Alcohol-dependance

A chronic disease characterised by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol.

Alcohol-dependance (Alcoholism) has been known by a variety of terms, including alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Today, it’s referred to as alcohol use disorder. People with alcohol use disorder will continue to drink even when drinking causes negative consequences, like losing a job or destroying relationships with people they love. They may know that their alcohol use negatively affects their lives, but it’s often not enough to make them stop drinking. The cause of alcohol use disorder is still unknown. Alcohol use disorder develops when you drink so much that chemical changes occur in the brain. These changes increase the pleasurable feelings you get when you drink alcohol. This makes you want to drink more often, even if it causes harm.

Generally there are 4 ways of Alcohol drinking

  • Social Drinking: Drinking small amounts occasionally
  • Heavy Drinking: Drinking above safe level
  • Problem Drinking (harmful): Drinking alcohol despite having problems due to it like physical, social or at workplace
  • Alcohol Dependence (Addiction)


A Person needs help if found with following

  • Drinking alone
  • Drinking more to feel the effects of alcohol (having a high tolerance)
  • Becoming violent or angry when asked about their drinking habits
  • Not eating or eating poorly
  • Neglecting personal hygiene
  • Missing work or school because of drinking
  • Being unable to control alcohol intake
  • Making excuses to drink
  • Continuing to drink even when legal, social, or economic problems develop
  • Giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of alcohol use


How is it treated?

Treatment for alcohol use disorder varies, but each method is meant to help you stop drinking altogether. This is called abstinence. Treatment may occur in stages and can include the following:


  • Detoxification or withdrawal to rid your body of alcohol
  • Rehabilitation to learn new coping skills and behaviors
  • Counseling to address emotional problems that may cause you to drink
  • Support groups, including 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Medical treatment for health problems associated with alcohol use disorder
  • Medications to help control addiction


Therapies

  • Craving Management
  • Cue’s Management
  • Motivation Enhancement Therapy
  • AA Meeting
  • Bio-Psycho-Social Education


Self-testing: Do I misuse alcohol?

Sometimes it can be hard to draw the line between safe alcohol use and the misuse of alcohol. We suggests that you may misuse alcohol if you answer “yes” to some of the following questions:


  • Do you need to drink more in order to feel the effects of alcohol?
  • Do you feel guilty about drinking?
  • Do you become irritable or violent when you’re drinking?
  • Do you have problems at school or work because of drinking?
  • Do you think it might be better if you cut back on your drinking?

Intriguing facts

  • I can stop if I want to,
  • I can cope,
  • I can stop at any time……..are signs of denial
  • Earlier the help , lesser the damage better the recovery
  • In 85% of domestic violence the husbands were alcoholic
  • Safe limits of alcohol 1 unit of alcohol = ½ pint of beer=25 ml (quarter) of pub measure of spirits

Medication

  • Anti craving Medicines: Reduce the craving for Alcohol
  • Anti Abuse medicines: Prevents person from taking alcohol by causing unpleasant reaction if alcohol is taken


Recovery

Accepting that there is problem with drinking alcohol is the big step to recovery