Alcohol Addiction

By Brian Lemay 1 comment


According to a national survey in the United
States, more than half of all Americans aged 12 and older reported being current drinkers
of alcohol; this translates to an estimated 135.5 million current drinkers. For most of them, drinking alcohol is considered
controlled and safe. Still 59.7 million reported being binge drinkers
and 17 million people reported heavy drinking. Alcohol use disorder runs in families. It is more common among men than women and
is most common among those aged 18 to 25. Alcohol abuse is common in people older than
65 and can be especially dangerous for them: alcohol can interact with medications and
is responsible for many fall-related injuries. In young people, alcohol and drug use can
lead to car crashes, suicide and homicide. About a third of those with drinking problems
also have a mental health condition such as anxiety, depression or personality disorder. Treating these problems is often an integral
part of overcoming alcohol addiction. WHAT IS ONE DRINK? A standard “drink” in the United States
contains about 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of “pure” alcohol and is the equivalent
of: * 12 ounces of regular beer
* 8-9 ounces of malt liquor * 5 ounces of wine
* 1.5 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits. These examples may not actually reflect actual
servings, however. A mixed drink for example, can be the equivalent
of one to three or more standard drinks, depending on the recipe. Also, the alcohol content for for different
types of beer, wine, or malt liquor can vary. A lot of people drink alcoholic beverages. Happy hour after work always sounds good. Some even say that red wine or moderate alcohol
consumption may be healthy for the heart. But what is normal or acceptable drinking? WHEN IS ALCOHOL DRINKING A PROBLEM? If alcohol is having a negative effect on
your life you’re probably drinking too much. Answer these questions:
Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? Have people annoyed you by criticizing your
drinking? Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your
drinking? Have you ever had a drink first thing in the
morning to steady your nerves or get rid of hangover? Have you lost control of your drinking? For example, do you sometimes find that you
drink more than you meant to? Do you need to drink larger and larger amounts
to get that effect that you want? If you said yes to these questions or if you
just think you have a problem, mention it to your doctor or nurse. Do not be embarrassed to talk with him or
her about it. Alcohol problems are common but there are
treatments that can help. WHAT HAPPENS IF I KEEP DRINKING TOO MUCH? People who drink too much can get serious
liver and heart disease. They can get different types of cancer. Plus, people who drink too much are more likely
than people who do not to: * Have car accidents
* Kill themselves * Drown
* Be seriously hurt WHAT IS ALCOHOL USE DISORDER? Alcohol use disorder is basically the medical
term for alcoholism or alcohol addiction. People who have alcohol addiction have two
or more of the following problems. * They end up drinking more alcohol than they
planned to or for a longer time than they planned to. * They wish they could cut down on alcohol,
but they can’t. * They spend a lot of time trying to get alcohol,
getting drunk, recovering from being drunk. * They crave or have a strong desire or urge
to drink alcohol. * Because of their alcohol use, they often
don’t do things that are expected of them, such ask go to work or school, remember family
events, and clean their home. * They keep drinking even if it causes or
worsens problems in their relationships or interactions with other people. * They stop or cut back on important social,
work, or fun activities that they used to do. * They keep drinking alcohol even in situations
where it is dangerous to do so such as while driving. * They keep drinking alcohol even when they
know they have a physical or mental problem that was probably caused or made worse by
their drinking. * They need to drink more and more to get
the same effects they used to get with less. Or they get less effect from using the amount
that used to get them drunk. This is called “tolerance”. * They have “withdrawal symptoms” if they
stop drinking alcohol after drinking for a long time. WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS CAN INCLUDE:
* Sweating or racing heart, * Hand trembling
* Insomnia or difficulty sleeping * Nausea or vomiting
* Seeing, feeling, or hearing things that aren’t really there also called “hallucinations”
* Being restless * Anxiety
* Seizures which can be serious and even life-threatening WHAT TREATMENTS CAN HELP? People who have problems with alcohol can:
* See a counselor such as a psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist,
* They can take medicines, * And they can take part in support groups
such as Alcoholics Anonymous sometimes called AA. All of these treatments can help, and they
can be combined. There are a few different medicines doctors
and nurses can use to treat alcohol problems. These medicines work in different ways. They can:
1. Change the way your brain responds to alcohol
such that it is less fun 2. Reduce your craving for alcohol
3. Make you sick if you do drink
4. Help you feel less sick when you stop drinking. CAN I STOP DRINKING ON MY OWN? Many people get over their drinking problem
on their own. But people who have been drinking several
days a week for weeks in a row should not try to cut down without the help over doctor
or nurse. People who drink that much can die if they
stop or cut down on their drinking too quickly. HOW CAN YOU CARE FOR YOURSELF AT HOME? * If you have been given medicine to help
keep you sober or reduce your cravings, be sure to take it as prescribed. * Talk to your doctor about programs that
can help you stop using drugs or drinking alcohol. * If your doctor prescribes DISULFIRAM (ANTABUSE)
do not drink any alcohol while you’re taking this medicine. You may have severe, even life-threatening,
side effects from even small amounts of alcohol. * Do not tempt yourself by keeping alcohol
or drugs in your home. * Learn how to say “NO” to other people
who drink or use drugs. * Use the time and money spent on drinking
to do something fun with your family or friends. Call your local emergency anytime you think
you may need emergency care, for example, CALL IF:
* You feel that you cannot stop from hurting yourself or someone else. * Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical
care if you have serious withdrawal symptoms such as confusion, hallucinations, or severe
trembling.

1 Comment

ArcherValkyrie CR

Sep 9, 2019, 8:06 am Reply

Thanks for this educational and fun video! I think teenagers should see this before they get lured to binge drinking.

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