Drug addiction is increasingly emerging as a menace in today’s society. Among substances of abuse, alcohol is ranked second, next only to tobacco consumption. According to recent studies, the prevalence of alcohol users is about 21.4 %, with the age of initiation dropping to 17 years. This trend is leading to an increased incidence of physical as well as psychological illnesses. So, it is the need of the hour to create awareness regarding this social evil.
These days, there is a growing threat to the well being of the society which is slowly and steadily tightening its grip over every stratum of the society and is threatening its very existence and fabric. This hazard is none other than the one posed by drug addiction and abuse, particularly alcohol.
Alcohol, when consumed within limits (30 ml/day) leads to a sense of well being and relaxation. But, when consumed in large amounts (more than 90 ml/day), it can result in the slowing of reflexes, poor judgment ability, decreased control over motor movements along with increased anger and violence which can prove lethal.
According to recent studies, 21.4 % of the population consumes alcohol. A worrying trend which has been observed is that the age of initiation of alcohol consumption, which was previously around 28 years has now decreased to 17 years along with an increase in the quantity of total alcohol consumption.
Alcohol abuse can lead to many physical morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, liver cirrhosis, cancer, neuropathy, cardiac illness and kidney ailments. Apart from physical illnesses, it can also lead to mental or psychiatric illness such as anxiety, insomnia, depression, and personality disorders. In many studies, it has been found that around 50 % of the alcohol users suffer from one mental illness or the other.
How to Identify Addiction and Get Help?
If a person met any three of these six criteria, at any given time in the past year, then he or she has developed a dependence on alcohol and is in dire need of urgent psychiatric and medical treatment.
How Can Addiction Be Treated?
There are two modalities of treatment.
So, it can be concluded that the growing prevalence of alcohol abuse is a matter of concern and urgent steps need to be taken to combat this social evil.
For more information consult an addiction and substance abuse specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychiatrist/addiction-and-substance-abuse
The signs and symptoms of chronic alcoholism are:
- Persistent headache.
- Decreased sleep.
If a person is an alcoholic, they will start losing their motor coordination, and they will start walking in an abnormal way. The vision becomes blurred, and the speech is not clear. In the long run, all the organ systems of the body start its impairment due to the negative influence of alcohol.
The signs of liver damage due to alcohol are:
- Drowsiness or confusion.
- Swelling in the ankles and tummy.
- Weight loss.
- Feeling sick.
- Loss of appetite.
- Passing blood in your stools or vomiting blood.
- Yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice).
If you are an alcoholic person, you will give a lot of excuses both in personal and professional life to drink alcohol. Your mood would not be stable, and you might get excessive anger. You might also experience memory loss and excessive irritability.
Alcoholics are known to have developed a certain degree of tolerance for the levels of alcohol. The alcohol is rapidly metabolized by the body and is easily eliminated from the system. So, they tend to consume higher quantities of alcohol in a quicker manner.
If chronic alcoholics stop drinking alcohol, they might experience weight loss. The composition of the body is known to improve, and your stomach will lose its belly fat. Some patients also experience weight gain after stopping the consumption of alcohol. Both are considered as normal unless there is a drastic change.
When you stop drinking alcohol suddenly, your body will start longing for the effects of alcohol. The person might also experience severe withdrawal symptoms like tremors in the hands, anxiety, headache, and insomnia. It is the best option to get help from your doctor if you are planning to quit alcohol.
Yes, alcohol can cause belly fat. The additional calories present in the alcohol gets deposited as fat. It is mostly seen in the belly region. It is not specific that the fat would be stored only in the belly. Depending on the body type of the individual, the fat gets stored.
Yes, the brain can heal itself in a very fast manner if the person stops drinking alcohol. The brain had the capacity to repair itself. This is due to the plasticity of the brain. Due to alcohol abuse, the gray matter of the brain would be shrunk. This part of the brain will come back to the normal size when the person stops drinking alcohol.
Some people with liver disease will have itching in their soles, palms, and any part of the limbs. This itching is known to aggravate during the evening and night. Itching in the morning time is very rare.
The life expectancy of people with alcoholic liver disease is around two years. A minor category of people has a survival period of around five years. The prognosis becomes poor if severe complications like ascites, gastrointestinal bleeding, and encephalopathy occur. The lifespan of an individual depends on their health condition.
The complications of chronic alcoholism are:
- Digestive problems.
- Liver disease.
- Diabetes complications.
- Heart problems.
- Sexual function.
- Eye problems.
- Menstruation issues.
- Bone damage.
- Birth defects.
Alcohol abuse is known to cause distress to the central nervous system of an individual. Stimulation is the initial reaction of some people. Muscle coordination will be lost in the body. The speech becomes slurred, and the patient is unable to walk properly. Heavy drinking habits can result in life-threatening complications like death.
The consumption of alcohol can invite the following complications, such as:
- Heart disease.
- Liver disease.
- Gastrointestinal diseases.
- Cancer of the breast, colon, liver, throat, mouth, and esophagus.
Long term alcoholism can cause severe long term damages like mental and physical illness. In addition to this, it can cause cardiovascular disease, cancer, and liver damage. In the brain, gray matter and white matter are diminished.
The various stages of alcoholic liver disease are:
- Fatty liver.
- Alcoholic hepatitis.
- Liver cirrhosis.
The symptoms of end-stage liver disease are:
- Yellowing discoloration of eyes and skin (jaundice).
- Easy bleeding tendency.
- Abdominal pain.
- Intense itching.
- Loss of appetite.
- Difficulty in concentration.
- Swelling that occurs due to fluid buildup in your legs and abdomen.
- Memory loss.
Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2018 - 2 min read
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