Indications of an Alcohol Dependency

By: David B Smith

Alcoholism is a disease that is infrequently initially self-diagnosed. In other words, people who have to endure alcohol addiction hardly ever realise that they are contracting the disease until it is well advanced.

In truth, the path to an addiction to alcohol is generally paved with avowals such as, "I only drink when I am out" and "I can stop drinking any time I like". For this reason it is eminent that family and friends are able to recognise the Symptoms of alcoholism, so as to help the alcoholic person come to terms with the nature of their condition.

Alcoholism is a state in which the body is totally dependent on liquor to feel normal and good. In an alcohol dependency, the individual entirely loses control over alcohol in-take and continues to consume it despite the severe health problems it is causing.

Typically, an alcoholic indicates four signs that are characteristics of alcohol addiction: his body hungers after alcoholic substances, he loses control over alcohol ingestion, he becomes physically in need of alcohol, and he has a reduced tolerance level to alcoholic drinks. These four warning signs are briefly described below:

Desire: The patient suffers from the strong longing to drink all the time.

Loss of control: The patient fails to control his alcohol consumption and, as a result, repeatedly gives in to extreme drinking.

Physical dependence: The patient shows withdrawal Signs like nausea, dizziness, excessive sweating, and worry when he has not had a drink for a while.

Tolerance levels: The patient's tolerance to alcoholic substances decreases, as his body gradually loses its ability to process liquor. Therefore, he gets intoxicated very easily, even with little alcohol consumption.

It should be added to this last point, that while the alcohol-dependant person's tolerance to alcohol may fall, their ability to mask their drunken state may proportionally intensifie. In other words, it may become more tough for people to tell when the alcoholic person is drunk.

If you or freinds and family are showing these indicators, the first rule is not to panic. Remember that a proper diagnosis of the problem is the first step towards healing!

The healing process always begins with detoxification, which means the complete abstinence from alcoholic drinks. Some persons will have the courage and self-discipline to get through this without external help but generally it is a good idea to detox in an environment where there are trained medical professionals present. This is particularly important in cases of advanced alcoholism, where there can be severe symptomatic reactions to alcohol withdrawl, such as 'delirium tremens', which needs to be treated with drugs.

After the physical detoxification is concluded, the person invloved needs to address the social and psychological factors that led them to an alcohol dependency, in order to stop themselves repeating the same pattern and regressing back into the malady. Specialised counselling is eagerly available in most Western countries, and groups such as 'Alcoholics Anonymous' are ready to give ongoing support to alcoholic individuals.

Bear in mind that the leading step towards healing is recognising the disease. Be aware of the Indications, though be careful too how you first confront an alcoholic family member with their problem. Alcoholics almost always initially deny their condition and can become aggressively defensive. A loyal friend though will persist in helping an alcoholic friend come to terms with their disease.

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