Alcohol Addiction Disorders Homework Help

Alcohol addiction is also known as alcoholism and is an alcohol use disorder.  Alcohol addiction is a medical condition. Alcohol addiction involves frequent and heavy drinking of alcohol despite its repercussions.

Alcohol Addiction Disorders Homework Help

Alcohol Addiction Disorders Homework Help

Some behavioral therapies and medications can help with alcoholism. People suffering from alcohol addiction cannot stop drinking alcohol even if it causes emotional distress or physical harm.

Alcohol addiction is also known as alcohol dependence, alcohol abuse, or alcohol addiction. It is a medical condition that affects the functioning of the brain and can be controlled by psychological and medical treatment.

Alcohol addiction ranges from mild, moderate, and severe. alcohol addiction may develop rapidly or may take time.

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Side effects of Alcohol Addiction

Excessive consumption of alcohol can potentially damage a person’s health. Alcohol addiction is commonly linked to:

  • Despair, depression, and suicide
  • Brain damage including dementia
  • Liver problems such as fatty liver, hepatitis, and cirrhosis
  • Breast cancer, colon cancer, mouth, and liver cancer
  • Accidents and injuries like falls and fractures
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome if one is exposed to alcohol before birth
  • Alcoholism causes personal problems such as trouble with personal relationships, money, and work.

Causes of Alcohol Addiction and Risk Factors

The risk for becoming addicted to alcohol slightly depends on how often, how much, and how quickly a person consumes alcohol. Behaviors that increase the chances of developing alcoholism are heavy use of alcohol and binge drinking.

Other risk factors for alcohol addiction are:

  • Genetics and family history of alcoholism – genetics play a major role. However, the risk of getting addicted to alcohol is further influenced by the relationship between the person and their environment. Drinking patterns of parents can influence the likelihood of the child developing alcohol addiction.
  • Alcohol use at an early age – people who are 26 years or more who started drinking alcohol before they were 15 years are more likely to develop alcohol addiction compared to those who began drinking at 21 years or later.
  • History of trauma and mental health conditions – psychiatric conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are commonly associated with an increased risk of alcohol addiction. This is the case for people with childhood trauma history.

Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

To assess a person’s symptoms, the healthcare provider needs to ask the following questions:

  • If the person has ever drunk more or longer than they intended to
  • If the person has ever intended to reduce or stop drinking or tried to but failed
  • If the person has ever wanted a drink so badly that they could not think of anything else
  • If they have ever spent a lot of time drinking, being sick, or nursing a hangover
  • If their drinking or effects of drinking has interfered with their ability to take care of their family or home or has caused school and job problems
  • If the person continued drinking even if it caused trouble with friends or family
  • If they have had to give up on activities, they once considered it important and interesting to drink
  • If they have continued to drink even though it made them feel depressed or anxious or after having a memory blackout
  • If they have gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased their chances of getting hurt more than once. These could include activities such as swimming, driving, walking in a dangerous area, and having random unprotected sex.
  • If they experienced withdrawal symptoms when the effects of alcohol wore off. These symptoms include shakiness, seizures, a racing heart, trouble sleeping, sweating, nausea, and restlessness.
  • If the person had to drink more than they did before to the effect they wanted.

Experiencing any of these symptoms should be a concern. If they are many then there is an urgent need for the person to change. Alcohol addiction can also be caused by an attempt to relieve emotional pain.

