As one more decade is about to get ended, the world is going to welcome a new decade with open alarms. Apart from growing urbanization and modernization, the decade has witnessed a growing number of alcoholics. The rate of individuals consuming alcohol has soared high. With easy access to alcohol, whether it’s shops, lounges, marriage, etc, alcoholic beverages are widely consumed across the World. Although there are various categories of alcoholism, some are regular drinkers; some are occasional while some drink once in a while. The increased purchasing power of people allows them to consume alcohol be it an official meet-up, family function, and hanging out with friends.
During our normal chats, we have listened to the ‘alcoholic’ a lot many times. But have you ever wondered who exactly is an alcoholic?
“An alcoholic is an individual who doesn’t realize when or how to stop drinking. Alcoholic people are not able to control their urge to drink alcohol. They are not even bothered when this habit starts creating serious problems at work, at home, and in society. When they are short of funds, they don’t mind even opting for illegal means to arrange funds for buying alcohol.”
Alcohol is an intoxicating liquid made from the fermentation of grains, vegetables, fruits, etc. It has a strong taste that feels like a burning sensation. The side effects of alcohol are dependent upon the frequency and quantity of its consumption.
Moderate alcohol consumption has never been a problem, but when it gets out of control, an alcoholic is born. Here are the details about all the stages of an alcoholic:
#1. General Experimentation: The problem of alcoholism starts with general experimentation. Later on, the drinkers try to test their limits. This generally happens with young adults. They get frequently engaged in binge drinking. If they don’t drink regularly, then they start consuming a large amount at one time. This phase is generally seen during parties which are only organized for drinking purposes. Men who consume five or more beverages within 2 hours are known as binge drinkers, while women who consume four or more alcoholic beverages within two hours are known as binge drinkers.
#2: High Drinking: Once a person gets over with the experimentation stage, then he/she may get indulged in increased drinking which has been caused due to alleviated stress, boredom, loneliness, and also due to become a regular participant in drug parties. Most of the time, the cause of high drinking is an emotional problem.
#3. Nuisance Drinking: Frequent and uncontrolled drinking leads to nuisance drinking. During this stage, the alcoholic starts experiencing more legal troubles as he/she starts indulging in the drink and drive activity. He/she even starts becoming more stressed, depressed, anxious, and start getting sleep-deprived. Alcoholics also experience a lot of social changes due to problematic drinking like – irritating behavior, relationship issues, and difficulty in conversing with strangers.
#4. Dependence On Alcohol: An alcoholic gets dependent upon alcohol on a massive level. At this point, an alcoholic knows the ill-effects of alcohol, but still, he/she doesn’t control alcohol consumption. In spite of a lot of physical problems, like – racing heart, trouble sleeping, sweating, nausea, body tremors, etc, people don’t leave their drinking habits.
#5. Deep Addiction: Finally, an alcoholic gets trapped by alcohol addiction. During this stage, an alcoholic doesn’t drink for pleasure; rather he/she drinks in order to satiate his/her cravings. Chances are such people may also be getting addicted to drugs as well. People with these tendencies drink alcohol whenever, wherever they want.
When a person becomes drug-addicted, he/she hardly knows what exactly he/she is going through. Most likely people around an alcoholic can notice a few symptoms. So, let’s understand what those symptoms can be:
1. Blacking Out: Alcoholics face blackout a lot of time and are not able to remember the time from how long are they drinking. Forgetfulness is another major symptom of alcoholics. Their short term memory faces a major setback due to excessive alcohol consumption.
2. Drinking Alone: A person can be called an alcohol addict if he/she is found drinking alone most of the time so that no one can interrupt him/her from controlling alcohol intake. They can simply drink the quantity of alcohol they desire.
3. Drinking Odd Times: The occasional drinkers make a sense of time before binging into alcohol, whereas alcoholics do not mind drinking it first in the morning or just after lunch in the afternoon, or in late night. Their cravings push them to drink even at odd timings.
4. Pleasure Seeking: Alcoholics find happiness in alcohol, peace in alcohol, and pleasure in alcohol. Their mind gives them the feeling that their soul will only get satisfied if they go for alcohol consumption.
