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Also known as alcohol addiction, alcoholism is a disease and not a choice. It is an addiction triggered genetically or by external factors like a person’s gathering. This is a condition where brain counters changes and the person is unable to control his addiction without any professional help. Alcoholism is a brain’s chronic disease that can be identified by impetuous behavior, obsessive decision-making, and deterioration. Different researchers have compared alcoholism to other diseases like diabetes. People in earlier decades have always misunderstood alcohol addiction. For them, it was something that a person chooses for himself. Well, researches show a different side of the story.
Alcoholism; A chronic brain disease
The reason behind calling it a chronic disease is its lasting influence on a person’s life. It cannot be cured by some simple medications and needs proper professional guidance for curing. Not only external factors are responsible but it is also a genetic problem. Therefore, multiple factors are responsible for alcoholism making it a ‘chronic’ disease.
It might sound weird because alcoholism is not just chronic but a brain disease too. The brain functions are adversely affected which can result in impulsive and obsessive behavior. The power of reasoning is lost and unreasonable demands or cravings become a part of their personalities.
The Development of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a chronic disease that means a number of factors are responsible for its development. A few of them can be easily identified. These factors are:
- Psychological factors.
- Genetic factors.
- Physiological Factors.
- Social and environmental factors.
Every person has a different way of responding to situations. Some become more rational than ever and some face panic attacks. This is not something to be ashamed of. The relapse situation is the scary one because people often find irrational solutions like drugs, excessive smoking, and most importantly alcohol to cope up with the situation. Alcohol might relieve you from the stress or anxiety temporarily but the person becomes an addict to drinking when the situations go off the track.
This might be weird for some people but researches have shown that about 51 genes in different chromosomes are responsible for alcoholism. The genes are inherited by generations and such people are more prone to alcoholism. Once they trigger the genes and alcoholism is hard to control.
As mentioned earlier, every person responds differently in circumstances. Some people can control the number of drinks they have in one day while others cannot. Even if they try, they feel the desperate need to drink. This is a physiological cause. Your brain recognizes the satisfaction you feel while drinking and it encourages you to feel the same again and again. This repetitive behavior becomes a reason for alcoholism.
Social and Environmental Factors
Not just the genes or brain is responsible for alcoholism but the environment plays a significant role too. Different researches have shown that bars and alcohol in retail stores also becomes the reason for alcoholism. The advertisements for alcohol are ruining lives because they showcase alcohol drinking as a fun activity but they do not know people get the wrong image. Calling it fun seems easy but consuming it for fun becomes a disease later on. It gives pleasure temporarily but your brain becomes addicted to that pleasure and urges you to consume more every time. About 78% of the people spend a huge amount of income on alcohol.
Social factors include culture, religion, and friends and family of a person. The family has the most important influence on the drinking habit. If a family consumes alcohol, the children are likely to develop the same habit and become prone to alcoholism. Kids are likely to get dangerous drinking habits if they witness alcohol consumption from a very early age.
Alcoholism; the preventive measures
Every disease has some preventive measure and so does alcoholism. The below discussed precautionary measure must be kept in mind to save yourself and your loved ones from alcoholism.
People who witness drinking in their families from an early age develop intense drinking habits. Some people start drinking when they are just school going and the family does not keep a check. This early age drinking becomes alcoholism at a mature age.
Stress or anxiety
People who stress themselves out or are anxious about the smallest things are more likely to develop alcoholism. Wines and beers undoubtedly provide relief from stress and anxiety but that is completely temporary. Once you are back in your senses the stress or anxiety is the same as before. This causes your brain to motivate you for more drinks and soon you become a patient of alcoholism.
This is a genetic problem too so it is better to keep a check on your children if any family member is addicted to drinking. Children with a family history of alcohol consumption can easily become a victim of alcoholism.
The social pressure
Your friends represent you. The social circle has a major influence on a person’s personality. If you or your loved ones have a company of alcoholics then it is possible that you become one too. Just for the sake of peer pressure people often start drinking. This becomes uncontrollable in no time so it is better that you avoid such a company or keep good control over yourself to avoid alcoholism.
Excessive habitual drinking
Drinking once in a blue moon or at some party is fine but some people cannot control it. They become habitual of drinking now and then which is dangerous. Controlling the drinking habit is really important.
Alcoholism is a chronic brain disease that cannot be cured without professional help. But, necessary preventive measures can be taken to avoid it. The above mentioned precautionary measures can be helpful if you are alert. Taking care of you and the loved ones is an important step and if you keep a close check on the behavioral changes, saving people from alcoholism will become easier.