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Part-II: Understanding Alcoholism

3. What is Alcoholism?

It is difficult to define alcoholism. The term is used for both dependence on alcohol and the abuse of alcohol.

It causes many unfavorable and difficult situations and consequences. A

publication of the American Psychiatric Association, ‘Diagnostic and

Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’, defines alcoholism as incorrect usage of alcohol.

Alcoholism is sometimes referred to as problem drinking - drinking more than is safe, such as half a dozen drinks in a short period or drinking before driving.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines

alcoholism much the same - ‘A disease that includes alcohol craving and

continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law.’ Alcoholism is a chronic disorder involving consuming high levels of alcoholic beverages than we can handle.

It leads to total disruption of all relationships, responsibilities, and health.

Unsafe intake of alcohol leads to further problems - alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse. Alcohol intake is like abuse of any other drug - heroin, cocaine, marijuana, sedatives, nicotine and anti-anxiety drugs.

Such alcoholic tendencies are reported to be higher in males than in females.

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Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse - Are they different?

Alcoholism is a dependence on alcohol, a lack of control on drinking and abnormal craving for alcohol at any cost and all times. Alcohol abuse is a part of the process of alcoholism, leading to serious health and relationship problems.

Causes of Alcoholism

There is no single cause for alcoholism.

• Alcoholic parents may increase the chance that their children could

abuse alcohol.

• Some scientists report research which may indicate genetic causes for alcoholism but, at this point, cannot pinpoint any particular gene or its influence on alcoholism.

• Psychological factors like depression, conflicts in relationships, seeking relief from anxiety and tension and low self-esteem push some people

toward alcoholism.

• Social contributors include easy availability and acceptance of alcohol consumption, lifestyles and peer pressure.

Consequences of Alcoholism

Alcoholism, like drug addiction, has far-reaching consequences on every

sphere of human life.

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Physical consequences

Alcoholism gradually attacks all body systems, crippling their functioning. It affects the nervous system of your body leading to increased levels of normal emotions like tension, anxiety and inhibitions. It destroys inner lining of gastrointestinal tracts and stomach causing vomiting, nausea and bleeding.

Many sufferers have memory blackouts, unstable walking and impaired sense of balance. You lose your ability to judge or concentrate on anything.

Your body cannot absorb vitamins properly, leading to poor levels of essential nutrients in your body. The liver and pancreas suffer immense damage and alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis are often the result.

Heart functioning becomes irregular and the incidence of high blood pressure, clotting disorders, heart attacks, anemia, low blood sugar levels, and high fat content in the blood is markedly increased.

Sexual dysfunction, leading to cessation of menstruation in women and erectile dysfunction in men, is another consequence.

Alcohol consumption in pregnant women is believed to lead to malformation of the fetus with several behavioral problems, some of which are life-long impairments.

Severe alcoholism can lead to muscular malfunctioning and cancer in vital organs with severe, even fatal, consequences.

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Social Consequences

Social consequences of alcoholism include unemployment, problems at home, souring of all relationships at all levels, higher incidence of traffic fatalities and other problems with police and other authorities.

Alcoholism can be a major factor in violent crimes, date rape, child abuse and teen pregnancy. It also causes immense havoc in the lives of your loved ones.

The alcoholic completely disassociates themselves from the real world.

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4. Stages of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a self-inflicted illness, which affects people everywhere

without regard to language, sex, creed, education, religion, or caste. It is usually slow in the early stages but a negative outcome is inevitable unless strong action is taken by the sufferer and those around them. However, denial is a symptom common to all sufferers and must be overcome for recovery to be possible and lasting.

Alcoholism sets in when occasional drinking becomes a habit. Prolonged

drinking causes resentment and unhappiness all around and can ruin you

totally.

Alcoholism normally passes through four stages with specific symptoms.

Denial is prevalent in all the stages.

First Stage

The initial stage is where you are amazed at the quantity of alcohol you can consume. That is often more than your friends and companions and leads you to boast about your capacity. When you drink to excess, you imagine yourself to be wealthy, go on careless spending sprees and are carefree in showing off your achievements.

Symptoms

1. Drinking “to relax”.

2. Drinking to relieve you of all tension, stress or mental fatigue.

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3. Emptying all available bottles and cans to avoid wastage.

