Alcoholism is one of the major health concerns of recent times. It is a condition that is difficult to diagnose. What is more worrying is that to cure alcoholism, complete support and commitment of the patient is required. In most cases, individuals go into a denial mode and simply refuse to accept that their alcohol intake is more than normal.
Alcoholics often find nothing abnormal in their regular drinking sessions and do not realize that they are addicted. For these reasons, to treat alcoholism needs a prolonged period of patient counseling, life-style changes and firm support of family members of the concerned patient.
For adults, though consuming a moderate amount of alcohol is not harmful, there is often a very thin line between drinking for pleasure and drinking out of addiction. Alcoholism can disrupt normal professional and personal lives and break relationships. The most telling signs of alcoholism are craving, loss of control, shakiness and incoherent talk, and enhanced alcohol-tolerance levels.
Alcoholics have a very strong urge to drink and will often go to any extent to get a drink once the craving starts. Once they have a drink, many alcoholics cannot stop and this transcends into loss of control. They may continue demanding for more persistently.
Other signs are nervousness, shivers or shaking, loss of balance and unrelated talk. Increased tolerance means that the person seems to behave normally in spite of having a large number of drinks, and thus needs more and more amount of alcohol with each passing day to ‘feel high’.
Research shows that alcoholism makes the functioning of the brain slow and has dangerous side-effects on the liver. Suicidal tendency is much more commonly observed in those who are addicted to alcohol.
Treatment of alcoholism needs psychiatric help. The person must have a strong resolve and work towards getting rid of the habit. Family members must be supportive and understanding.