Alcoholism is perhaps the most common form of drug abuse in America today. Alcohol is a liquid distilled product of fermented fruits, grains and vegetables used as a solvent, antiseptic and sedative for potential abuse. Alcoholism is a primary chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. Alcohol affects every part of an alcoholic’s life, heir body, their mind, and their family life. Family obligations and genetic factors cause some people to be especially vulnerable to alcohol.
However, a family history of alcoholism doesn’t mean that children of alcoholics will automatically grow up to become alcoholics themselves. Enviornmental factors such as peer pressure and the easy availability of alcohol can also play roles. Although alcohol-related disorders can strike anyone, poverty and physical or sexual abuse can also increase the odds. Alcoholics put an enormous amount of emphasis on trying to please others and themselves. They may become painfully depressed or overly aggressive causing family life to deteriorate rapidly. Many families tend to deny the fact that the person is an alcoholic causing the situation to worsen.
By allowing an alcoholic’s behavior to be controlled by a substance, the abuser, family members, friends and colleagues unknowingly become part of the problem. Substance abusers cannot stop the habit of drinking without the help of others. Abusing alcohol can have several effects on the family. These things can be anything like a lack of trust in other people, difficulty-expressing feelings, working hard to keep things going at home and at school, insecurity, loneliness, anger, frustration, guilt, and fear.
However, one should not accept blame for someone else’s behavior, have an attitude that makes the alcoholic think that they are less than oneself, use the if you loved me you would stop appeal, make idle threats, argue with the alcoholic when they are under the influence, and have unrealistic expectations. What one really should do is learn about alcoholism, develop an attitude to match the facts, talk to someone such as a professional counselor about alcoholism, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and take a stand about an alcohol free environment. The symptoms of alcoholism can start out minor and hard to detect at first, however they will rapidly show themselves over the course of time. Many of the symptoms may include loss of continuous impaired control over drinking, progression of the drug, use of alcohol despite consequences, distortions in thinking, personality change, and most notably denial. Many alcoholics say that they have a good reason for their drinking. These reasons vary considerably from loneliness to attraction, and escaping from pain to control issues.
These patterns are common to addiction. No individual would like to admit that they are any different that anyone else. Alcohol-related disorders can affect people in many ways. Small amounts of alcohol may have some beneficial physical effects, but heavy drinking can cause serious health problems and even death. Short-term effects include distorted perceptions, memory loss, hangovers and blackouts.
However impotence, stomach ailments, cardiovascular problems, cancer CNS (Central Nervous System) damage, serious memory loss and liver cirrhosis (most severe form of liver disease). Upon exiting the liver the alcohol is distributed throughout other organs including the lungs, brain and kidneys. Also, cancer of the mouth esophagus and lungs as well as intestinal and pancreatic cancer often occur as a result of alcoholism. After alcohol reaches the frontal lobe, which has, direct control over judgment, visual perception and decision-making skills.
The body has a natural chemical that gives a feeling of a “natural high.” It happens in the presence of a life endangering situations. This chemical is an adrenaline, which is meant to prepare the body for defense in the case of an emergency. Alcohol tricks the body into giving off the chemical and in turn; get the “high” feeling. The problem alcohol has though is that when it goes to the brain, it blocks the synapses in the brain, that portions of the brain cannot perform its usual tasks: such as speaking, walking, seeing, etc.
Since the body is in a high state for so long, instead of just for a few minutes, it becomes addicted and depends on the alcohol for normal function. In small doses, alcohol has a tendency to provide warmth, comfort, and relaxation. But when the drinker is unable to control the amount they have, they become more outgoing, self confident and inhibited. Many people believe that alcohol acts as a “social lubricant.” Many expect all increased social pleasures, assertions, talkativeness and even happiness when they drink in these situations. Alcohol is said to reduce tension an anxiety. This in turn allows a drinker to feel more relaxed and comfortable in social situations.
However, this also encourages the drinker to drink more when under stress. Alcohol also affects the mind in other ways not just socially. But what the drinkers don’t take into consideration is that the alcohol dulls the brain and confuses physical reactions, which leads to numerous injuries, accidents, and deaths. As a result of the drunk drivers, 25, 000 deaths occur each year. More that 16 to 24 year olds are killed as a result of drunk driving or are involved in accidents where someone is driving drunk that any other age group in the nation. Alcohol is believed to directly stimulate feelings of power and the need to dominate.
Alcohol also has a direct affect on sexual relations. Most people think that consumption of alcohol will increase their sexual performance when in all actuality it increases the desire, but it takes away from the performance. It’s often found that women can control the sexual feelings more adequately then men can, which gives reason to why more women are raped and assaulted then men. Although alcohol affects every part of life, it also has an irreversible effect on the body. Alcoholism is treatable but so far no cure has been found. This means people remain susceptible to relapses even after they ” ve been sober for a long time.
Alcohol related disorders could severely impair peoples functioning and health. But the prospects for long- term recover are good for people who seek help from appropiate sources. Qualified psychologists with experience in this area help those who suffer from alcohol- related disorders to stop drinking and start regaining control of their lives.