4. Always on the lookout for opportunities to drink.

5. Gradual increase in the quantity you can and do drink.

Second Stage

This is still an early part of alcoholism. You can mend your ways but only if you choose to do so. However, you are at crossroads and you need a strong mind and body to pull yourself back.

Symptoms

1. Frequent blackouts, similar to amnesia, occur during drinking sessions.

Although you are normal, you cannot later recall anything about what

you said or did - or even places you visited. This is not connected with loss of consciousness.

2. You swallow your first couple of drinks very quickly.

3. You drink extra alcohol ‘on the sly’ at parties and social gatherings or have a few gulps before or during events without the knowledge of

others there.

4. You seem to develop an inner feeling of guilt about your drinking

habits and you avoid any discussion about drinks or drinking.

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Third Stage

This stage is the beginning of full addiction. You lose control over your drinking. Until now, you could stop whenever you wanted to. Now, it is very much harder – even impossible, although you started with an intention to just have a few drinks. This is the dangerous stage leading to total defeat.

Symptoms

1. Making excuses for your increased and frequent drinking.

2. Inability to control your drinking.

3. Avoiding meeting family, friends and close colleagues as you are

unable to honor your repeated promises to them that you would quit

drinking.

4. Aggressive behavior.

5. Neglecting food, increasing the damage to your body and general

health.

6. Losing interest in work, causing employment and money problems.

7. Acute necessity to have early morning drinks and lowered tolerance of alcohol.

Fourth Stage

This is the final stage.

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Until now, you could choose to start or not start with the first drink. Now you cannot stop drinking.

You must drink. Until this chronic stage, you might manage your job and other commitments.

Now, you drink through all your waking hours. Hangovers are persistent and pronounced. You cannot start even one day without a drink and time-keeping is poor, so your morning may begin at any odd hour.

Symptoms

1. Drinking mania with long periods of intoxication.

2. Deterioration of moral values with lack of logical thinking.

3. Indescribable fears. vague feelings and thoughts.

4. Long hours of total blackout.

Alcoholism may not necessarily follow the given order but inevitably leads to death or serious impairment without proper medical attention and

rehabilitation.

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5. How Alcoholism Affects Your Body

Scientific evidence indicates moderate drinking of one to two drinks a day may be beneficial to your cardiovascular system. All the positive effects are completely eroded with heavy and uncontrollable drinking; which creates total turmoil and disruption of the normal, essential biological activities of your body.

Alcoholism develops gradually over your lifetime. There are different

categories of alcoholics, some drink occasionally but binge heavily while others drink regularly and habitually – chronic drinkers.

Drinking can become an integral part of your life over a period and you get to the dangerous stage where you cannot live without drinking. You tell yourself that drinking is the only solution to all your problems.

But all drinking, even a moderate intake has some impact on your physical and mental condition. Complications develop gradually as you start to drink more and this will create adverse situations which can lead to serious, even fatal consequences, depending on your general health.

Effects of Alcoholism

Effects of alcoholism can be short-term or long-term.

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Short-term Effects

Alcohol produces a feeling of depression and numbs physical and emotional pain. Alcohol enters the blood directly and easily percolates its way to your brain, producing equal alcohol levels in your brain and blood.

Short-term effects of alcohol can include -

• Hazy and blurred vision coupled with an inadequate sense of hearing.

• Impaired sense of balance, leading to shaky steps and general difficulty in walking.

• Improper coordination of different parts of your body leading to

physical injuries and bruises.

• Lack of normal judgmental abilities.

• Change in your emotions, reactions and perceptions.

• Hangovers.

If you consume a large amount of alcohol at a single session, your heartbeat and breathing levels slow down considerably. You may vomit with a

substantial amount of vomit entering your lungs causing choking.

It could lead to pneumonia, coma, and possibly a very unpleasant death.

Long-term Effects

The prolonged and frequent drinking sessions of habitual drinkers accelerate the long-term effects of alcoholism. It can cripple virtually your whole body Copyright © 2005 Claire Nash

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and cause severe disruptions in the normal functioning of vital organs and body systems.

Effects on Your Nervous System

Alcohol slows down and erodes the effectiveness of your natural nerve reflexes which causes inefficient judgment because of a loss of coordination between nerves and brain.

Your central nervous system suffers a breakdown.