When a person who is addicted to alcohol tries to cut down or stop drinking, they will experience symptoms of withdrawal such as:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Restlessness
  • Racing heart
  • Coma and death
  • Seizures
  • Nausea, dry heaves
  • Delirium tremens
  • Seeing things that are not there also known as hallucinations
  • Trouble sleeping

Stages of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction develops in the following stages:

  • At-risk stage – in this stage, a person is mostly a social drinker. They make a drink to feel better or to relieve stress.
  • Early alcohol use disorder – a person in this stage has progressed to drinking until they blackout. They can comfortably drink alone. If need be, they will drink in secret. They spend a lot of time thinking about alcohol.
  • Mild-stage alcohol use disorder – at this stage, a person is not able to control their drinking. Alcohol use starts to interfere with their work, finances, physical health, family, and mental health. Damage to body organs can be seen on scans and lab tests.
  • End-stage alcohol use disorder – at this stage, the focus of the person is solely on alcohol. They are willing to give up happiness, intimacy, health, and food to drink. At this stage, a person is likely to develop complications from organ damage and death is a possibility.

Diagnosis and testing for Alcohol Addiction

There is no single test that can be done to diagnose alcohol addiction. A healthcare provider will need to have a conversation with the person to diagnose them. A person is diagnosed with alcohol addiction if their drinking affects their health or if it interferes with their daily life.

Management and treatment of alcohol addiction

Treatment of alcohol addiction usually includes a combination of:

  • Behavioral therapies – behavioral therapies include talk therapy or counseling with a professional psychologist or mental health counselor. A person is taught how to change their behavior. Techniques that are mostly used include motivational and cognitive-behavioral contingency and the 12-step facilitation.
  • Support groups – attending meetings with other alcoholics could help one to stay sober. These group meetings are usually known as alcoholics’ anonymous meetings. They are available in most communities and are free.
  • Medications – there are drugs approved by food and drug administration for the treatment of alcohol addiction. These are acamprosate and naltrexone. Gabapentin and topiramate are used to reduce the urge to drink.

The treatment given is dependent on the person’s recovery stage and the seriousness of their illness. Some people may need inpatient medical care, residential rehabilitation, outpatient maintenance, and outpatient intensive.

Effects of Alcohol Addiction Disorder

It is said that some amounts of alcohol may be good for the heart and may have cardiovascular benefits. However, what is widely agreed on is that heavy drinking of alcohol can affect the health of a person negatively and cause health problems.

Short-term effects of alcohol drinking include blackouts, memory loss, and hangovers. Long-term effects of heavy alcohol drinking may cause health issues such as brain damage, cancer, liver cirrhosis, stomach ailments, serious memory loss, and heart problems.

Heavy drinking may also increase the chances of suicide, homicide, and chances of dying from road accidents and serious falls. Men are more likely to become addicted to alcohol and become alcoholics compared to women. However, alcohol causes more serious health problems in women even if they consume fewer amounts of alcohol compared to their male counterparts.

heavy drinking or excessive consumption of alcohol affects the mental health of a person negatively. Alcoholism is also known as alcohol addiction can worsen already existing health conditions for example depression. It may also trigger mental conditions such as anxiety, depression, and severe memory loss.

It is important to note problems associated with alcohol addiction not only affect the drinker but also those around them. Children and spouses of heavy drinkers may experience violence from time to time. Children are at more risk of sexual and physical abuse and neglect. This may affect the children to the extent they develop psychological problems.

Pregnant women who choose to drink alcohol may risk damaging their unborn baby. accidents and assaults that result from alcohol drinking may cause injuries or death of strangers, friends, and family.

Prevention of Alcohol Addiction

To prevent alcohol addiction, a person should avoid high-risk drinking.  If you are already engaging in high-risk drinking, it is advisable to quit or cut back.  The outlook for people with alcohol addiction will depend on many factors.

Mild cases of alcohol addiction are only problematic for a specific period. More severe cases are usually a lifelong struggle. It is advisable to seek the help of a healthcare provider once you recognize you could be having a drinking problem.

Conclusion

A lot of people with alcohol addiction usually recover. However, it is common to encounter several setbacks while undergoing treatment.

Behavioral therapies are important in helping people develop skills to help them avoid and overcome triggers that may cause them to drink. Other interventions such as medications are used to stop a person from drinking when they are likely to relapse.

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Alcohol Addiction Disorders Homework Help

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