Causes, symptoms and stages of alcoholism
One of today's most popular products is the alcohol. Alcoholic drinks of all types and brands of demand from the vast majority of modern people, and everyone somehow consumes alcohol. The only different types of drinks consumed, about their drinking and frequency of consumption.
Any alcoholic beverage includes a certain amount of ethanol (it is specified on the container), or ethanol with a chemical formula of C2H5(OH). Ethyl alcohol is a powerful neuroparalitical poisonthat impairs the operation of the human nervous system and causing lasting damage to all internal organs of their consumers. People voluntarily absorb the poison about and no – and very often irregular drinking of alcoholic beverages leads to threat to physical and mental health illness – alcoholism.
Alcoholism is a mental illness, excessive consumption of alcohol. As a result of constant intoxication in humans is strongly deteriorating health, decreases work capacity, well-being and moral values. Alcoholism is characterized by the fact that a person becomes dependent on alcohol. Therefore, when there is no alcohol, the alcoholic's suffering and to alleviate his suffering, he repeats the reception of alcohol again and again. The alcoholism is incompatible with a healthy lifestyle.
Despite the debate among experts about whether alcoholism is a disease, the national Institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism recognizes alcoholism as a disease. The risk of developing alcoholism is influenced by genes of the person and its lifestyle with regards to the behavior of alcohol. Alcoholism is a chronic disease that lasts throughout life. If to diagnose and treat it at the early stages, it is possible to complete cure and prevention of severe complications. Chronic alcohol abuse increase the risk of developing serious health problems such as liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer (especially cancer of the esophagus, mouth and throat), and pancreatitis.
About two million Russians suffer from liver damage caused by abuse of alcohol. 10 - 20% of drinkers will develop cirrhosis, which is characterized by scarring of the liver and causes irreversible damage. Cirrhosis leads to further health deterioration and ultimately to death. In addition to cirrhosis, heavy drinkers,suffer from chronic liver disease and alcoholic hepatitis.
Liver damage leads to problems with the level of blood sugar. When alcohol is present in the body, the liver processes it. Because the liver is busy metabolizing alcohol, often not able to maintain the blood sugar at the required level, which can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). When this happens, the brain is not able to obtain the necessary energy to function and having symptoms such as hunger, weakness, headache, tremor, and even coma (in severe cases).
Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to malnutrition. Chronic alcoholics don't eat enough food because of the high caloric content of alcohol. This allows them to obtain the necessary vitamins and minerals to maintain health. In addition, a large amount of alcohol impairs or completely stops the digestion of food, as alcohol decreases the secretion of digestive enzymes of the pancreas. Alcohol also prevents the transport of nutrients into the blood. These disorders of digestion and absorption over a long period of time can lead to exhaustion.
Alcohol is a universal poison that destroys all systems and organs. With the growth of permanent intoxication, a person loses all sense of proportion and control consumed alcohol. In the result of a damaged Central nervous system that leads to psychosis and the neuritis.
The entire population can be divided into the following groups:
- People who do not drink alcohol at all
- Individuals who consume alcohol in moderation
- The persons abusing alcohol
In turn, group of people, abusing alcoholic drinks, can be divided into 3 classes:
- Persons not ill with chronic alcoholism.
- Persons who show signs of chronic alcoholism.
- Persons suffering from chronic alcoholism in severe form.
The harm of alcoholismThe Foundation of any alcoholic beverage is ethyl alcohol. Ethyl alcohol itselfis a highly toxic poison. Therefore, in whatever drink he was – soft or hard, it has a detrimental effect on all internal organs of the body. Moreover, frequent alcohol consumption is addictive the body, which leads to such disease as alcoholism.
Alcohol imbibed, is very rapidly absorbed by the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines and enters the bloodstream in 5 minutes. Through the blood alcohol gets to the brain and the liver, where the amount becomes largest. The cortex of the brain starts to work less organized: impaired concentration, impaired attention, thoughts are not connected. Capillaries expand under the skin, which increases blood flow to the skin, which leads to a feeling of warmth. But actually this feeling is deceptive, alcohol has a warming effect on the body. Impact on the center of the brain that is responsible for the delayed release of urine by the kidneys, leads to the fact that the acceleration occurs in urine output. A large amount of alcohol affects the cerebral cortex so that disturbed coordination of movements, speech, human behavior changes in the short periods of time.