You lose your natural, socially approved inhibitions. You may indulge in unfair and illegal activities like thieving or risky behaviors like unprotected sex. This exposes you to major diseases like HIV/AIDS, unwanted pregnancies or other problems such as sexually transmitted diseases.

You will probably also have distortion of vision and hearing, frequent

extended blackouts with memory lapses. You lose your basic sense of

existence which is equal to being insane.

You are prone to alcoholic neuropathy with brain degeneration, and suffer from depression, insomnia and can easily develop suicidal tendencies.

The numbness of nerves which is common at this stage is due to improper

nutritional levels and is likely to lead to major diseases like Wernicke’s and Korsakoff's syndromes.

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Liver

Your liver is vital for your general health. It produces digestive juice for your gastrointestinal system. The regular presence of alcohol in your liver causes many unsafe chemical reactions in your liver which enlarges and develops dangerous fatty deposits. Inflammation of your liver will often cause hepatitis.

Damage to liver cells disrupts or stops their functioning and causes liver cirrhosis which causes death.

Gastro-intestinal System

The prolonged presence of excessive alcohol in your body loosens your

stomach muscles, which then cannot stop the backward flow of stomach acid.

This acid strongly affects the esophageal tissues causing pain, bleeding, and lack of appetite. The dilated esophageal blood vessels are likely to hemorrhage and could burst, causing death.

The alcohol in the stomach can stop absorption of important nutrients, causing malnutrition and diarrhea. Pancreatic disorder is another offshoot of

alcoholism.

Blood

The prolonged presence of excessive alcohol in your blood increases the size of red blood cells and seriously reduces your count of protective white blood cells. Your immune system suffers and you are at constant risk of numerous infections.

This is the reason for high incidences of cancer among alcoholics.

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Also, improper blood clotting causes incessant bleeding.

Reproductive System

Excessive drinking has serious impact on both male and female reproductive organs and their fertility. It reduces the size of ovaries and testicles, causing decreased production of eggs and sperm and other sexual dysfunction.

Babies of alcoholic mothers suffer fetal alcohol syndrome which causes fetal abnormalities, mental retardation and physical defects.

Heart and Circulatory System

High levels of alcohol in the blood increases your blood pressure to alarming levels leading to hemorrhage. It also weakens your heart muscles, enlarges your heart and causes abnormal heartbeats.

Increased blood clotting leads to heart attacks, strokes and other coronary diseases. It cripples your circulatory system and, at that advanced stage, death is inevitable.

Alcoholism is cancerous by itself and causes cancer of various body organs.

Alcoholism could cause problems for you even if you do not drink. Alcoholic family members and friends could become violent or cause serious accidents or other dangerous episodes.

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6. Warning Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism

Most alcoholics hide their problem from others for fear of social alienation.

You are probably suffering some level of alcoholism if you drink twelve to fifteen drinks every week or five or more drinks at least once a week. A drink is equal to a five-ounce glass of wine, twelve-ounce bottle of beer or one and half ounce shot of alcohol.

You can best help yourself by recognizing impending stages of alcoholism. Of course, you need to be honest and your comparison should be with someone that definitely is not an alcoholic.

To check if you may be an alcoholic, answer these three questions with utmost truth about yourself;

1. Do you think about alcohol? Placing you and a non-alcoholic on the

same standard, the non-alcoholic will not think about alcohol.

2. Do you plan when to drink? Planning and scheduling your drinking

indicates that alcohol is more important in your life than the lives of

regular, healthy people.

3. Do you drink on the sly? Drinking without other’s knowledge and

lying about your habits are sure indicators of your alcoholic ways.

The three questions are in order of severity.

If you answer, “Yes” to any of the questions, you are progressing toward alcoholism.

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You must take action to retrace your steps back to normalcy immediately.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism

Alcoholics rarely accept their alcoholic habits and become increasingly

assertive in their denials. Alcoholic symptoms and signs differ from individual to individual, although there are some which are typical with almost everyone.

Common signs are -

1. Blackouts and memory lapses.

2. Depression, irritability and anxiety.

3. Slackness and regular absence from work or classes.

4. Physical instability leading to shaky walking and frequent falling.

5. Insomnia and weight loss.

6. Loss of employment and subsequent financial problems.

7. Frequent accidents.

8. Broken relationships, divorces and separations.

Other symptoms include -

• Drinking alone.

