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Stop Drinking Alcohol - The Enemy in the bottle

Jul 17, 2008
Do you find yourself longing for the evening, only to grab a pint of beer or maybe down a few stiffs? Are you the first one to 'raise a toast to that' or propose a celebratory drink? Do you find these occasions where you decide to indulge yourself with just a couple of drinks cropping up a lot more frequently than they used to? If all of these situations sound distinctly familiar, then it's time to take a minute to seriously reevaluate those drinking habits. For these are none but the precursors to the most pervasive addiction of the modern era Alcoholism.

When can a drinking habit be termed an addiction? Alcoholism or an addiction to alcohol can be determined as an overwhelming urge to partake of excessive amounts of alcohol, even when an individual's consumption patterns begin to have physical and psychological implications on him. These implications could range from social to personal where the individual begins to negatively impact his social ties, begins to suffer from several physical illnesses which can be attributed to his intake of alcohol, and begins to neglect his social and personal duties and responsibilities as a result of his drinking excesses.

At this point, many, if not all, of you will probably heave a sigh of relief. "That's not me!" you say to yourself. But did you know that the most common trait of all alcoholics is denial? And that recognizing the symptoms of your addiction, may be not be a very easy task, either for you or those you share your life with? Indeed, many individuals, who are dependent on alcohol, may go about their daily routine without any apparent interference in their behavior. The question is, do you really want to wait until you've broken that ground and then have to undergo drastic curative measures, when a few preventive steps would have been all that was needed?

That's right. There are several other, more subtle indications which signal that your patterns with alcohol are not headed the right way. For instance, if you are disillusioned with the world around you, if you tend to resort to a stiff drink to drown out your problems, or even have a family history of alcoholism, then you may be more prone to alcohol dependence than if you have different means of coping with stress or release of tension, both physical and mental.

The ill-effects of long term abuse of alcohol are many. Alcohol directly impacts your liver, wherein you will find a significant loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain and sometimes even a fever. These are sure signs of Alcoholic Hepatitis or inflammation of the liver, which over time can deteriorate to yellowing of the skin or jaundice and finally cause irreversible scarring of the liver tissue, which is termed as Liver Cirrhosis. Alcohol can also aversely affect your stomach lining, thus interfering with the absorption of several essential nutrients, or even raise your blood pressure, eventually leading to heart failure or stroke. Alcohol abuse also causes several complications in the menstrual cycle for women and is one of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction in males. Excessive intake of alcohol has also been directly linked to an increased risk of cancer and several neurological maladies. Long term abuse also causes a number of social problems, which range from domestic abuse and violence to a marked decline in performance and productivity at the workplace.

The best way to deal with a reliance on alcohol is to come out in the open about your dependence. This could be either through consulting your physician to have him recommend the necessary treatment, and being honest with him about your consumption patterns. You will either be asked to cut down on your drinking or abstain completely, depending on how severely affected you are. If your counselor finds that your dependence on alcohol is rooted in other psychological problems like chronic depression, marital discord or work-related stress, you will be advised to undergo counseling for the same, in addition to your detoxification treatment. You may even be prescribed medication to help curtail your withdrawal symptoms and recommended group therapy, to help you deal with the process of de-addiction. However, the key factor which influences how effective your treatment will be your determination and resolve to stick to your decision. This may also warrant that you keep away from any social gatherings and people where you may find yourself being coerced or even tempted to relax your rules for 'one tiny drink'. Once you've taken that first step, it is crucial that you stick to it at all costs. And when you begin to find other ways to deal with stress and involve yourself in more rejuvenating recreational activities, you'll find that there's no high you get from alcohol, that life itself can't give you. Your first step is just the beginning down a long and healthy walk through life and once you're down that path, you'll find a world of opportunities open up to you with every step that you take!
About the Author
Find out how to quit Abusing Alcohol by Ed Philips and Quit Alcohol Today.
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