In addition, alcohol is devastating to the gastric mucosa, destroying it. Permanent destruction of the mucosa leads to serious diseases of the stomach, such as ulcer. The destruction of liver cells effects of alcohol lead to such diseases as liver cirrhosis and cancer. The results of the survey of the body of people suffering from alcoholism, it is revealed that there is no body that the alcohol did not exert its harmful effects. In addition, prolonged intake of alcohol results in a hangover that lasts several days and can lead to a mental disorder called "delirium tremens".
Causes of alcoholism
One of the causes of alcoholism among poor people is low standard of living. First of all it is a heavy living conditions, poor nutrition, lack of cultural entertainment and just hopelessness. This is the causes of alcoholism. However, there is a pattern in many modern developed countries, that alcoholism is increasing simultaneously with the growth of economic well-being.
Binge alcoholism is primarily a disease of the soul! Vexation of the soul – here is the beginning of alcoholism. And the longing of the soul begins with awareness of total loneliness. Sometimes it occurs unconsciously. Binge alcoholism is preceded by asa rule, the period of neuroses, phobias, passions. A person is not aware of the reasons for his constant concern and continuing dissatisfaction from life. First dreams blow his mind at night. Vivid, disturbing dreams – the first symptom of the painful feeling of loneliness.
People not yet aware that it is lonely everywhere – in the family, at work, in a crowded Park, in a crowded arena stadium. Eternal longing begins to undermine it. Big city is a cluster of crack. Metro, especially in the morning, – a vivid example. Go inside barefoot or in night pajamas, and no one will even pay attention to you. Each absorbed in his solitude.
And as long as the person is going to run into a desperate loneliness, a diverse, vibrant, bustling city, he will return to the team own bifurcated personality already. And in this team, where he himself and a drinking buddy, he's getting comfortable. He is getting warmer. In this team of their inner world understand, accept, here he is not alone. It is only necessary to drink, to start a sincere dialogue of multiple personalities within a person. Hangover returns him from his spiritual company in an alien, hostile world of complex realities. Realities shamed him. Realities tell him that he is a jerk. And he returns to his company. This condition is called alcoholic depression.
Signs and symptoms of alcoholismAs already stated above, almost every modern person at least occasionally, but is addicted to alcohol. However, not all are considered to be alcoholics – because of episodic ethanol. The main and fundamental difference of a healthy person suffering from alcoholism is an addiction, first psychological, then physical.
External signs of this disease in humans include:
- stay social, Nigredo (low level of social welfare because of lack of desire or ability to earn money with their work);
- the presence of binge periods (haphazard consumption of alcohol for more than one calendar day);
- the increased threshold for alcoholic rejection, the absence of vomiting when taking large doses of alcohol;
- increase in tolerance to ethyl alcohol;
- the presence of withdrawal symptoms (i.e., hangover);
- the presence of external pathology, characterized by complex aging skinthe increase in veins and small bruises due to microreserves capillaries.
Those who are exposed to alcoholism in the most advanced stages, almost out of the state of intoxication, totally losing social value and an attitude. It hardened alcoholics becomes incoherent and obscure due to damage to the nervous tissue at the cellular level and disturbed motility of the muscles. Very often alcoholism leads to the development of cancer of the digestive tract, cirrhosis or liver cancer and heart disease (often leading to death).
Stage of alcoholismModern medicine considers alcoholism as a disease three stages of varying difficulty, however, it is possible to divide it into four. Alcoholism is the third and the fourth stage is a kind of "point of no return": when he reached the brink, the patient can no longer drink independently.
1 stage of alcoholism
Stage 1 is characterized by the presence of a weak psychological addiction. If the person does not have access to alcohol, the addiction is slowly eroding, but if funds are available he will get yourself a dose of ethanol. Visible physical abnormalities in the first stage of the disease is not observed – only a slight addiction, characterized by the desire to drink on the weekends, to accompany alcohol, meeting friends or dilute a certain dose of alcohol alone.
In order to avert the patient from ingestion of ethyl alcohol, enough to distract him and to fill in the free time program, excluding alcohol. In this case psychological dependence disappears completely for a short time. However, if this is not done, the alcohol becomes less standardized and more frequent, and the patient becomes increasingly dependent.
2 stage of alcoholism
Stage 2 is characterized by an obsessive desire to drink alcohol. Psychological dependence becomes inescapable – even in abstract work, or other things the patient thinks about how it would be nice to have (and often lives in anticipation of this moment).
