Alcohol has long been known as the thief of the mind. Its abuse is one of the worst problems of the 21st century. Although alcohol had already been known in Biblical times (check many references to it both in the Old and New Testaments), it has flourished in the last couple of centuries. It was during the 20th century that many countries declared war against alcohol.
Yes, it is a medical condition and a diagnosis, but it has far reaching social consequences that hardly any family is immune to. What alcoholics do not realize is their substance abuse involves not only themselves, but also everyone with whom they come in contact.
Medically, it relates to dependence on alcoholic beverages so that it is known as substance abuse, which is harmful, damaging and even destructive not only to the ones suffering from substance abuse, but also to those around them. Alcohol symptoms may vary, but eventually they all have to do with medical, social and emotional breakdowns that may lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, and withdrawal.
Depending on one’s willpower, the level of dependence on alcohol may be expressed differently. As a rule, no alcoholic readily admits his substance abuse and his dependence on alcohol. Usually they deny it, saying it’s just a phase and that’s because they are going through some tough times and will easily kick it cold. There are three stages of alcoholism: the early, middle and final stages.
The early stage is recognized by the following alcohol symptoms: increased tolerance for alcohol, psychological dependence on the substance (which is accompanied by obsession for it, irritability and anger, loss of sleep and mood swings) and the loss of vomiting reflex to large amounts of alcoholic substances.
Alcohol symptoms for the next stage include physical dependence on the substance and the withdrawal syndrome that is accompanied by strong tremors, sleep and eating disorder, psychological disorders that are caused by the withdrawal such as nightmares, anxieties, and deceptive perception of reality. Quite a few develop alcoholic delirium. Substance abuse also brings about internal disorders.
The third and final stage leads to the following alcohol symptoms which are prevalent in the neurological, psychological and somatic area: tolerance for alcohol drops tremendously (they do not drink much at one time, but they drink in the course of the day and always looks drunk), contracted liver, polyneuritus potatorum and cerebropathy, characterized by dementia.
Alcoholism is treated not so much by means of medical intervention as by psychological intervention. Substance abuse as a rule, is a psychological problem more than it is a solely medical one. The treatment usually is rather quick when the patient realizes he needs help. If the person denies that he is substance dependent and that it ruins his life, the treatment will be very ineffective. However, this type of treatment rarely goes without professional psychological help.
Since excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages rarely comes out of vacuum and is usually triggered by stress such as loss of a loved one, being fired, serious argument with a close friend, or a prolonged “losing streak.” This stress needs to be dealt with first. Dealing with alcohol symptoms alone will not help, as the root of the problem is much deeper. And it needs to be taken into consideration that stress factors may cause relapse.