What is Alcoholism and who is a alcoholic?


Addiction to alcohol is termed as Alcoholism. It is a type of chronic disorder where the person’s addiction prevents him to refrain from frequent or excessive intake of alcohol for reasons which could be both physical and psychological. WHO has listed 3 most deadly killer diseases of 20th century in one of its report and Alcoholism is one of them.

Alcohol not only kills but also brings poverty, crime, gives rise to marital problems and eventually broken homes. A large number of traffic accidents are due to drunken drivers.

Alcohol is not a natural product as it is result of decomposition which makes it a member of poison’s family. Ethyl alcohol is the main ingredient in nearly all type of alcohol which includes beer, wine or distilled liquor. It is a toxic drug which depresses brain and nervous system. Alcohol is not digested thus cannot be called as food. It is absorbed quickly by the blood and travels to every corner of the body affecting every part including brain and LIVER.

According to World Health Organization (WHO): “Alcoholics are those excessive drinkers whose dependence upon alcohol has attained such a degree that it shows a noticeable mental disturbance or an interference with their bodily and mental health, their interpersonal relations, and their smooth social and economic functioning; or [those]who show the prodromal (warning) signs of such developments.”

How one could you say that a person is alcoholic?
Alcoholics have puffy face with bloodshot eyes, a hoarse voice and a rapid pulse. They are suspicious, irritable and over emotional. Some of the other symptoms for alcoholics are delirium, impaired judgment and disturbance in the sleep pattern.

What are symptoms of Alcoholism?
The chronic alcoholic drinks more and eats less and thus fails to get enough vitamins. The vitamins which are acquired by alcoholics are drained out of his system in the process of burning alcohol in his body. Vitamin deficiency could lead to delirium tremors, convulsions, neuritis, impaired memory and disorder of eyes. Vitamin deficiency of this nature also causes premature graying of hairs. Chronic alcoholism also results in a depletion of minerals in the body particularly magnesium. Lack of magnesium causes tremor of the hands, feet, tongue, convulsions, mental clouding and perspiration.

Excessive drinking imposes strain on the liver. It slowly but steadily destroys its functions and causes cirrhosis of the liver. It could also lead to the disorder in stomach and bowels. Brain damage could not be ruled out for alcoholics as brain cells are most affected by alcohol intake.

What are causes of alcoholism?
A person takes to drinking as a means to enliven social life, to overcome anxiety or to induce sleep. He becomes alcoholic once he gets dependent on alcohol physically and psychologically. He turns to heavy drinking due to his maladaptive way of dealing life’s stress.

Sometimes alcohol sneaks upon a person rapidly while sometimes it might take years before a person becomes full fledged alcoholic.



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