Alcoholism pervades into life in such subtle ways that it passes unnoticed until it is too late. Alcohol addiction manifests in all age groups- young adults, middle aged or women, and sometimes in the aged too. Social drinking,if not conscientiously controlled can also lead to alcohol dependence. Alcohol addiction is very easily acquired. This is because alcohol is a licensed product available all over the world. If you have the money then the sky is the limit. If you do not have money there are ways and means to satisfy the thirst.
Causes for alcohol addiction can start from a taste, and lead to experience – the high of alcohol then becomes a habit.
One very common instigation for alcohol abuse is peer pressure. Peer pressure is not only prevalent in schools but work places too.It normally starts with a pint after work along with problem sharing or confiding, increasing unconsciously to a point of no return.
Family history and environment also play a major role in alcohol abuse. The party-like environment with drinks and food everyday as a norm can take its toll on the uninitiated.
Depression is a big cause for ailments and addictions. A tragedy or trauma can cause depression. A person then turns to alcohol, drugs, or other addictions which provide relief and pleasure from unhappy situations.
Exposure to easy pickings like happy hours or buy-one-get-one free offers are business for the sellers but potential danger spots for the consumers.
With drinking becoming a social norm, it is difficult to assess whether a person has had a bit extra for once or it is a constant feature.
Some pointers for alcohol addiction or abuse :
- Experiencing temporary blackouts is a symptom, but it is not a symptom of drinking only- other ailments or medications can cause temporary black outs too
- Short-term memory loss
- Irritability and extreme mood swings
- Making excuses for drinking
- Choosing drinking over other duties, responsibilities or obligations
- Isolating one’s self from friends and family members
- Drinking alone or secretly
- A feeling of being hungover all the time-while drinking or not
- Changing one’s appearance and regular friends and acquaintances to camouflage drinking habits
- Tolerance to the impact of alcohol consumed-requiring more and more to get the same effect
- Withdrawal symptoms when not drinking (such as tremors)
- Loss of control over alcohol consumption levels
- Inability to follow through the wish to stop drinking
- Continued use of alcohol, inspite of related problems
- Focus only on alcohol and neglect of job, family, friends, or hobbies or other routine chores
The first step to treating alcohol addiction is to get the addict to accept his condition. Acceptance is half the battle won. A good rehab centre will assess and advise on the treatment plan. Normally, depending on the severity of the addiction, treatment requires either in-house or out -patient treatment, counselling on the biological, psychological and social effects, behavioural therapy, group therapy or even a combined plan of multiple treatments.An integrated recovery program may include Yoga and meditation too. A family support programme is also essential to guide the family in dealing with an addict in recovery.
With astronomical research on treatment plans, nothing is impossible to achieve. The treatment plans need to have equal participation from the addict and the family and friends. It is never a temporary process. Recovery and relapse prevention is an ongoing process.