Alcoholism, also known as alcohol abuse disorder, is a widespread issue that is estimated to have affected over 200 million people, according to the World Health Organization in a 2010 statement. Alcoholism is a deadly and difficult disease heavily weighted with serious health and mental problems. Being that alcohol abuse is common and impacts a variety of people regardless of age, gender, race, or background, noting and understanding signs, symptoms and ways to alleviate and remedy the disease are paramount. Following are critical facts about the disease and other pertinent information and resources.

Causes or influences of alcoholism

Many people who suffer from alcohol abuse often have the disease run in their family; however, there are many other factors and influences that can provoke the disease in people.

  • Genetic factors: Those who have a family or biological history of substance abuse are more likely to be stricken with the disease. It is crucial to be aware of any history in your family that involves alcohol or substance abuse in order to avoid the risk factor.
  • Psychological factors: Those who suffer from emotional trauma, disorders, or have mental health problems, or again, a family history of any of the aforementioned are also more prone to having substance abuse problems. It’s important to be aware and properly treat any and all mental health issues and have the correct resources in aiding a healthy lifestyle, opposed to partaking in state altering substances.
  • Outside factors: While many people can forgo consumption of alcohol, or avoid peer-pressure, being in a compromising position socially or environmentally also factors in to alcohol abuse. Avoid being pressured into drinking by social groups and feeling pressured by environmental factors such as group outings to bars or venues where alcohol consumption is invoked.

Signs and symptoms

  • Constant consumption of alcohol, whether daily or weekly binging
  • Higher tolerance of alcohol; having to drink more to feel the effects
  • Being unable to limit yourself when drinking
  • Craving alcohol or turning to it when feeling disturbed or upset
  • Continuing to drink regardless of feeling sick or impaired
  • Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal after not drinking for periods of time, such as sweating, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, trembling and shaking, loss of sleep, depression and mood swings.

Helpful Resources and Where to Turn

If you consider yourself or someone to know to be suffering from alcohol abuse, or think that you or they may be on the verge of the disease, it’s important to handle the situation carefully and at once. There are many resources to turn to, organizations to seek aid in, and treatments for the disease.

  • Counselors and therapy
  • Counselors and therapists specialized in substance abuse are likely to offer comfort, reassurance and amazing resources to those in need.

  • Detoxification
  • Once diagnosed, admittance into a detox program at a local rehabilitation center may be given. This begins with a medical management of the disease, along with psychological counseling and admitting treatment plans.

  • Psychological support
  • Many people who are reliant on alcohol or other substances are unaware of the mental and emotional problems that they have. Seeking help through confiding in friends, family, counselors, therapists, or opening up at a local Alcoholics Anonymous meeting can help.

  • Literature and internet resources
  • Research and reaching out is highly advised for aiding in the mental and emotional aspects of those with or those know someone suffering from the disease. There are many public groups and resources online available to confide in and find advice from. Literature is available at local libraries and online for those who seek it.

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