Alcoholism is the most common drug addiction
The excessive use of alcohol can create problems. Alcohol abuse develops into the addiction and disease of alcoholism, when the person cannot control the need for drinking more or limit it. The drug enslaves the person in such case.
Symptoms of alcoholism
Different conditions like social pressure, mental health problems like depression, genetic and brain chemistry as well as emotional stress can lead to alcoholism. Family history on the use of alcohol, pressure from the pears and starting the habit of drinking at an early age, less than 14 years, also can cause the development of this disease, particularly in adolescents. In addition, taking drugs in an illicit manner, having easy access to the drugs and beverages with good quantity of alcohol are other risk factors that are responsible for development of alcoholism. People having psychiatric abnormalities or addicted to smoking are also liable to become alcoholic.
Alcoholism because of above factors is visible through symptoms like continuation of drinking despite having problems, violent behavior, drunk driving and frequent clash with law enforcement personnel, as well as persistent craving for alcohol. In addition, dependence of higher volume of drink to get the desired effect, being unable to stop drinking although the person determines to do so, are other symptoms that call for treatment of such person.
When an alcoholic tries to stop drinking, symptoms like nausea, increased blood pressure, anxiety and seizures can be some of the apparent withdrawal symptoms. The disease of alcoholism causes damage to most of the human body organs like brain, liver, heart, nervous systems, among others.
For accessing the problem, doctors usually ask series of questions that include drinking habits of the person and problems occurring after drinking of alcohol. Answers to questions related to drunken driving, job function, family history, time of drinking help doctors in evaluating the condition of the particular alcoholic person. In addition, blood investigation for finding the presence of any alcohol related abnormality in liver and other parts of the body also helps the doctor to arrive at proper diagnosis.
Management of the disease is the major part of this treatment. Hence, patients are educated towards this aspect, while creating the urge in such patient to stop drinking completely, on permanent basis. The role of doctor is vital in helping the patient in this direction. However, dealing with withdrawal symptoms is another important part of the treatment, as patient would require proper monitoring in a detoxification center under medical supervision. Medication also helps to reduce the urge for drinking and treating the symptoms of withdrawal and relapse.
These medicines include Naltrexone, with brand names like Re Via and Vivitrol as well as acamprosate for reducing the craving urge. Disulfiram drug is responsible for causing sickness whenever the person drinks alcohol. Drug like topiramate also reduces dependence on alcohol.
However, therapy and counseling plays very important role in getting rid of alcoholism. Members of different forums and alcoholic groups like AA and A1-Anon meet and discuss their problems frequently to find common solutions, where family members also participate.