Alcoholism is an overwhelming desire to drink alcohol, even though it is causing harm.
Alcohol is a drug. In the United States alcoholism is the most widespread form of drug abuse,
effecting at least 5 million people. About one third of high school students in the US are thought
to be influenced drinkers. Many already may be alcoholics.
A person who is dependent on alcohol is called an alcoholic. Drunk drivers account for
one half of all fatal automobile accidents each year in the US. Alcoholism also creates many
severe physical problems. More then three drinks a day, over a few weeks causes destructive
danger in the liver. Changes in the brain and nervous system result in hostile behavior. A family
or individual with an alcoholism problem is in serious trouble because the alcoholic’s main goal
is to get something to drink.
The drinking usually continues until the person is drunk.
Family, friends and work are little concern compared to the need for alcohol. Drunkenness limits
the alcoholic’s control of normal behavior and to perform the easiest functions. Many resources
can help but two rules apply to recovery. One is that the alcoholic must accept the fact that there
is a real problem and must decide to stop drinking. An alcoholic must also realize that any form
of alcohol is literally poison.
When in recovery an alcoholic could never take another drink.
First of all you will notice that an alcoholic will often gulp their drinks, they can probably
drink a lot before they get drunk, they may stay drunk for several days, they will also have a
favorite drink, and may change their favorite drink to another. They may also hide their drinking.
Alcoholism is an illness and is very common. It is very hard for an alcoholic to stop drinking
because they know how they feel when they do not drink. Alcoholics usually try to stop drinking
because they maybe have hurt someone they love or may also be on the verge of losing their job.
People who stop drinking sometimes may have to go to the hospital for a period of time,
this is called detoxification. This is the best way for treatment when it is hard for them to stop.
The withdrawal symptoms are things such as shaking, sweating, fever, pains and nausea.
These can be severe and dangerous to that persons health. After detoxification comes
rehabilitation this is a period of time which the person starts to recover mentally and physically.
Most alcoholics will go to AA meetings during this time.
This is where they can go and meet
other alcoholics just like them.
Effects on the Body
Alcohol also effects the kidneys, another major internal organ. When drinking alcohol urination
increases due to changes in the hormone aldosterone. This is what regulates water in the
body. So it is not uncommon to experience an increase in the urge to urinate while intoxicated.
The liver, however, is effected the most.
Liver damage may occur in three irreversible stages.
The first stage is called Fatty Liver. This is where the liver cells are worked in with abnormal
fatty tissue, enlarging the liver. Second there is Alcoholic Hepatitis. Liver cells swell, become
inflamed, and die, causing blockage. Last, the more advanced alcoholic liver now has Cirrhosis:
a fibrous scar tissue forms in place of healthy cells, obstructing the flow of blood through the
Various functions of the liver deteriorate with often fatal results. A diseased liver cannot
convert stored glycogen into glucose, thus lowering blood sugars and producing hypoglycemia
an important function in the liver
-Alcohol is a key factor in up to 68 percent of manslaughter’s, 62 percent of assaults, 54 percent of murders/attempted murders, 48 percent of robberies, and 44 percent of burglaries.
-Among jail inmates, 42.2 percent of those convicted of rape reported being under the influence of alcohol or alcohol and other drugs at the time of the offense.
-In 1987, 64 percent of all reported child abuse and neglect cases in New York City were associated with parental AOD abuse.
-In 1992, there were 6,839 deaths due to alcohol.
There were 1,154 deaths from direct alcohol
related problems and 5,685 deaths indirectly due .