Increased tolerance to alcohol – the dose that does not occur naturally nausea as a response to intoxication of the organism, becoming more and more. A critical attitude to alcoholism disappears; alcohol in everyday life is taken for granted. Next comes the fact that moderndoctors tend to consider the transition to the third, most severe, according to the standard classification of the stage of the disease (although it can be defined as a separate stage).
3 stage of alcoholism
Stage 3 is characterized by the appearance of withdrawal syndrome from drinking. Dependence on a psychological level develops into physical: take alcohol blocks the production of many natural hormones, causing the patient can not stop drinking.
The patient reaches the so-called "plateau tolerance to alcohol"- is it possible to eat without vomiting dose of ethanol increases several times above the safe norms. The elimination of the hangover by the use of new doses of alcohol turns into binge alcoholism, incorrigible causing harmful effects to the human body. The alcoholic starts the pathological changes of the nervous tissue, the liver begins to slowly degenerate into connective tissue – there are the beginnings of cirrhosis.
When forced to cease binge patients have symptoms resembling narcotic"withdrawal"and is characterized by a"syndrome of failure". The behavior of the patient during the syndrome of failure becomes violent, unpredictable and active-aggressive.
4 stage of alcoholism
Stage 4 is characterized by a sharp decrease in tolerance to alcohol due to almost complete dysfunction of many vital organs. Observed pathological changes in the structure of blood vessels. The digestive tract and liver begin to suffer from the appearance of malignant tumors. The patient completely lost interest in the social side of life – the only problem is finding the next dose of ethanol.
There is often complete loss of intelligibility in alcoholic beverages: a hardened alcoholic with the same pleasure drinking alcohol, wipers, Cologne. Physical dependence becomes so strong that when forced removal of the patient from the drunken state he could simply die.
Incoherent speech, poor coordination of movements, shrinkage of muscle tissue make patients out of people almost devoid of reason and meaning of living beings. Alcoholics completely lost the need for reproductive functions of the human body. The fourth stage of alcoholism in 95% of cases result in a painful death from a brain hemorrhage or heart attack (ventricular fibrillation of the heart).
How to get rid of alcoholism?
Despite the severe pathogenesis of the disease and its progression unnoticed until severe stages, treatment methods exist. It is not serious to rely on traditional methods – they do not work with all types of alcohol (beer, wine, vodka) and help only to some extent.When treatment is necessary to use modern methods that have received scientific proof of the effectiveness.
Aversion therapy - it helps even in cases when the alcoholic is unwilling to admit that he is sick and does not agree to undergo treatment voluntarily. There are whole lists of drugs that cause aversion to alcohol by the action of the simplest of human reflexes. From such preparations it is possible to allocate disulfiram – it is harmless to drink, but when mixed with alcohol causes, though not dangerous, but terribly unpleasant for drinking symptoms. From folk remedies to select analog – a decoction of thyme – which, when mixed with ethanol causes severe vomiting.
- Psychological therapy - it is the carrying out of such works possible only if the alcoholic recognizes his alcoholism and wants to get rid of, to remain human, to maintain its position in society, family and other values that are incompatible with the disease. Practice shows high efficiency of modern methods of psychological influence: 80% of patients undergoing psychotherapy, begin to realize the dangers of ethanol and disgusted at his drunken ego. The relapse of alcoholism after a thorough psychological therapies occur very rarely.
- Detoxification of the body - methodology the method is similar to the complex of medical measures in case of severe food or medication poisoning. The aim of the course is to relieve the patient from the harmful effects of breakdown products of alcohol in the blood and digestive tract, cleanse the liver, to withdraw from the patient's body products of metabolism. A good method to relieve the patient from physical dependence on alcoholic beverages, but does not suppress the desire to drink.
Social adaptation - there are cases when even an inveterate alcoholic, decides to take up his crumbling life and embark on the path of correction, but not having such opportunity, continues to drink out of despair. Social adaptation of such patients is often fundamental to the deliverance from alcoholism – however, it is completely useless for those who do not recognize themselves to be alcoholic and does not want to fulfill the doctors ' orders.
Statistics of alcoholism
Statistics of alcoholism shows that alcohol in young growing much faster than in adults. Adolescents who started to drink alcohol in 15-18 years, complete addiction occurs within 2-3 years, and the children began to usealcoholic drinks in 12-14 years - less than a year.
Alcoholism is a problem not only one person. This disease long ago acquired a universal scale. But effective way of dealing with it yet. It is hoped that soon medical science will find a way to relieve the craving for alcohol is an insidious killer that destroys everything in its path.