Alcohol Addiction - stop alcoholism

Many stigmas about addiction abound in our society. Addiction is seen as a moral issue, a matter of personal weakness, a lack of intelligence, and/or a result of a “bad childhood” or, for example, a response to grief or trauma. This is NEVER the case. Certain life events may lead a person to choose to use a substance (such as alcohol) or engage in a pleasurable behavior (such as gambling) as a means of escape or relief, but it is the inability to stop once they’ve started that is the genetic, biological disease of addiction – the inability to stop is not a choice, it is a biological drive. Addiction becomes an obsessive-compulsive behavior and that behavior is rooted in the neurochemical actions in our brain. And our genes are responsible for our neurological make-up.

Recent research has confirmed that addiction is a genetic, biological brain disease. In fact , addiction is called a “Primary Disease” because it is not caused by anything else and must be treated first before any other issues are going to improve. Addiction causes a long-lasting chemical imbalance in the brain. Actually, addiction causes depression, anxiety/panic attacks, trouble sleeping, an inability to cope with grief/trauma, and a whole host of other issues. Addiction is oftentimes misdiagnosed as Bipolar Disorder, Personality Disorder, Major Depression, and many other so-called “co-occurring” disorders due to the physician’s lack of understanding of addiction and its symptoms (more on this in the Dual Diagnosis section). If a person seeks help for these issues, but continues to use/abuse addictive substances, their mental illness issues/symptoms are not going to improve and will likely worsen.

Alcohol Addiction Causes and Diagnosis

Why is alcohol addictive?

Alcohol is a rather unusual substance and people consume it since the beginning of the human civilization. However, scientists say if Alcohol was found today, it would be certainly a banned substance (FDA would have definitely banned it).

Properties of Alcohol

Alcohol is a simple molecule, but it shows some remarkable properties and actions on neuroreceptors that cause addiction.

1. Alcohol acts on GABA type A receptor via benzodiazepine site. Therefore, alcohol has the actions of Vallium or Xanax
2. Alcohol acts on opioid receptors in the brain: – This causes euphoria and effects of heroin. But in a less intense way.
3. Alcohol acts on the dopamine system of the brain: – This is similar to Cocaine.
4. Alcohol in larger doses acts as a general anesthetic
5. Alcohol has some properties of SSRI or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: Therefore it causes increased energy and alleviates depression but for a greater cost.
dopamine pathways and alcoholism

What is the brain reward system?

Knowledge about the brain’s reward system is necessary to understand why alcohol is so addictive.
In human brain there is a reward system in place to motivate us. It activates when you eat, have sex, and achieve something. It makes you feel good. In addition, human brain learns about these rewards and attaches memories surrounding these events. This helps us to pursuit our goals.Problem with alcohol is that it activates the brains reward system artificially and it is much more intense than the natural rewards. Then the brain pathologically learns about alcohol and its surroundings (sight of a bar, friends who drinks and surrounding circumstances). Since alcohol activates reward system, addicted person will ignore natural ways to get his pleasures resulting in loss of employment, loss of academic performance and relationship problems. In addition, when he sees a bar or meets a friend who took alcohol with him causes activation of the memories of the reward system that make him seek alcohol. It is a strong desire and most people cannot control it, even they decided to get rid of alcohol.
brain award system and alcohol addiction
alcoholism and brain reward system with fluids

What is Alcohol withdrawal?

Since alcohol has many pharmacological actions on the brain’s neuroreceptors, human brain adapts to long term alcohol intake by way of changing its own chemistry. Then there would be a new equilibrium between alcohol and anti-alcohol chemistry in the brain. Therefore, when alcohol is suddenly withdrawn these anti – alcohol forces become unopposed and causes severe withdrawal reaction. This withdrawal reaction makes the addicted person to take alcohol.

Sometimes the withdrawal reaction is so strong it can even kill the person, if withdrawal is tried without medical help.

Therefore, it is highly advisable to take medical help when long term alcohol user is stopping alcohol.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms is further explained in detailed manner.

