Alcoholism is a serious drinking problem that affects millions of people in the United States. It can cause damage to the person’s family, job and health. Alcoholism can also lead to legal problems and even death.
People who suffer from alcoholism have trouble controlling how much they drink. They may need help to quit. Alcoholism is a mental health condition and should be treated like other diseases. There are a variety of treatment programs available.
The first step is to talk to a doctor or mental health professional. Some treatments involve taking medication. Others involve counseling or support groups. It’s important to find a program that works for you.
Alcohol is a depressant, and can interfere with the balance of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain). The imbalance of these chemicals can affect how you feel and think. Alcohol can affect your memory, judgment and reasoning skills. It can also cause physical problems such as a slowed heart rate, loss of coordination and dry mouth.
Many people start drinking at a young age. They may be encouraged to do so by their parents or by friends. Some people are genetically or environmentally predisposed to alcoholism. Children of alcoholics are four times more likely to experience the disorder themselves. People who have a history of depression or trauma are also at increased risk for alcoholism.
In some societies, excessive drinking is socially acceptable. For example, in Andean communities, periodic drunkenness that leads to sickness and a few days off work is considered normal. This social definition of help with alcoholism near me can skew the way researchers and doctors view the disorder. They need a clear definition of alcoholism to measure and describe it accurately.
An early sign of alcoholism is a pattern of repeated binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks in a short period of time. This can be followed by a period of not drinking for a few weeks or more. People in this phase may not realize that they have a drinking problem.
Some people drink heavily to relieve stress or anxiety, or to have fun. Others use alcohol as a way to socialize with others. They might also drink to boost self-esteem or confidence. However, these effects only last a while and can be dangerous.
Some people become addicted to alcohol without realizing it. Symptoms of alcoholism include an inability to control the amount you drink, impaired judgment and attention span, a negative attitude about stopping drinking, neglecting other responsibilities, or having withdrawal symptoms when stopped for too long (like shaking, sweating, tremors and difficulty sleeping). If your drinking has affected your life in these ways, you should consider getting help. If you are worried about someone, talk to them about their drinking habits. It’s important to broach the subject gently and with respect. It’s also helpful to research treatment options. You can look into inpatient and outpatient rehabs, or other recovery resources. Then you can discuss the best approach with your loved one.