Health Alcoholism is a disease. It is chronic (in that it lasts a person’s lifetime). It usually follows a predictable course and it has symptoms. Then there are the damaging effects of alcohol abuse outside the body. Many alcoholics find it difficult to manage their lives, leading to legal problems and relationship problems that can result in the destructive breakup of marriages and families. Unfortunately, such problems often lead to more drinking and even more problems – driving drunk, for example, and the chance of accidentally killing someone. The effects of alcoholism include the strong need to drink, a need that can be as strong as the need for food or water. Also, the drinker might not be able to stop once drinking has begun. Short-term memory loss can be imminent, as can be blackouts, where the user appears to others that he or she is awake and fully conscious – but in reality has no sense of time or action. These are only some of the early physical effects of alcoholism, which can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, and ultimately death. Alcoholism has attracted much attention as an inherited disease, inherent in family genes. Research shows that there is, indeed, a risk of developing alcoholism in some families and not others. Research studies are underway to determine the actual genes that lead to the risk of alcoholism. However, lifestyle is also a key factor, since the activities of friends, the amount of stress in someone’s life, and the availability of alcohol can also play a significant role in determining one’s risk for alcoholism. Experts say that even though alcoholism may run in specific families, it doesn’t mean that the child of an alcoholic parent will automatically become an alcoholic. The opposite is true, as well – there are people who become alcoholics even though no one in their family has or had a drinking problem. Teens are often very susceptible to the lure of alcohol. According to a 2004 survey of high school students by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 75% of high school students have at least tried alchohol. Many of them have had episodes of heavy drinking. It is a known fact that a leading death factor in teen-related car accidents is alcohol. Alcohol can affect the way the brain fuctions, especially the areas controlling decision-making and emotions, meaning that growth and development can be greatly hindered in teens if they drink alcohol. Memory and learning abilities can be affected, harming a teen’s performance in school. The worst danger is that use of alchol in a teen can progress to abuse, and perhaps to addiction. There are several reasons for why teenagers might begin experimenting with alcohol in the first place. Genetics are often a large factor. If a teen has grown up in a family where drinking is a problem, he or she might be more likely to develop the same problem. A teenager’s personality can also have a lot to do with alcohol abuse. If the teen is rebellious, feels like a failure, or is unable to form close relationships with people, he or she is more likely to seek out alcohol and other substances. The thrill of taking a risk could also leading to abuse of alcohol. There are many more, such as easy access to alcohol, or having untreated ADHD or depression. Peer pressure is also a large factor in the abuse of alcohol by teens. Many substances can bring on withdrawal-an effect caused by cessation or reduction in the amount of the substance used. Withdrawal can range from mild anxiety to seizures and hallucinations. Withdrawal from alcohol can cause anxiety, irregular heartbeat, tremor, seizures, and hallucinations. In its severest form, withdrawal combined with malnutrition can lead to a life-threatening condition called delirium tremens (DTs). Alcohol is the most common cause of liver failure in the US. The drug can cause heart enlargement and cancer of the esophagus, pancreas, and stomach. In addition to its direct health effects, officials associate alcohol abuse with nearly half of all fatal motor vehicle accidents. In 1992, the total economic cost of alcohol abuse was estimated at $150 billion. The management of alcohol withdrawal through detoxification is an incredibly important initial intervention for a significant number of alcohol dependent people. The objective of alcohol withdrawal is maintaining some comfort as the alcoholic goes through the early stages of treatment, the prevention of treatment complications, and preparing the individual for alcohol rehabilitation. The successful management of alcohol withdrawal is an important aspect of preparing an individual for subsequent efforts at alcohol rehabilitation. Social detoxification which involves the nonpharmacological treatment of alcohol withdrawal has also been shown to be effective. This involves frequent reassurance, reality orientation, personal attention, monitoring of vital signs and general nursing care. Social detoxification is most appropriate for individuals with mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Many individuals have significant medical problems associated with alcoholism which substantially complicate therapy, so it is absolutely essential that therapists refer those individuals whose conditions require medical management. About the Author: 相关的主题文章:


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