As we continue to inform you about different drugs, so that you can enhance your knowledge about them and will be able to keep your loved ones safe from drug and alcohol addiction. So today we will tell you about alcoholism and its treatment. Alcoholism is another name for alcohol addiction.
WHAT IS ALCOHOL?
If we look at it from the point of view of CHEMISTRY, it is “any of a class of chemical compounds having the general formula ROH, where R represents an alkyl group and –OH a hydroxyl group, as in methyl alcohol, CH3OH, or ethyl alcohol, C2H5OH” (Collins Dictionary, Penguin Random House LLC and Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, 2019). But if we look at it as a drink, then alcohol “is a colorless liquid that is found in drinks such as beer, wine, and whisky. It is also used in products such as perfumes and cleaning fluids” (COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary, Harper Collins Publishers). Many people know that alcohol is a drink, but in reality, alcohol has some other uses.
TYPES OF ALCOHOL:
In general, there are 4 types of alcohol namely, Ethyl, Denatured, Isopropyl and Rubbing. Only Ethyl Alcohol is drinkable. Others are used in different household products like perfumes, sprays, paints, toiletries, cleaners and in disinfectants also. Alcohol is used in different medicines too.
Alcohol was found many centuries ago and was first used as a fuel in 1826. The first fermented drink was produced in 8000 B.C with honey and yeast in Persia. Early alcoholic drinks can be traced back to 7000 B.C in China, 3000 B.C in India and 2700 B.C in Greece. In the 16th century spirits were largely used as medicines.
Spirits and liquor are same fermented and distilled alcoholic beverages. Liquor is non-brewed and sweet alcoholic beverage while spirit is flavored and unsweetened.
Alcohol by volume (ABV) “is a standard measure of how much alcohol is in an alcoholic beverage, usually displayed as a percentage. Drinks such as beer, cider and alcopops tend to be lower in ABV, while spirits such as vodka, rum and gin tend to have a higher ABV” (Drinkstuff & Barmans Ltd., 2021).
“A spirit is a distilled beverage with no added sugar and a minimum 20% ABV. Popular spirits include vodka, whisky, brandy, gin, rum and tequila” (Drinkstuff & Barmans Ltd., 2021).
“A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that has been sweetened with sugar and is usually flavored with fruit, herbs, nuts, spices, flowers or cream. Liqueurs tend to be quite sweet and have lower alcohol content than spirits” (Drinkstuff & Barmans Ltd., 2021).
Alcohol is a drug and classified as a depressant as it slows down the functions of the central nervous system. In whatever form (liquor or spirit) you consume alcohol, it produces certain effects on our health.
SHORT TERM EFFECTS:
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Poor judgment
- Memory impairment or blackouts
- Upset stomach
- Poor motor coordination which leads to accidents
- Breathing difficulty
- Decreased insight
- Distorted vision and hearing
- Feelings of relaxation, well-being or depression
LONG TERM EFFECTS:
- Sleeping problems
- Kidney problems
- Muscle problems
- Sexual dysfunctions
- Fetal alcohol syndrome (pregnancy)
- Cardiovascular problems
- Liver and hepatitis problems including cancer
- Mental health problems
- Brain damage
Alcohol dependence and addiction is a slow process as compared to other depressant drugs. It takes many years to know that a person has become addicted to alcohol.
HOW TO KNOW IF A PERSON HAS ALCOHOL ADDICTION:
Following four symptoms are indicative of alcohol addiction/dependence:
- Strong cravings despite harmful effects
- Unable to control or limits one’s alcohol drinking
- Tolerance: need to drink in higher amount to get high
- Withdrawal symptoms: there are 4 stages of alcohol withdrawal, if one will not be able to get another alcoholic drink (Colombo Plan, ICCE)
- Stage 1 occurs between 6-12 hours after alcohol consumptions in which the person feels tremors, palpitations, headaches and sleep problems
- Stage 2 occurs between 12-24 hours after consumption and is characterized by hallucinations
- Stage 3 starts between 24-48 hours after alcohol consumption and has withdrawal seizures
- Stage 4 starts between 48 -72 hours with delirium tremens which can be life threatening
ALCOHOL ADDICTION TREATMENT:
A person with alcohol addiction will never admits that s/he is addicted; instead, he/she always says that he/she can stop whenever they want, but they cannot.
Like any other addiction, alcohol addiction needs to be treated as soon as found out because it can cause many lethal problems to health. Addiction is not curable but treatable and manageable.
At PRC Rehab, we provide treatment, rehabilitation and follow ups for alcohol addiction. PRC Rehab also has a well-trained professional team who can visit your home and take the client to the clinic with family’s permission.
PRC provides residential treatment with meals and other services likes one to one counseling, yoga/meditation, regular checkups from psychiatrists and medical doctors along with relapse prevention workshops. PRC Rehab also provides psycho education and support to the family regarding alcohol addiction, treatment and recovery. Family counseling and programs are complimentary.
Our consultation is free of cost. You can reach us at 0341-1959599 or visit our center for further information.