Regardless of the substance a person is dependent on, he/she is an addict. Alcohol addiction is called alcoholism.
From the medical point of view, alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease, caused by alcohol as a drug. It has characteristic symptoms, stages of development, and outcomes. The physiological outcomes might be diseases of internal organs and of the nervous system, as well as mental deterioration. Contact Alcohol Treatment Centers New Haven to learn more about alcohol addiction and its treatment.
The first alarming sign for a person who consumes alcohol is the development of tolerance. Over time, a person might not get as drunk from the same amount of alcohol as before. This leads to increasing doses of alcohol consumed. Later, this results in the lack of control over the amount of alcohol consumed.
After some time, formation of the psychological dependence to alcohol starts. The person starts to lose concentration, on family, work and other important aspects of life, while thinking about drinking some alcohol. The addict does not care any more about lack of money, family conflicts, problems at work. Alcohol consumption is the main priority.
Another feature of this stage is the change in the state of being drunk. The addicts use large amounts of alcohol. In this case, the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream is that high, that it is considered poisonous, or toxic. This state is also characterized by aggressiveness, fighting, and blackouts.
At this stage, the addict starts experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms. He/she might crave a beer or another alcoholic drink to “feel better.” The longer the period of time of alcohol consumption, the less the amount of alcohol the addict needs to consume to “feel better.”
Other alcohol withdrawal symptoms include headaches, weakness, pale skin, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, shakiness, excessive sweating, insomnia, fatigue, tremors, heartaches and other symptoms. When the addict does not drink at this stage, he/she experiences depression, anxiety, irritability, and mood swings.
The worst form of addiction at this stage is the addict’s continuous drinking and being drunk for weeks, and even months. Furthermore, changes in the addict’s character and personality can occur.
The late stage of alcoholism is the stage when the addict loses control. He/she cannot imagine living without alcohol. The amounts of alcohol consumed are relatively low, because the body is too weak to process and to resist large quantities. Usually, at this stage the addicts are ready to endure humiliation in exchange for a minimal dose of alcohol. Commonly, at this stage they have already lost their jobs, friends, families, or loved ones. The addict can experience severe medical problems, due to the negative impact of alcohol on all internal organs, and the nervous system. The worst outcome in this stage can be brain damage, or heart failure.
If you are ready to talk about addiction treatment options, call Alcohol Treatment Centers New Haven at 203-388-1729.
Littrell, Jill (2014). Understanding and Treating Alcoholism Volume I: An Empirically Based Clinician’s Handbook for the Treatment of Alcoholism: Volume Ii: Biological, Psychological, and Social Aspects of Alcohol Consumption and Abuse. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. p. 55. ISBN 9781317783145. The World Health Organization.