What is Alcoholism?
What is Alcoholism? by Jack Smith
Alcoholism is an acute illness that involves excessive ingestion of ethyl alcohol, either in the form of alcoholic drinks or as an ingredient of other substances. It is usually progressive and gets more and more chronic over time. Its causes are thought to originate from several factors, which may be physiological, psychological, social or genetic in nature. It is characterized by four main symptoms, which are:
1 Craving: this is a strong need or urge to drink
2 Loss of control: when an individual who, once he has begun drinking, feels unable to stop himself at will.
3 Physical dependence: physical dependence is manifest in withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shakiness and anxiety after the drinking bout has stopped
4 Tolerance: this is the urge to drink more and more alcohol in order to get ‘the high’.
Now, alcoholism is viewed as a complex disease. The craving of an alcoholic for alcohol can be as pressing as that for food and water. Like addicts of other substances, alcoholics will pursue their urge to obtain and consume alcohol, even at the cost of their families, financial well-being, legal problems and social acceptance.
Alcoholism is different from mere irresponsible drinking in that it is a coping mechanism or behavior (albeit misplaced), in response to psychological or social stresses. It develops slowly, over a period of years. Expending disproportionate energy on ensuring the availability of alcohol is an early warning sign of alcoholism. The process of ensuring availability strongly influences the individual’s choice of friends or activities. Alcohol gradually comes to be used as a mood-changing agent rather than just another beverage served at a gathering, as is the social custom.
In the initial stages, it is likely that the individual’s tolerance to alcohol will increase and he will be able to consume more alcohol, at the same time, displaying fewer side effects. In the next stage, alcohol seems to start taking precedence over the individual’s personal and professional relationships, reputation and physical health. Finally, physical addiction may result, sometimes leading to drinking all the time in order to suppress the withdrawal symptoms.
Jack Smith writes about various Alcoholism topics. This article is free to re-print as long as nothing is changed, all links remained intacked, the bio remains in full and the rel="nofollow" tag is not added to any of the links. Thank-you Please Visit Addiction News
Article Source: ArticleWiz
back to health articles