5. Losing Interest in Daily Routine: Alcoholics start losing their interest in their day-to-day activities. They don’t feel like sitting with family members, going to school/college/work. In fact, they even start losing interest in the hobbies once they had enjoyed.
6. Physical Problems: Alcoholics undergo a lot of problems on a physical front. They suffer from problems like sweating, nausea, hearing, a racing heart, or feelings. Other problems include brain damage, heart disease, trouble sleeping, shakiness, malnutrition, mental health disorders, etc.
7. Neglecting Personal Hygiene: Alcoholics get so much addicted to the alcohol that they even forget maintaining personal hygiene. Their bathing schedules get skipped. They even forget to combing their hair or wearing neat & clean clothes.
A person becomes an alcoholic due to various factors like – psychological, genetic, environmental, and social factors. Let’s understand the causes of alcohol addiction in detail as given below:
1. Stressful Environment: A person becomes an alcoholic due to various stressful factors. It can be due to malice in professional life or personal life. People start thinking that the kick of alcohol would freshen up their mood.
2. Depression and Anxiety Issues: Bi-polar disorders, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety/panic increase the risk of alcoholic attitude. Individuals feel that the feeling of ‘high’ will make their minds relaxed and reduce their pains.
3. Family History: You will be shocked to know but the reality is that genetic reasons can be the major causes of alcoholism. The tendency of drinking is passed from ancestors to the current generation. Also, spending time with the people who are heavy drinkers ultimately give birth to the alcohol addicted children.
4. Social Circle: During an adolescent age, teens give a lot of importance to the opinions of their friends. In order to be part of a social circle, they don’t mind indulging in alcohol like their peers.
5. Overcome Trauma: The bad memories of the past like – domestic violence, childhood abuse, etc. leave mental scars. In order to forget the traumas they suffered in past, people binge into alcoholism and try to temporarily feel better about their situation.
It’s no more a hidden fact that alcoholics heavily suffer from physical issues like – heart diseases, cancer, liver problems, etc., but did you know that social consequences can be even devastating. Alcoholics start struggling with unemployment, they live in poverty, due to which they get divorced. In extreme cases, domestic violence is the end result.
When somehow they manage to hold their marriages together, there is a major strain on close relationships like – husband/wife, children, parents, etc. Children become the greatest sufferers. Getting nurtured in such a relationship environment leaves them broken from inside and takes an enormous toll on their favorable upbringing.
Overcoming alcohol addiction can be a long process for alcoholics. It requires various treatments and therapies based on prior history. So, here are a few alcohol treatments. Take a look:
1. Detoxification: An alcohol addiction treatment starts with a well-planned detoxification program. This program is performed in an inpatient therapy treatment center or hospital. The program runs for one week. The detoxification treatment helps alcoholics prevent tremors, fears, hallucinations, etc.
2. Counseling: The counselors are empathetic and tend to provide quality care. The counselors listen to the problems of alcoholics. Do they try to understand how did their journey of alcohol addiction start? What insecurities and fears did they have that push them towards alcohol? Counselors try to give them a ray of hope by doing positive talks with them.
3. Oral Medication: Oral medication is one of the effects of alcohol treatments that help prevent the cravings that are being caused due to alcohol. The regular consumption of such medicines helps a lot in suppressing the feeling of alcohol consumption.
4. Spiritual Practice: Spirituality is the best practice to refrain oneself from alcohol consumption. Gaining greater insight into meditation, yoga, pranayam helps a lot in following a sattvic lifestyle.
5. Necessary Lifestyle Changes: In rehabilitation centres, the therapists motivate alcoholics to bring positive changes in lifestyle. Get up early, consume sunshine, bath on time, have pure food, follow hobbies, and sleep on time.
Here at AnattaRecovery, the general health assessment is conducted and then the detoxification process gets started. Once the patient’s health gets stabilized, individual and group therapy gets started. These therapies help alcoholics understand their problems and listening to experiences of fellow alcoholism which helps them release stress. The spiritual side of a person is also activated. The alcoholics learn the importance of surrendering to a higher power. The Aftercare treatment is also provided at Anatta Recovery where the patients are being counseled again and again once they resume their previous life.
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