"If drinking is interfering with your work, you're probably a heavy drinker. If work is interfering with your drinking, you're probably an alcoholic."― Author Unknown
In many cultures, alcohol is consumed in various forms of beverages as part of the daily lifestyle. Social drinking, sharing alcoholic drinks with friends and colleagues is very popular in many cultures.
These days celebrations are almost incomplete without the champagne and various alcoholic cocktails. Because of the immense popularity of the alcohol in our society, it gets very difficult to even realize that one of our family member or even we are suffering from the condition called, alcohol abuse. This problem is also referred to as alcoholism.
What is Alcohol Abuse?
Alcohol abuse is the term used for the tendency of consuming alcohol, despite being aware of the harmful effects of alcohol. Effects of alcohol on the human body may have a serious consequence if not treated early. Alcohol affects the nervous system also. The effects of alcohol on antibiotics and other medicines are really very serious.
- The prime difference between social drinking and alcohol abuse is that if a person is suffering from alcohol abuse, alcohol becomes his/her prime point of focus, it becomes more important than the family, work, friends and all the other beloved possessions.This is the main and significant difference. Problem drinkers actually make alcohol the biggest substitute to all their primary needs. They can survive without food but they simply cannot live without alcohol. Social gatherings, friendly meetings, family talk, playing with children and all such things that were a real stress buster in the past, seem totally useless to the person who is alcoholic.
- An alcoholic person starts to relate himself more with the bar and often tends to 'share' his grieving or any painful feeling with the glass of alcohol than his loved ones. All this, finally makes the person to act violently in several incidences that (he thinks) are against his will. In short, an alcoholic person becomes physically as well as emotionally dependent on alcohol and loses his total control over the amount of alcohol consumption.
- Alcohol abuse in teenagers
A study states that nearly 30 percent of college going students in the US stay under the influence of alcohol for a long period of time. There is a huge craze among the adolescent as well as the college going students for alcoholic beverages, that later on turns into abuse. This is the reason one must keep a close eye on the routine of your teenager, also keep an eye on his friend circle to make sure that none of his friends are suffering from alcohol addiction.
- Alcohol abuse in older people
Those who have retired from their jobs or lost their partners can suffer from alcohol abuse due to their loneliness and increased sensitivity. This condition is actually very difficult to recognize, still, there are several symptoms that one can see.
Alcoholics are those people who drink heavy amount of alcohol on a regular basis. Some people set a specific pattern and limit their alcohol consumption strictly to the social level, while some people simply lose control over all limitations and they start consuming it in large quantities on a regular basis, which is really very dangerous. Alcohol abuse can also referred to alcohol addiction. Some physical symptoms of alcohol abuse are-
- Weight loss
- Blackouts and unconsciousness
- Slurred speech and dizziness
- Upset stomach
- Redness of face
- Tingling and numb body parts (especially hands)
Besides the physical indications, you will also observe symptoms pertaining to mental degradation. Some of which may appear only minor in the start, however, which will progress into serious issues, they are-
- Oversleeping or insomnia
- "Just one more glass", failing to quit despite all the efforts
- Irritability and increased anger
- Avoiding places that don't allow alcohol consumption
- Drunken driving and driving in dangerous areas (cliffs or middle of the traffic)
- Excessive emotional displays (weeping, anger, abusing etc.)
- Difficulty in keeping commitments
After a certain stage, the tolerance level of the person to the alcoholic drinks starts to build up immensely and if he tries to stop drinking alcohol, serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms start to show. Serious effects are observed in some people, which include memory problems, liver inflammation, erectile dysfunction, birth defects, increased risk of cancer and brain stroke as well as risk to heart health. If you suspect that your friend is suffering from alcoholism, watch out for these alcohol signs and symptoms.
Road to recovery
You cannot stop the alcohol addiction of a person in a day and that too against his will or by applying any emotional or threatening forces. Remember that alcohol is his closest companion. In case of alcohol abuse, the more you try to make the person to stop drinking alcohol, the more addicted he becomes. An alcoholic requires serious help to get out of his alcohol addiction. With the help of alcohol rehabilitation programs and a strong will power, a person can get out of this condition. Still, never forget that recovery from alcohol abuse is a long process and it will take your proper attention and care for the loved one who is suffering from it. The more you care for the person suffering from the symptoms, the faster will he return to a normal lifestyle.