impaired visual and auditory functions, lowered functional memory and, therefore, an inability to carry out the regular responsibilities of life, such as studies, work, social interactions, etc. Insomnia is also a frequent symptom, leading to further lack of coherent behavior. Social consequences include damaged interpersonal relationships, irritable behavior, loss of reputation at the workplace, vandalism, problems with following the law and drunken driving. Continued abuse can lead to liver cirrhosis or liver failure. The disease has external physical manifestations like cherry angiomas and jaundice in case of liver problems, heart problems, hypertension and even brain damage caused by alcohol killing brain cells.
Help and Support for Alcohol Abuse
It is difficult to break the cycle of alcohol abuse because of several reasons, primarily because of the causes of the abuse in the first place. Alcohol abuse seems to be common because of the easy availability of alcoholic beverages. Coupled with this is the ‘good’ feeling that consumption may provide. If the body tends to send signals of positive or nice feelings to the individual on the consumption of a particular substance, abuse becomes more frequent and habitual. Alcohol is a depressant and is toxic. But the dependence causes the victim to feel irritated by suggestions of lesser consumption. There might be instances where a person tends to hide alcohol in personal cupboards and desks, and tends to drink alone in order to avoid criticism or feedback. Very often, forcing a victim to stay off alcohol may cause fever, headaches, delirium, etc.
Overcome Alcohol Abuse
Its treatment includes hospitalization and medical intervention with close monitoring of the patient. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international organization equipped with a 12 step program to deal with and cure alcohol abuse. Different medicines also can treat alcohol abuse, by either causing adverse reactions in case of consumption, or by developing a distaste for and suppression of the urge to drink. These can be prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner. Sometimes, individuals close to the patient may also be successful in breaking the cycle of abuse by simply pointing out what the consequences of such behavior have been. However, few individuals are qualified enough and, therefore, successful in dealing with the disease through simple counseling conversations.