What is Alcohol Addiction?
A social, personal and professionally destructive pattern of alcohol use, that leads to physical and psychological dependence on the substance.
What are the symptoms?
A person suffering from alcohol addiction will have 3 or more of the following:
1. A person should consume alcohol on a regular basis.
2. Alcohol tolerance- over a period of time, he needs increased amounts of alcohol to achieve the desired “high” or markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol.
3. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms:
a. Two (or more) of the following, develop within several hours of reduction in alcohol use:
• sweating or rapid pulse rate or rapid heart rate
• increased hand tremor,
• insomnia or difficulty in sleeping,
• nausea or vomiting,
• angry or aggressive behavior,
• visual, tactile, or auditory hallucinations or illusions,
• Epileptic fits or seizures.
b. Alcohol is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
4. Alcohol was often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
5. Persistent desire or unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control alcohol consumption.
6. Great deal of time spent in using alcohol, or recovering from hangovers.
7. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities given up or reduced because of alcohol use.
8. Continued alcohol use is continued despite having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been worsened by alcohol (e.g., continued drinking despite knowing that an ulcer was made worse by drinking alcohol)
What is the Treatment?
1. A person has to be motivated to leave the substance. Only a person who is self-motivated to leave can be successful in conquering the problem.
2. Seek professional neuro-psychiatric help to overcome the withdrawal symptoms.
3. A good diet to replenish the brain with nutrients that alcohol takes away.
4. Checkup of liver, kidney, heart, eyes to grade extent of damage due to continuous alcohol use.
5. Support from family to keep away from the substance
6. Involvement in multiple tasks, including helping other addicts to leave the substance.