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Alcoholism: Causes, Risk Factors, and Symptoms

While some individuals can limit the amount of alcohol they consume, others feel a strong impulse to keep going. For some, alcohol gives off feelings of pleasure, encouraging the brain to repeat the behavior. Repetitive behavior like this can make you more vulnerable to developing alcoholism. After a long period of drinking, your brain begins to rely on alcohol to produce certain chemicals.

Treatment may involve standard therapies used to treat other mental illnesses, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is commonly used to treat depression, among other disorders. The brain experiences the effects of alcohol right away, resulting in changes in mood, behavior, and judgment. The more alcohol you drink, the higher your blood alcohol levels and the greater your level of alcohol intoxication. Roughly one-third of adults with a mental illness also suffer from addiction.

Stressful Environments

Moreover, long-term alcohol abuse can impact your ability to think abstractly, and can diminish attention span, brain size, and more. It is estimated that 17 million why are people alcoholics Americans struggle with alcohol abuse. Of that 17 million, research has shown that men are at greater risk for developing an alcohol abuse problem than women.

During these times, you’re looking to make new friends and develop relationships with peers. The desire to fit in and be well-liked may cause you to participate in activities that you normally wouldn’t partake in. Before you know it, you’re heading to every company happy hour, drinking more frequently and even craving alcohol after a long workday – all warning signs of AUD. In recent years, https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/how-to-write-a-goodbye-letter-to-addiction/ studies have explored a possible connection between your environment and risk of AUD. For example, many researchers have examined whether or not a person’s proximity to alcohol retail stores or bars affect their chances of alcoholism. People who live closer to alcohol establishments are said to have a more positive outlook on drinking and are more likely to participate in the activity.

Online Therapy

Cultures where drinking is considered shameful may cause alcoholics to hide their condition and avoid treatment due to the stigma of being labeled an alcoholic. Staying healthy and maintaining your sobriety takes time and dedication. Triggers, including a group of friends who drink, certain activities or circumstances can lead someone to fall back into old drinking habits. Medically managed withdrawal or detoxification can be safely carried out under medical guidance. Medications, such as benzodiazepines, are given to help control withdrawal symptoms. If necessary, patients may receive intravenous fluids, vitamins, and other medications to treat hallucinations or other symptoms caused by withdrawal.

Is alcoholism a disease or illness?

Alcohol or drug addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is a chronic disease of the brain that can happen to anyone.

A health care provider might ask the following questions to assess a person’s symptoms. In some people, the initial reaction may feel like an increase in energy. But as you continue to drink, you become drowsy and have less control over your actions. Alcohol use disorder can include periods of being drunk (alcohol intoxication) and symptoms of withdrawal. If you or a loved one are seeking help for alcoholism, there is help available. Relapsing does not mean you’ve failed and cannot overcome alcoholism.

Psychological Factors

There is no definite answer on which person would be most likely to develop alcoholism, as its start may look different from person to person. Alcoholism is a pattern of alcohol abuse in which a person has an uncontrollable urge to drink and loses control over the amount of alcohol they consume. Heavy consumption of alcohol clouds your judgment, often leading to unsafe scenarios. Mixing medication with drinks is one of the most dangerous drinking practices. Alcoholism affects all people, regardless of age, gender, socio-economic status, or race.

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