Treatment of Alcohol Drinking

It is obviously easier said than done to stop drinking alcohol and someone who tried giving up a habit knows that. But there are several help available for someone who is thinking of stopping drinking alcohol. A person who considers he has drinking problems and he needs to quit the terrible habit, he must seek help and get all the essential information to beat alcoholism. It may not be easy and will put him on the border of tragic moments but if he contains all the knowledge on how he can win the battle, it is guaranteed he can get out of alcohol addiction. If you believe you are hooked to the terrible habit of drinking alcohol excessively, and you need to make a plan on how you can stop drinking alcohol, here are some useful and great tips to start with and overcome the condition as you go along with the process. In addition it can also prepare your self in regards of alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

To begin with, a common situation that makes it difficult to beat alcohol addiction is the denial you have drinking problems. If you really want to stop drinking alcohol to change your life for the better, you must acknowledge your mistakes and recognize all the bad situations that you have engaged in the past. You must be aware of the negative condition and you should admit you need other people’s help in order to win over the battle to alcoholism. Denying your problems and you mistakes will not help you in walking on the right track but will only add difficulty to the situation. Most alcoholics who started their procedure by admitting their troubles with broad minds made it to success.

Alcoholism - alcohol addiction

It is advisable for you to seek for professional help. Medical experts know how to deal with alcoholism and they can help you at the very beginning of your stop drinking procedure. They can also provide you useful tips when it comes to beating your urges and stopping alcohol cravings attack. It is better to visit a specialist who knows you condition in order to ensure your safety. Stopping drinking have consequences as the addiction may developed a strong dependency that you alone cannot withstand especially if you are hooked to the substance for a very long time. Many problems can be encountered along the way such as alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Finding supports are very helpful. After denial, many alcoholics think they have no problems at all and that makes it very hard for them to undergo treatments. Supports from family, friends and relatives are a swerving point. It will put them into realization and will get their feet into rehabilitation. No man is an island as the saying goes. Getting help from someone who understand your situation and condition, you are also making great favor to your self.

It is also important to stick with your plans to stop drinking alcohol. Whatever happens, don’t give up quitting. Always thinks that it is the best decision that you can do to end those negative happenings in your life. You can change for the better and the only solution is to give up alcohol.

Be ready for the worst situation. Prepare yourself to the biggest battle of your life. Expect the unexpected and motivate your self so that you will have enough courage to beat your addiction. No matter what happens, never stopped trying to stop drinking alcohol.

Addiction is not a response to life stressors

Initially, a person may make the choice to try a drug or take a drink of alcohol (the average person does try these substances in adolescence or early adulthood). However, a person with a genetic history of addiction or alcoholism has a different reaction that takes place in their brain as compared to the brains of those without a genetic history of addiction: their brain wants MORE. More is perceived to be better. Over time, the use/abuse of these mood-altering/mind-altering chemicals (addictive drugs or alcohol) changes a person’s brain chemistry (click the “Withdrawal” and “Depression” pages for more specific info on this). It actually “breaks” the brain and it is no longer able to function normally without the use of the drug/chemical. In fact, eventually the person is driven to engage in the use/behavior again because it has become their only source of pleasure. Most people with addiction disorders will tell you that they were no longer experiencing a high at some point, they felt compelled or “driven” to do it just to feel normal or function.

Additionally, it takes a long period of abstinence – much of the latest research shows that a period of 90-days without use of any chemicals is a good amount of time – for the brain to jump-start the healing process and begin to get back to a healthy chemical balance. It can take a year or more without use for the brain to return to normal functioning. Until that time, personality changes, mood swings, poor impulse control, symptoms of depression, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and other symptoms may persist. Oftentimes, a person may return to using to relieve these symptoms or to feel “normal” again. This is why relapse rates amongst those with addiction disorders are extremely high.

Alcohol addiction linked to genes and brain

There are many treatment centers that are designated “Dual Diagnosis” or co-occurring treatment centers (a majority of reputable treatment centers these days are – this is something to check). This means that they treat both the addiction and the other symptoms/mental illness issues at the same time. In any case, it is likely that if the addiction is treated and the person is able to maintain abstinence for a long period of time (and that means abstinence from ANY mood-altering substance or behavior, not just the one they were using/engaging in), the mental illness issues will either go away, greatly improve with time, or at the very least be much more manageable.

Bruno’s Confession on Quitting Alcoholic Drinks

“What can help me to stop drinking alcohol” was a question I asked myself time and time again, and I am very sure millions of alcoholics all over the world ask the same question to themselves.

The problem is that we the alcoholics continue to live in denial even though we want to stop drinking, and know we need to stop drinking, we are not strong enough, or have the willingness to change our life.

