What is alcoholism?
Alcoholism is clearly classified by the WHO (World Health Organisation) as a disease. It is considered to be a chronic disease with a start of treacherous, recognizable symptoms, which are proportional to the severity of alcoholism. Alcohol addiction presents with physical and mental symptoms. Physical dependence is characterised by tolerance (increasing drinking to achieve the same effect) and withdrawal symptoms due to lack of alcohol or consumption of less than usual alcohol.
Mental symptoms include loss of control, i.e. drinking continues despite the obvious health effects. The concept of alcoholism is also associated with the damage to the social situation, which is dependent on the person or the person. it’s in the lives of their families. Regular consumption of alcohol is a disease when physical, mental and social symptoms of alcoholism are already detectable.
Occurrence of Alcoholism
In Hungary, the number of alcoholics is around 800,000 to 1,000,000. Alcoholism occurs more often in men, the male/female ratio is 4:1, but according to research data, this ratio shows a slow tendency to equalise. Female and juvenile drinking is becoming more common.
In women, the effects of alcohol consumption are more rapid, allowing them to be treated at an earlier stage. 20g / day for men drinking alcohol equivalent to 40g / day increases the risk of alcohol disease and complications. The typical start is 16-30 years old.
Causes of alcoholism
In the development of alcoholism, we should mention the combined role of several factors.
The role of genetic components is indicated by family examinations of alcoholism in families of alcoholics. In these families, the incidence of alcoholism is higher and occurs approximately four times more than in children with alcoholism than in children with non-alcoholic problems. The crucial role of genetic factors in alcohol metabolism and central nervous system responses to alcohol is almost certain. However, no specific succession can be proven.
Neurobiological theory suggests a link between the brain reward system and the formation of alcoholism, whose research involved several neurotransmitters (compounds that transmit information between nerve cells) (e.g. dopamine, serotonin, endogenous opiate system). In the development of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, the role of GABA (gamma-aminovaoic acid) is underlined.
Sociocultural factors also affect drinking habits and consequent behaviour. The role of the community’s drinking habits is shown by the fact that the Islamic population (Syria, Saudi Arabia) is the least affected in terms of alcoholism, while in other countries (e.g. Russia, Ireland) the prevalence of alcoholism is very high. The family background the environment in which the individual is an adult plays an important role in the development of alcoholism, in the case of alcoholics, for example, a broken family, a broken relationship with parents, family conflicts.
Symptoms and diagnosis of alcoholism
Regular consumption of alcohol is a disease when physical, mental and social symptoms of alcoholism are already detectable. Alcoholics are characterized by habituation and addiction and their drinking habits are also characterised by a characteristic change. Physical dependence is characterised by tolerance (increasing drinking to achieve the same effect) and withdrawal symptoms due to lack of alcohol or consumption of less than usual alcohol.
Spiritual symptoms: longing, that is, an irresistible desire to drink. Control loss, that is, further alcoholism continues despite emerging complications, explicit prohibition, life-management fractures. The patient can’t stop after the first drink, he’s compulsive. All of these contribute to the increasing share of life in the patient’s life of the acquisition and consumption of alcohol. Personality changes, such as irritability, mood swings and uncritical manifestations driven by them, sometimes aggression. As the process progresses, intellectual functions are also declining.
Social symptoms: frequent intoxication makes the individual incapable of working and social integration. Often, marriage or marriage it can lead to break-up of relationships and unjustified absence from work, loss of performance and dismissal. The acquisition and consumption of alcohol accounts for a growing part of life.
Due to poor nutrition and absorption, there may be various deficiency or ion variability. Almost all alcoholic patients develop fatty infiltration of the liver, and the liver is enlarged. About 10% of alcoholics develop liver cirrhosis (cirrhosis). Venous veins in the lower esophagus may be the source of fatal bleeding. The incidence of lip, tongue, larynx, oesophagus, stomach, liver and pancreas cancer was increased in patients with alcohol.
Treatment of alcoholism
The majority of patients often visit the doctor only because of some coercive situation (e.g. intoxication with complications, alcohol-related accidents, injury, illness, or social-work-family problems. It is important to motivate patients to receive treatment, and the patient must accept the need for treatment, which is often not an easy task.
Withdrawal symptoms (increased sweating, tremor, restlessness, increase in blood pressure, rapid heart beat, nausea, sometimes epileptic seizures) occur after stopping drinking. Severe cases of delirium tremens may occur (see for details under delirium tremens). Benzodiazepines (sedatives), antiepileptics (for the Prevention of seizures), high doses of vitamin B are the most commonly used during medication, and appropriate food and fluid intake is important.
Today there is also a drug that reduces the desire for alcohol, which can help prevent relapses. On the other hand, the use of a previously commonly used drug called the aversion drug, which causes unpleasant physical symptoms in the event of repeated alcohol consumption, is increasingly undermined.
Joining self-help organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can also help rehabilitate alcoholics. In these groups, recovering and recovering alcoholics jointly discuss their problems and help each other.
Today, the importance of outpatient treatment, prevention and rehabilitation has increased.
Chances of recovery
Alcoholism is more likely to be cured by today’s therapeutic methods than it was years ago. The greatest chance of recovery can be achieved by the combination of medication and psycho-sociotherapeutic treatments.
Long-term international research has found that about 8-39 percent of alcoholics will be abstinent, 46-87 percent will fall, remain addicted to alcohol. 0-33 percent of them become controlled drinkers.