What is alcoholism – symptoms. Alcoholism is associated with the loss of control over drinking alcohol in appropriate amounts. Unhealthy drinking includes any drinking that threatens your health or safety or causes other alcohol-related problems. This includes excessive drinking – a drinking pattern where a man consumes five or more drinks in two hours or a woman consumes four or more drinks in two hours. Drinking while in a coma poses significant health and safety risks.
If your drinking behavior causes repeated significant discomfort and problems managing your daily life, you probably have an alcohol use disorder. These disorders can range in severity from mild to severe. However, even a mild disorder can escalate and lead to serious problems, which is why early treatment is so important. Effective alcohol therapy can get rid of this problem. Alcohol addiction treatment centers provide the best care for patients.
Degree of alcohol dependence
Depending on how many symptoms you experience, alcohol use disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe. Signs and symptoms may include not being able to limit the amount of alcohol you drink and spending a lot of time drinking, getting alcohol or recovering from alcohol. Alcohol poisoning occurs when the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream increases. The higher your blood alcohol concentration, the more you feel the effects. Alcohol poisoning causes behavioral problems and mental changes. These include inappropriate behavior, mood swings, impaired judgment, slurred speech, impaired attention or memory, and poor coordination.
You may also experience blackouts where you can’t remember events. Very high blood alcohol levels can lead to coma and even death. Alcohol withdrawal can occur when alcohol has been consumed in large amounts and over a long period of time and then stopped or significantly reduced. It can occur within a few hours to four or five days later.
Signs and symptoms include sweating, rapid heartbeat, hand tremors, trouble sleeping, nausea and vomiting, hallucinations, restlessness and agitation, anxiety, and sometimes seizures. Symptoms can be severe enough to interfere with your ability to function at work or in social situations. Treating alcoholism is a difficult road that can be successful. Closed alcohol rehab may be the only right choice for an addict.
When to contact your doctor
If you feel like you sometimes drink too much alcohol, or if your drinking is causing you problems, or if your family is concerned about your drinking, talk to your doctor. Other ways to get help are to talk to a mental health professional or to seek help from a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous or a similar support group. Because denial is common, you may not feel like you have a drinking problem. You may not realize how much you drink or how many problems in your life are related to drinking.
Listen to relatives, friends or co-workers if they tell you that you should check your drinking habits or seek help. Consider talking to someone who has had a drinking problem but has stopped. Many people with an alcohol problem are reluctant to seek treatment because they don’t realize they have a problem. Intervention from loved ones can help some people realize and accept that they need professional help.
If you are concerned about someone who drinks too much, ask a professional experienced in alcohol treatment for advice on how to approach that person. The doctor may refer the addict for alcohol treatment to an alcohol addiction center .
Causes of alcoholism
Genetic, psychological, social and environmental factors can influence how alcohol consumption affects the body and behavior. Theories are that for some people, drinking has a different, stronger effect that can lead to alcohol use disorder. Over time, excessive drinking can alter the normal functioning of areas of the brain related to pleasure, judgment, and the ability to control one’s behavior. This can lead to alcohol cravings to restore good feelings or reduce negative ones.
Excessive drinking over a long period of time or regular consumption of large amounts of alcohol can lead to alcohol-related problems or alcohol use disorder. People who start drinking at a young age – especially heavy drinkers – are at higher risk of developing an alcohol use disorder.
The risk of developing an alcohol use disorder is higher in people who have a parent or other close relative who has a drinking problem. Genetic factors may play a role. People with a history of emotional or other traumatic experiences have an increased risk of developing an alcohol use disorder.