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Are you worried that you or someone close to you has a problem with alcohol? Help is at hand. Here we tell you a little about alcoholism, what to look out for and how we can get you or a loved one the best possible treatment.
What is alcoholism?
Drinking becomes problem drinking when the cost of drinking outweighs the benefits. Problem drinking can quickly progress into alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependency syndrome. Problem drinking often starts with binge drinking – drinking large amounts of alcohol with the intention to get drunk. Binge drinking becomes alcohol abuse when the drinking starts causing problems. And alcohol abuse becomes alcoholism when the user starts to experience obsessive cravings for alcohol, a loss of control of drinking and withdrawal symptoms when not drinking. It’s important to realise that not all alcoholics drink all day, every day.
Signs, symptoms and risks of alcoholism
Alcohol can produce a whole host of physical problems and can damage almost every part of the body, some irreversibly. On a minor level, it can cause broken capillaries and puffiness in the facial area. More seriously though, alcoholism can cause blood conditions which can lead to infections and anaemia. Many cancers are linked to alcohol, including throat and mouth cancer. Alcoholism can also result in liver disease and cirrhosis which can ultimately be fatal. Alcohol can lead to many emotional problems, including depression and confusion after a drinking session, blackouts which can be incredibly frightening and a loss of interest in friends and hobbies.
Detox and withdrawal from alcoholism needs to be undertaken in a medically-controlled environment as the body can go into shock. Alcohol abuse is usually a symptom of a problem and is most effectively treated in a residential alcohol rehab centre with a structured program that takes a holistic approach. As with most addictions, relapse is always a danger. Therefore, follow-up care, such as attendance of AA meetings, is essential. At Addiction Helper, we can help you look at all the options available and provide all the support that you and your family will need.