• Drinking early in the morning.

• Unable to control your drinking or stopping but promising to do so.

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• Nausea and vomiting.

• Abdominal pain and lack of interest in food.

• Numbness and jittery nerves.

• Shaking of body in mornings

• Feeling confused about everything

• Turning hostile and even violent when questioned about drinking.

• Neglecting your physical appearance.

• Giving drinking more importance than anything else, including family.

• Your vocal pitch increases with greater intake of alcohol.

• Frequent aggressiveness and other changes in personality and behavior.

Uncontrolled alcoholism could lead to severe disorders of body and brain.

These include serious medical conditions and ailments like;

neuropathy, Korsakoff's dementia, Wernicke's encephalopathy, brain

degeneration, hallucinations, seizures, cirrhosis, pancreatitis, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, gastrointestinal bleeding, anemia and peptic ulcers.

Psychiatric disorders and even suicidal tendencies are common.

And this shocking list is not complete!

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7. Common Causes of Alcoholism

Alcoholism usually starts with you drinking in small quantities but it slowly becomes a habit. Perhaps you start drinking to overcome stress or seek refuge from certain problems.

You find it difficult to quit and, eventually, this inclination becomes an addiction. You become dependent on alcohol to help you get over sorrows, miseries, disappointments, injuries, and the like. You feel that you can combat everything in this world if you have a drink.

Unfortunately, this is a total misconception. Instead, you lose your capabilities and become a slave to your drinking habit.

Alcoholics develop their dependence for a variety of reasons, no two are likely to be identical. There are no proven causes that are specific to particular age groups. Everyone is influenced to various degrees by peer pressures,

disappointments, accidents and tragedies, whatever their age and social

situation.

Children and grandchildren of alcoholics may be more likely to become

alcoholics due to environmental influences and certain genetic or biochemical abnormalities but other children from similar backgrounds are able to make their own successful paths through life.

The offspring of alcoholic parents may possess greater capacity to consume alcohol and they try to indulge in more drinks than their mates to show off their capability. This acts as an initial boost along the path to you turning into an alcoholic.

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Some people say that they are better able to relax with a drink. Some others start drinking just for the fun of it, to be a part of their peer group or to satisfy their curiosity and find what it feels like.

Some other people feel that consuming alcohol provides them with relief from their physical and psychological traumas; it acts as a de-stressor for them.

Unfortunately, this is their misconception. Drinking only temporarily numbs the nerves and brain. You become mentally incapable of discerning your

problems and finding proper solutions to them.

A single drink leads to many more; you slowly develop a regular pattern

(really a hard-to-break habit) and then you become an addict, unable to survive without alcohol.

It is not just a quiet drink in the evening. Instead, it develops to drinking all throughout the day or, rather, all your waking hours. With addiction, you lose count of time, day and night; you wake up or are conscious at odd hours and always drink away your time.

There are exceptions to this, some alcoholics have greater sustaining strength and they continue with their relatively normal lives until the late and most serious stages.

You might attempt to see your psychiatrist as a way to fix your problem. But your negative mental state, already induced by the alcohol, fills your mind with anxiety, tension, depression, loneliness, gloominess, and discontent. These symptoms all encourage you to just take more alcohol which worsens your

state.

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Initially, you drink to overcome or forget these problems. However, drinking gradually weans you away from normal life and you create your own problems like;

X

irregular attendance at place of work leading to financial problems,

X

lack of social life with family and friends leading to marital discord and distancing with peer groups,

X

indulgence in illegal and wrong activities, etc.

Although you took to alcohol to overcome problems, you accumulate more by excessive drinking and find it almost impossible to break the vicious circle.

Alcoholism is not due to any blemishes or irregular features of a person’s character. Many people label alcoholics as having always been of loose,

immoral, or defective character. Even some in the medical community view them in a similar way but the causes for alcoholism are varied and diverse. It can grip and destroy any type of person, whatever their abilities and

accomplishments.

Only you can attribute your drinking habit to any particular cause.

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8. Alcoholism Related to Stress

Stress is a subjective feeling of tension due to such physical or mental pressures as injury, illness, fear, depression, sexual activities or extreme temperatures.

These reactions are magnified in an alcoholic and cause them to seek more alcohol for the relief they, mistakenly, think that it gives them.

