We explain what alcoholism is and what types of alcoholism exist. In addition, what are its causes, symptoms and consequences.
What is alcoholism?
Alcoholism is called alcohol addiction. It is a chronic, progressive and deadly condition , characterized by an excessive, constant and harmful consumption of said substance, in quantities and forms superior to those accepted socially or those considered nutritional. It is a disease that not only affects the individual, but their environment, because among the effects of alcohol there is often a loss of inhibitions and erratic behavior.
There is no fixed amount of alcohol consumed that determines whether or not you suffer from alcoholism, since affected people can follow very different consumption patterns . However, in all cases there is a continuous and increasing consumption of the substance, as the body develops tolerance , as with other drugs.
Accidents and risky behaviors derived from alcoholism are some of the leading causes of death worldwide, such as crashes, run-ins or suicides. The adolescent population is particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon , given the common use of alcohol as a socially accepted disinhibitor and the instabilities of this period of growth.
An estimated 3.3 million people per year die in the world due to harmful alcohol consumption, 5.9% of all annual deaths. There are numerous social and health organizations committed to fighting this scourge throughout the world, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, in most of the nations of religion Muslim, alcohol is simply banned.
Types of alcoholism
There are two forms of alcoholism, according to its vulnerable population:
- Type I alcoholism . It usually affects adults, who have stages of high consumption followed by periods of sobriety, which as the disease progresses become shorter and shorter. It is usually accompanied by liver diseases and social disorders.
- Type II alcoholism . It is more common in adolescence , and is usually associated with violent and asocial behaviors. Unlike type I, it is not characterized by a gradual increase in consumption, but operates more like a massive and frontal consumption.
Symptoms of alcoholism
The usual symptoms of alcoholism may vary by individual, but usually have to do with:
- Withdrawal . When deprived of access to alcohol, the individual responds by feeling physically ill or psychologically disturbed. This is immediately remedied by drinking a drink.
- Physical symptoms . In the long run, dizziness, sweating, coordination problems, nausea and vomiting occur.
- Personality changes . When consuming, the patient can make impulsive decisions , vary his personality drastically, present euphoria, anger or discontent for no apparent reason.
- Delirio . The individual may present crisis of fear, depression , paranoia or erratic behavior, as well as self-destructive behaviors, instability and erratic thoughts.
- Liver problems . A symptom that arrives too late is usually liver complications, such as fatty liver or liver cirrhosis, potentially lethal.
Causes of alcoholism
The causes of alcoholism are varied, given that a certain hereditary factor has been determined in its propensity , as well as in the digestion and assimilation capacity of alcohols . It is considered an inherited disorder, although it is usually triggered by the massive and constant consumption of the substance, which is clearly a behavior decision.
Even so, 80% of alcoholism cases conceal other basic emotional and psychological (and even psychiatric) ailments , when not situations of high stress or chronic depression, since the patient consumes to avoid reality.
Consequences of alcoholism
The consequences of alcoholism are serious and can lead to death. In addition, consumption during pregnancy can have serious incidences in the development of the fetus , causing mental retardation, malformations, low birth weight, epilepsy and other deficiencies in its formation.
On the other hand, the altered states of consciousness caused by alcoholism can lead individuals to take unnecessary risks and cause harm to themselves or others . This is particularly important when it comes to handling cars or heavy machinery. It can also trigger suicidal behavior, or push individuals to make irresponsible decisions, all of which have a high social, economic, emotional and psychological cost.
Ultimately, alcoholism leads to irreversible physical damage, such as deterioration of liver cells and other vital organs, or neuronal damage that results in mental gaps, disorientation or learning failures .