Alcoholism is a disorder wherein a person engages in excessive and repeated drinking of alcohol to the point that the drinker damages his health or even harms others without his permission. Because such excessive and repeated drinking is often perceived to be habit-forming and under severely diminished voluntary control, most medical practitioners consider alcohol addiction and alcoholism to be psychological illnesses and not a physical disease. For some patients with this condition, treatment can be difficult, especially when other illnesses are present. This is when the alcohol rehabilitation center comes into play.
The five most common symptoms of alcoholism include frequent intoxication, emotional lability, severe craving for alcohol, negative mood changes, withdrawal effects, and physical problems due to drinking. Of these, the frequent intoxication and emotional lability are the most evident ones, as they are usually observed with heavy and frequent drinkers. The other symptoms are the craving for alcohol and negative mood swings, which are evident most commonly in the first two phases of alcohol use disorder (see AUD). Most people who abuse alcohol do so for periods of time that are equivalent to the duration of their depression.
People with symptoms of alcoholism may also exhibit signs of psychosis or schizophrenia. These include delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, and mania. Others may engage in violent behavior when intoxicated. Psychotic episodes are also a possibility if the patient is particularly prone to them. Psychotic symptoms usually take place within a week of drinking.
There are several methods used in the treatment of people with symptoms of alcoholism. Detoxification, or eliminating the toxins in the body that are responsible for causing alcoholism, is one of these methods. This is done through eliminating alcohol, either through dieting, taking anti-coagulants or other medications, or undergoing therapy. Studies show that about eighty percent of alcoholics can be treated successfully with these methods.
Self-medication is another method that people resort to in an attempt to stop drinking. This includes using drugs like cocaine or amphetamines to achieve a state of euphoria, which is supposed to subside the withdrawal symptoms that come with quitting alcohol. Alcoholism can be treated in a number of ways, but these methods are all effective only in the short term. Chronic heavy alcohol use can lead to a variety of serious health problems, even if the symptoms do not go away.
There are some basic facts about alcoholism. For one, the human mind is built to respond in a certain way to alcohol. The human body, as a whole, was designed to behave in a way that allows us to physically need alcohol. People who abuse alcohol do not have any physiological reason to drink; therefore, the brain acts in a way that alcohol is the desired substance.
Although there are some serious health risks involved in alcohol abuse, these are unavoidable in any alcoholic's life. Excessive drinking can cause damage to the liver, damage to the brain and severe dental problems. Many people believe that they would never harm themselves or others if they drank less. Unfortunately, the problem of addiction to alcohol never goes away on its own. It is something that needs to be addressed and dealt with by individuals who have a true understanding of the disorder.
The good news is that alcoholism is not a disease or a physical condition. There is no "cure" for alcoholism, just as there is no cure for many conditions in our society. However, alcoholism treatment does exist and it can prove highly effective. Alcoholism treatment centers are equipped to handle cases ranging from mild to severe abuse alcohol.