How your body responds to stress

Your body needs to maintain its stable state (in medical terms – homeostasis) for normal functioning of all your vital organs. Stressors in the form of contribute to disturbance of this state.

Your body triggers a set of physiological responses to combat stress and regain its internal balance. When there is continual stress, your body also changes its behavioral patterns to adapt to the stress.

Response to stress involves coordination between your body’s central nervous system, cardiovascular system and adrenal system. Disturbances in your

homeostasis state leads to the release of corticotrophin (CRF) in the

hypothalamus gland of your brain. This CRF immediately passes into your

blood and makes your pituitary gland release adrenocorticotrophin hormone (ACTH). This, in turn, causes secretion of glucocorticoid hormones from your adrenal glands.

These hormones are body steroids which responding to stress and are

responsible for eradicating it.

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Stress response affects functioning of all your major body organs like kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, etc. and also affects your other body functions like appetite, vigilance, arousal, body temperature, mood, etc.

Your body directs more oxygen and nutrients to the stressed parts of your body for faster recovery and return to a stable homeostasis state.

However, recognition of stress and the effectiveness of the resultant responses differ from individual to individual. This mainly depends on genetic factors and environmental influences since infancy.

Is Stress Harmful?

Small amounts of stress in bursts do not bring about any large changes in your body’s homeostasis state. However, prolonged stress produce harmful effects in your body’s functions. The effects could include damage to cells which could lead to defective learning and memory retention, retarded growth and immune system dysfunction.

Does Stress Always Lead to Drinking Problems and Alcoholism?

Stress is a major cause of alcoholism but stress does not inevitably lead to drinking problems and alcoholism. Numerous surveys, reports and studies

show that many people start drinking to excess due to stressful conditions like marital problems, economic and job problems etc.

Incidence of stress-related problems with alcohol is higher in cases where there is a lack of social and familial support. Stress and consumption of alcohol increase together; the higher the stress, the greater alcohol consumption.

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But, it is not always true that you take to drinking when you experience stress.

It depends on many factors, including;

Your usual drinking habits,

Your genetic buildup and response to stress,

The degree of stress,

The extent of your self-control over stress,

The social support available to you during stress, and

Your expectation of relief from stress through drinking alcohol.

In all, stress leading to alcoholism is an individualistic condition. If you want to avoid it, you can do so and regain homeostasis state through other means.

Scientific studies indicate greater inclinations towards consumption of alcohol due to stress prevalent in people that had prolonged stress during infancy and childhood. Such early stressful situations can cause permanent alterations in their hormonal stress response which, in due course, offers a different response than normal to alcoholic consumption. Real life examples show a marked

increase in alcohol consumption during natural disasters like floods, volcanic eruptions etc in the vicinity. Drinking will occur during or in anticipation of the stress.

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Does Drinking Relieve or Induce Stress

Small doses of alcohol can bring down stress levels. You drink to reduce a particular stressor and, in turn, cause stressful reactions in your body and behavior.

In other words, you do something, seeking relief, but which produces a similar effect as the stress caused. This is a challenging paradox of life where your stress response seems to prod you to drink more so that you will experience higher levels of excitement.

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9. Is There a Cure for Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a major public health issue and of great concern to all

governments of all countries.

Despite extensive advances in medical science, there is currently no cure for alcoholism. In-depth research into genetics and effects of alcoholism on general health has widened understanding of alcoholism which increases the possibility of a cure for alcoholism some time in the future.

This does not mean alcoholics are incurable or must be left to suffer the consequences of alcoholism without any hope. Further study of the factors leading to alcoholism show some promise of providing a cure.

The human brain registers feelings of happiness and pleasure on fulfillment of basic natural instincts. Just before such pleasure sessions, your body releases certain bio-chemicals - neurotransmitters. These stimulate specific brain cells called receptors, which cause positive feelings and you feel happier.

Similar substances are present in alcohol. They contain endorphins, which create complex reactions by stimulating your body’s neurotransmitters. They trigger pleasurable feelings and you forget your worries and tension.

Some feel very high with just low alcohol intake while some need larger and larger amounts of alcohol to feel that good.

This feeling does not induce everyone to abuse alcohol. Detrimental effects like headaches, nausea, and drowsiness drive away most after their first alcohol overdose.

