Alcohol addiction, alcoholism
Alcoholism is a chronic and often progressive disease that includes problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect (physical dependence), or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.
Alcoholism is a disease with four main features:
- Craving – a strong need to drink
- Loss of control – not being able to stop drinking once you’ve started
- Physical dependence – withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, or shakiness when you don’t drink
- Tolerance – the need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to feel the same effect
If you have alcoholism or you have a problem with alcohol, you may not be able to cut back or quit without help. Denying that you have a problem is usually part of alcoholism and other types of excessive drinking.
Complications of alcohol addiction
- Alcohol depresses your central nervous system.
- Too much alcohol affects your speech, muscle coordination and vital centers of your brain.
- Excessive drinking can reduce your judgment skills and lower inhibitions, leading to poor choices and dangerous situations or behaviors
- Health problems caused by excessive drinking are heart problems, liver disease, digestive problems, eye problems, bone loss etc.
- Alcohol use can lead to accidental injury, assault and property damage.
If you drink, do so only in moderation — no more than 2 drinks per day if you are a man and no more than 1 drink per day if you are a woman. Early intervention is important, especially with teenagers. You can help prevent teenage alcohol use. Start by setting a good example with your own alcohol use. Talk openly with your child, spend quality time together, and become actively involved in your child’s life. Never drink and drive or allow your teenager to be driven in the car by someone who has been drinking.