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Stop Drinking Alcohol - Occasional Indulgence Leads To Addiction

Jul 17, 2008
Once viewed as a simple lack of control over one's excesses, alcoholism is now recognized as one of the more debilitating diseases of modern society which affects millions of people all over the world. And yet this disease continues to be dismissed by many as an "It can't happen to me" malady until the individual is so intertwined in the clutches of alcoholism that desperate measures have to be resorted to. Society today, not only accepts consumption of alcoholic beverages at social events, but also seems to regard it with a favorable eye. And hence, an individual is almost encouraged to participate in social, celebratory drinking. However, when he finds himself unable to curtail the amount he drinks, or begins to long for these instances which call for the consumption of alcohol, or even begins to experience psychological symptoms such as feeling the urgent need to get drunk as soon as possible, and wanting to stay that way for every moment of his wakefulness, that his drinking habits are perceived as a threat, not only to himself, but also to others around him.

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.

The most common, and also the most grave, symptom of alcoholism, is when the individual fails to see the damage his addiction is causing himself, as well as those around him, even when the effects become apparent to those he interacts with. He is unable to comprehend the fact that his drinking habit is indeed doing him harm, and deludes himself with the reasoning that he is in control. And this is what leads him to start drinking secretly, and making up reasons to justify his drinking patterns, simply because he believes that he is being unnecessarily nagged, or even victimized.

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 consequences of alcohol abuse begin right when you down that first snifter. Your liver it is worst hit as alcohol steadily leads to inflammation, which soon develops into jaundice, if you keep up with the intake and ultimately Liver Cirrhosis. Here, the tissue is scarred forever, a change which cannot be reversed. Alcohol addiction also causes severe malnutrition on account of the impairment in the absorption of number essential nutrients it is responsible for. The habit of heavy drinking in women is also known to cause several pre-natal birth defects during pregnancy, an irregular menstrual cycle or even Amenorrhea. Alcohol addiction is also wont to cause several behavioral disorders which can start with marital discord and eventually even criminal and antisocial behaviors.

The most important aspect of your treatment for alcohol addiction is to just talk. Your physician will be the best person to gauge your drinking patterns and can suggest an appropriate counselor as per your level of dependence. If you are just at the higher end of the indulgence phase, your counselor will recommend that you simply cut down on your habit. However, for later stages, absolute abstinence is considered mandatory. Your physician may also recommend medication such as Valium and Campral to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms like palpitation and nausea. The most important part of your treatment is the phase which follows your therapy sessions. Here, sharing your own experiences and learning those of others proves to be of invaluable support in encouraging you to stick to your decision. It is also essential that during the initial phases of your recovery, you avoid any situations which may involve a round of drinks like 'nights out with the boys' or even cocktail events. There are also several other alternative therapies which have been known to considerably aid the process of de-addiction like hypnosis or even acupuncture. So, the next time you reach into the refrigerator for an ice cold beer or decide to head back to the bar for the second round of drinks take a minute to consider whether you really want to go that way. It's just a single step that leads you to cross the fine line between celebrating an event with a drink, and creating an event which will celebrate the drink. As they say, it's never too late to begin. So, take that first step to a healthy and fruitful journey down life's myriad lanes and let's not raise a toast to that!
About the Author
Discover how to quit Drinking Alcohol Written by Ed Philips and Quit Alcohol Now.
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