When anyone has had alcohol in his/her life for so long it is very hard to just say goodbye to something they love, and something they need in their everyday life. If you don’t drink alcohol you will never know the feeling of letting something go that is a huge part of an alcoholics life.

alcoholism ruins relationships

Getting back to what can help me to stop drinking alcohol. Well, for me when I thought about stopping drinking once and for all these were the things that helped me to stop drinking alcohol. I hope some of the statements I make here will help in you to return to a life of sobriety and leave your addiction to alcohol behind.

I sat down (being completely sober) and thought to myself, where is my life headed if I continued to drink and abuse alcohol? The answer I came up with was I would have bad health and possibly death in my future due to the addiction to alcohol I had.
I looked at my parents, wife and my children and thought how I was not only hurting myself, but hurting the very ones that loved and cared for me.
I knew my life was going nowhere fast except downhill to rock bottom.
I looked at all the money I spent on alcohol and deprived my family of things just to buy alcohol and support my addiction.
I looked in the mirror and saw a person that didn’t look anything like the person I knew years ago.
My mental outlook on life was nothing but negative, and my physical appearance was horrible.
I didn’t want to go into a Rehab. Center because I thought I could get sober on my own. (Going cold turkey is what I did , even though it really wasn’t a safe way to get and stay sober and I would recommend other alcoholics to look into a Treatment Center to have the Professional help they would need to have a safe and healthy detox, and not do as I did.
I simply got sick and tired of being sick and tired, and knew deep down inside something had to be done to change my life and the lives that loved and cared for me.
I found out in the end there was only one thing that could help me to get and sober, and that was ME. I was the only person that could help me. You have to want sobriety so bad in your life you are willing to do anything to make it a reality.

In all honesty leaving my addiction to alcohol behind wasn’t all that bad. Sure it was hard in the beginning. I thought I was going to go nuts without a drink in my hand, but as time went by everyday got easier, and as the days and weeks went by I began to get a real life back.

Alternative Treatments for Alcoholism

If you realized now that you need to stop drinking alcohol to end all those problems related to excessive drinking but do not want to undergo medical treatments, then, you should look for alternative treatments such as stop drinking by means of hypnosis or acupuncture. There are lots of different alternative treatments and options to beat alcoholism but these two methods are the most common type of substitute to the standard medical treatments for alcoholics. Stop drinking by hypnosis or self-hypnosis might work for those individual who do not want to have medical assistance and scientific interventions. It might help those who are willing to undergo this kind of treatments to overcome alcohol and give up the terrible habit of excessive drinking without involving medical treatments to stop drinking alcohol.

We all know that every person and every problem are completely different and require different keys and approach in order to get the best answer and solution. Every bit of problem has to be treated accordingly and must have individual solution when it comes to stopping drinking. If a person needs to stop drinking alcohol but is willing to stop, the best alternative method should be implemented in order to recover from the side effects of alcohol abuse.

Do not perform any ritual without having made a complete research and studies on that specific alcoholism treatment or stop drinking procedure or any of the methods use to decrease and stop the habit of drinking too much. Every person has his own condition and the outcome of any stop drinking procedure may somewhat depend on the condition one might have. Each person is free to perform a stop drinking method, but also must bear the consequences of that action. If you decide to stop drinking alcohol, you should ask an expert who knows how to handles the situation before implementing it on your own. You might want to ask an alcoholism specialist about that kind of alternative medicine to get the best results in stopping drinking.

how to treat alcoholism

If someone already has implemented a certain stop drinking procedure but does not conduct study for that specific method, he must stop using it and study more about the subject. He should secure and advice from alcoholism doctors to ensure his safety and preventing complications in terms of health issues.

When the alcohol starts to become part of the life of a person in an uncontrollable manner, dependent on a mechanism that does not stop, taking a single sip detonate a spring inside that will take you to drink more and more. How can we control that anxiety, which is precisely the root of the problem if we do not totally know the main reason of it?

There is evidence that self-help measures provide quick relief for anxiety and depression and after about a year, a virtually complete recovery from addictions such as alcoholism.

Also, the success of these measures is supported by scientific evidence of the discovery of biological origin of addictions strongly related emotions.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms or Syndromes on Alcoholism

In contemporary society, the recreational use of alcohol has spread through all areas of society and is accepted in many cultures as an inclusive and festive custom. But with the increase of this consumption has also emerged a complex public health problem: dependence and addiction to alcohol (alcoholism), a disease with serious health consequences of the addict and to his family and social environment. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between 40 and 60 per cent of deaths from injuries in Europe are related to alcohol (alcoholism).

