Alcoholism treatment concerns the physical and psychological repercussions of chronic dependence on alcohol. Every year in the United States, more money is spent on alcoholism treatment (combined with medical and legal expenses resulting from the use of alcohol) than cancer. Alcoholism treatment is vital in guiding alcohol dependent patients though the process of regaining their sobriety, entering into recovery, and changing their lives. Alcoholism treatment not only serves the individual addict, but also works with, and counsels, the family unit which is important for the long-term outlook for the individual, the family and society.
What is alcoholism?
“Alcohol dependence syndrome,” or alcoholism, is considered a medical disease as it was first defined in the 19th century. Alcoholism was defined as “an intrinsic set of adverse effects on the systems of the human body caused by alcohol consumption.”
The definition of alcoholism includes the following signs and symptoms:
• Craving - Compulsion or impulsive desire for alcohol.
• Loss of control – Inability to curb drinking pattern or stop at will.
• Physical dependence--Withdrawal symptoms including nausea, sweating, shaking, and loss of appetite upon cessation of drinking alcohol.
• Tolerance - The alcoholic builds a resistance to the alcohol over time and needs increasing amounts to maintain the same effect.
History of alcoholism
In the 19th century, the effects of long-term alcohol consumption were officially noted in science. The first official definition of the concept of “alcoholism” was made by a Swedish physician, Magnus Huss, in 1849. His concept noted the effects of alcohol consumption on the individual. Dr. C.W. Hufeland had previ...
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...rs may have chronic health problems and take more prescription medications than younger persons. Alcohol can also exacerbate conditions seen more frequently in seniors such as heart conditions, high blood pressure, memory issues, and diabetes.
What are the dangers of alcoholism?
Long-term excessive alcohol use can lead to many chronic diseases and serious problems. The most common include high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, liver disease, and problems with digestion. Other serious issues related to alcohol consumption are cancer of the breast, throat, mouth, liver, colon, and esophagus. Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety are noted. Alcoholism can shorten the life-span of the alcoholic by an average of 30 years. The CDC reports that “excessive drinking is responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years of age.”
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