Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism or Alcohol Abuse:  Chronic, uncontrolled intake of alcohol is the nation's largest  substance abuse problem,.  It cuts across all social and economic boundaries, involves both sexes, and occurs at all stages of the life cycle.  It can state as early as elementary school age, and alcoholic mothers pass the disease on to their unborn child.  Alcoholism has no known cure.

Many Alcoholics are difficult to identify because most are able to function adequately at work. 

Cause:  There is no definite cause that has been clearly identified.  However, biologic, psychological, and socio-cultural factors contribute to the disorder.  Studies shows that women become intoxicated more readily than men because they metabolize alcohol more slowly.

Symptoms:

Characteristically, the alcoholic patient depends on daily or episodic use of alcohol to function adequately.

Inability to discontinue or reduce alcohol intake

May experience episodes of anesthesia, amnesia, or violence during intoxication

Later stages of alcoholism:  unexplained traumatic injuries or mood swings, unresponsiveness to sedatives, poor personal hygiene, and secretive behavior.

The patient may attempt to consume alcohol in any form when deprived of his usual supply.

May experience 'black out' where the patient does not remember any activity he has done during intoxication

Treatment:

Total abstinence is the only effective treatment

Admitting that one has a drinking problem is a start

Detoxification

Rehabilitation

Support group such as AA programs

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