Addiction to alcohol, although still considered wrong as a matter of lack of will or character, is a disease entity that escapes the control of the patient and requires treatment to stop drinking and compulsive consumption of this substance. The treatment of alcohol, under this view, faces major obstacles to the recovery of the patient withdrawal.

The alcohol withdrawal symptoms (abstinence syndrome) occur because once in the brain, alcohol affects chemicals called neurotransmitters that control the flow of information between brain cells called neurons, linked by synapses, and that this neuro-adaptation causes pathological alcohol, end affecting the behavior, thoughts and feelings of people.

With chronic alcohol consumption, these neurotransmitters are affected and the brain undergoes a change in its structure and functions, so that can only operate “normally” with the presence of alcohol. The person whose brain is accustomed to alcohol needs to increase more and more consumption (tolerance) for the purposes of the first times I drank, with the result that to abruptly stop drinking, brain disorders caused crop for consumption and that were hidden by the apparent “normality”. These disorders, which cause withdrawal symptoms decrease or disappear only when drinking alcohol again. For this reason it is difficult for an addict to stop drinking alcohol when they know that finding relief for withdrawal due to alcohol consumption.

Symptoms of Withdrawal Syndrome in Alcoholism When Stopping Drinking

Symptoms of withdrawal are the opposite of the pharmacological effects of alcohol consumption. As noted above, alcohol inhibits the activity of central nervous system and therefore produces sedation. During withdrawal the central nervous system is experiencing the opposite effect: they increase the active processes while the processes are diminished depressants. These changes produce an overactive central nervous system pain is experienced by the patient, such as withdrawal.

This over activation, which has been observed in clinical trials in patients with mild withdrawal symptoms, is experienced sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity and an increase, which can be toxic to nerve cells, production of hormones such as cortisol and norepinephrine. It is seen, even in people who abuse alcohol only occasionally, that the hangover of the “morning after” is actually a mild form of withdrawal symptoms while the amount of alcohol in the blood decreases.

In some patients who have a lower chemical dependency, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be so “soft” and experience tremors, sweating, nausea, headaches, anxiety or increased heart rate and blood pressure. Although these alcohol withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, are not necessarily dangerous. But are often accompanied by a strong desire or craving to consume more alcohol, so the decision to continue abstinence or to stop drinking is much more difficult.

Furthermore, and very often when there is heavy drinking, hallucinations may be experienced between six and forty-eight hours after you stop drinking. They are usually visual hallucinations but may include sounds and smells, and can last from hours to weeks. Also in this period of leave or give up alcohol consumption, seizures can occur. These symptoms can lead to delirium tremens.

home remedies for alcohol detoxification

The alcohol withdrawal such as delirium tremens commonly begins between 48 and 72 hours after the last intake of alcohol and is preceded by early symptoms of withdrawal, although these may be masked or delayed by other diseases or medications. Signs of sympathetic hyperactivity (tachycardia, hypertension, fever and excessive sweating) are often deep and are the leading brands of delirium tremens, along with others as profound confusion, disorientation and severe cardiovascular disorders. Once the delirium tremens begins, there may be very severe seizures, heart attacks and strokes that can be fatal. The death rate is between 1% and 5%, and increases with a late diagnosis of alcoholism, inadequate treatment and concurrent medical conditions.

For these reasons, an alcohol detox treatment without proper medical management and appropriate level of nursing care are a high risk to health and even life of people dependent on alcohol. Moreover, repeated withdrawal symptoms and without proper treatment could have future withdrawal symptoms more severe. Many researchers believe that alcoholics can not stop drinking and relapse, should receive drug therapy to control withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of possible attacks and brain damage to stop drinking without pain.

Signs, Symptoms and Effects of Alcohol Addiction

A person addicted to the alcoholism can be seriously involved in the medical disease that may be harmful for his entire health and body. Those persons never survive more than their expected lives. Once he started the bad habit of alcoholism, he becomes addicted to that and never wants to lose it any way. The signs and symptoms of alcoholism addiction are generally depended on the amount and frequency consumed. The increasing number of alcoholism has bad impact on the user’s lives and their families as well. Alcoholism tends to destroy all the organs found in man’s body and finally causes death.

harmful effects of alcoholism

In many adults and teenagers, the signs of overconsumption of alcohol and intoxication are recognized:

  • Garbled and jumbled speech
  • Clumsiness, trembling and poor balancing body
  • Delayed reflexes
  • Stomach ache, vomiting or nausea
  • Loss of realization or blacking-out
  • Redness of the face and eye during and after periods of consumption