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Why Do People Abuse Alcohol?

Some of the main causes of developing alcoholic habits include;

• Growing up in a broken home,

• Having alcoholic parents and families,

• Having a disturbed childhood;

• Mixing with wrong company.

But, it must be stressed that many children that suffer from the same sort of circumstances also develop into model citizens.

Many people start to abuse alcohol initially because it makes them feel happy, and there is not much, if any, of that in their lives at that time.

Your body neurons crave for greater pleasure sessions, which incites you to drink more alcohol. Beyond a certain limit, you no longer feel the high which you experienced previously and you keep drinking, trying to drown your

grievances and disappointments.

This state of neuroadaptation makes you lose control over yourself. Further addiction leads you to develop a more intense craving for alcohol.

This quickly goes beyond all standards of body health, safety and well-being.

You also face ostracism from society, which does not accept an alcoholic.

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Can You Bring Back an Alcoholic or Cure Their Habit?

Although there is no medicinal cure for alcoholics, you can bring back an alcoholic through proper behavioral reforms and related treatments.

It is a Herculean task, as you need to be weaned away from the intense urge to drink alcohol. This is a very delicate situation as your urges and cravings govern your very existence. It is not possible to crush urges immediately.

Instead, behavior modification through regular counseling sessions instills self-control. Supportive family and friends can see you through your crisis.

You need to stay away from familiar alcoholic surroundings like bars,

alcoholic smells, sights and sounds as these re-awaken the strong cravings and you would probably relapse.

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10. Myths and Misconceptions

About Alcoholism

Myths and misconceptions about alcoholism abound and addicts need to

know all the facts, as presently known, to help them adopt a constructive approach towards rebuilding their lives.

Some o the most common myths (with the facts) are-

MYTH: Everyone can consume the same amount of alcohol.

FACT: Individual physiological factors like body weight, gender, and metabolism govern alcoholism and differ from person to person.

MYTH: Having a drink on full stomach minimizes the alcohol’s effects.

FACT: A full stomach only delays absorption of the alcohol but does not prevent you from getting drunk.

MYTH: Combinations of beer, liquor, and wine provide more

intoxication.

FACT: Combinations can give you a stomach upset as well but not higher intoxication levels.

MYTH: Hot Coffee, cold showers or fresh air can get you out of your

intoxication.

FACT: These stimulants wake you up but cannot remove alcohol from your system. It takes about an hour for your body to get rid of the alcohol of one drink.

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MYTH: Alcohol addiction is a pleasure.

FACT: Alcohol addiction can never be a pleasure as it breaks the links you have with your family, friends and society, as well as being a factor in the break-down of your health.

MYTH: Alcohol helps solve many problems of loneliness, despair, and

unhappiness.

FACT: Alcohol only offers you respite from problems while your mind is blurred by recent intake of alcohol.

Problems never just go away. You need to deal with them properly and take necessary steps to solve them.

MYTH: Youngsters are prone to alcoholism.

FACT: Alcoholism has no greater attraction for any particular age group or social strata.

MYTH: It is difficult for elderly person to change their alcoholic habits.

FACT: Anybody can adopt corrective treatment to let go of his or her alcoholic habits. The elderly, as a group, have the highest success rate in alcoholic treatments.

MYTH: Beer has lower intoxication effect.

FACT: Beer, wine and spirits are all intoxicating drinks. The quantity of intake decides intoxication levels and not the type of drink by itself.

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MYTH: Rehabilitation treatments are only for unemployed and poor.

FACT: People from all sections of society are helped by rehabilitation programs. All kinds of people are subject to the effects of alcohol – people with more resources simply have more to lose.

MYTH: People on Rehab treatments lose their jobs.

FACT: Employers encourage alcoholics to rehabilitate and support them during their rehabilitation period.

MYTH: Rehabilitation sessions are stressful and difficult.

FACT: Rehab sessions are an appropriate combination of compassion and facts. You need to;

• accept that alcohol addiction is fatal and destroys all relationships.

• accept your shortcomings, and

• abandon your immaturity, anti-social behavior and negative thinking.

Trained counselors help you with all this through directness and compassion.

MYTH: Treatment ends alcohol addiction.

FACT: Treatment is just the start in the quest to rebuild your health and your life. You need to stay committed to recovery from your alcohol addiction.

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