A person can be possibly reach to the level of intoxication that leads to the alcohol poisoning spread out in the entire body and blood. The respiratory system gets affected and certainly he stops breathing.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

The continuous taking of alcoholism and with its increasing quantity by the day after can lead to the of serious medical symptoms alcoholism. There are present numbers of alcohol abusers that makes this habit as a central and important activity of their lives. They are replacing the healthy activity and relationships and finally got the negative results. Signs of alcohol abuse are as under:

  • Loss control on himself while amount of alcohol over consumed once they begin drinking
  • Loss ability to pay attention to the family and personal issues regularly
  • Dangerous behavior that tends to some risk such as legal, financial or health consequences for himself and others as well
  • Increasing angry expressions and other emotions
  • Insomnia, oversleeping

Signs of Alcohol Dependence (Alcoholism)

If the person addicted to alcoholism is not treated, alcohol abuse can be progressed to the severe addiction characterized by physical dependency or inability to stop despite serious penalty. It is very difficult for the alcoholic abusers to control over the amount they consumed daily. Within the passing days, they start drinking more than the before and thus the amount increases regularly. By the indication of alcohol dependence, it has come to know that the users have made alcoholism an important and particular focus of their lives. Signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence represent a serious medical illness:

  • Considerable hangovers and increase in time needed for recovery from alcohol addiction
  • Reduced concentration and responsibilities on personal and private matters
  • Acknowledgement and unaware of the serious side effects of medical complications from alcoholism
  • Unsuccessful efforts of reducing alcohol consumption
  • Withdrawal symptoms when it is unable to consume alcohol

Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcoholism

Long-term alcoholism abuse and addiction might put the user at some risk of medical complexes if he attempt to stop consumption of alcohol without getting the proper medical advice and suggestion. Alcoholism withdrawal symptoms indicate advanced addictive diseases that include:

  • Tremors, convulsions, or uncontrolled shaking of entire body
  • Sweating even in cold season
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Persistent insomnia
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations

Alcohol detoxification contains greater health risks than the other drugs. The sudden discontinuation in alcoholism can cause a condition which is named as delirium tremens. It can cause death to the person with the sudden alcohol withdrawal. Basically medical detoxification needs to be safely discontinued the heavy drinking.

What Are the Effects of Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol abuse for the long time duration pretense the great dangerous conditions to an alcoholic’s physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual health. Alcohol causes irreversible damages to the organs and whole body systems:

  • Liver
  • Nervous system
  • Heart
  • Stomach (intestine)
  • Brain

Alcohol addiction and abuse also produce several other side effects. Alcoholics usually aspect these critical conditions to other health conditions, as they challenge to avoid ownership of the cost of their drinking. Familiar medical side effects are as follows:

  • High blood pressure
  • Sexual problems
  • Cancer
  • Stomach complications
  • Osteoporosis, especially in women

Alcoholism often causes social consequences on a person’s life too. He in some cases even gets terminated from the job if he drinks or hangs over at work. There would be a serious financial trouble takes place if he left from the job. The other results of alcohol abuse are domestic violence, marital conflict, legal problems and isolation from friends and family.

How Does Alcohol Affect the Body?

Alcohol contains the complex mode of action that simultaneously affects the multiple sections of the brain and acts as a depressant on the central nervous system. Alcohol does the moderate action in the brain like it works by binding itself to the GABA receptors present in the brain and activates the release of the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. As the metabolism of alcohol takes place in the liver, the long term consumption in excessive amount cause damage to the liver.

Alcohol addiction is diagnosed medically as a disease. An everyday use of alcohol can destroy and despite the negative aspects of one’s life. The alcohol abuses results over 100,000 deaths every year in the United States and Canada. As the result of continues drinking of alcohol, alcoholism begins to start in the person’s activity and it leads gradually to the severe addiction which becomes impossible for the person to leave because his mental and physical health, both are suffered badly with the alcohol addiction. The patterns of alcohol drinking are not same for every person; some people drink every day, other drink for the specific times depending on their emotional mood.

What Causes Alcoholism?

From the scientific research, it has not been established that what is the specific reason of alcoholism, the scientists has just come to the point of finding some contributing features. The most common issues may be the genetic predisposition, environmental effect, and mental health for developing this disease. These features make you able to know how the members of the family get addicted to alcohol consumption in various different ways.

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