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With the growing trend of social media, there is a lot of awareness being created. The negative consequences are also spreading at a speedy pace. Some people absorb the positive side and some focus on the negative side of the story. Similar thought goes for alcohol. Where TV series are designed for the betterment of society, there are some people who find drunken parties more attractive than the lesson it teaches. Media has played a significant role in increasing the ratio of alcohol addicts in our society but there are other factors involved too.
Technology is a gift and it can be used in a number of positive ways. Everything is now available on the internet and you can easily clear out your queries. When you talk about alcohol, the first thing that pops up in your mind is “What is considered to be an alcoholic?”
How to identify an alcoholic?
Not every person you catch drinking is considered an alcoholic. It is not hard to find alcoholics when you know the criteria to judge them. Some of these are:
- If you find someone drinking alcohol more than usual.
- The best way to be sure about an alcoholic is to check if the person is drinking secretly or not.
- The person faces relapse or difficulty while trying to quit drinking.
- Any sickness or nausea after drinking or a hangover is another sign.
- There is an uncontrollable craving for drinks.
- A person might also realize social and professional problems due to alcohol but would not consider quitting.
- Alcoholics often lash out on loved ones after drinking.
- There is a significant increase in alcohol consumption with the passage of time.
- People drink to feel better is they are stressed or frustrated. For an alcoholic, alcohol becomes useless for anxiety or stress.
These are all the criteria where you judge someone as an alcoholic. Casual drinking is acceptable but if it starts consuming a person, that is alcohol addiction and the person is an alcoholic.
What leads to excessive drinking or alcoholism?
Everything has a trigger and so does alcoholism. There are certain risk factors involved in excessive drinking. These might be:
- The person has inherited the drinking habits.
- He/she might have witnessed drinking at a very early age.
- Social factors like gathering are also responsible for excessive drinking.
- Media has given a glamorous effect to drinking as well. This might become a reason too.
- Advertisements for alcohol are also responsible in some cases.
- The most common risk factor is peer drinking. The pressure of proving yourself in a friends’ circle is the most ruining.
What are the different ways to treat an alcoholic?
Alcoholics can be treated too just like any other patient. If you find someone with any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is necessary that you consult a professional. The following options can be considered for their treatment:
It is rarely observed but some people can control their drinking problem without any external guidance. If you are one of them, read books or articles on the internet that will elaborate more ways for self-treating alcoholism.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most practiced therapy for alcoholics. A professional can talk to the patient and be more effective in letting them know that they need to quit drinking. The counselor might prescribe some antidepressants too so that the results are better and fast.
The alcoholic might have any personal or underlying problem that needs to be treated first. These problems might be low self-esteem, stress, anxiety, depression, or any other health issues too. in case of such issues, it is important that these are treated first. Otherwise, it would be really difficult for alcoholism to be cured. If there are any health issues like liver problems, it should also be given priority for treatment.
Different rehabilitation centers have been established in the past decades that focus on alcoholics. You can admit the patient in these centers too if no other method is feasible for you. There are different exercises and training for alcoholics that have proven results.
Pharmacists have formulated different drugs that react against alcohol once taken. Vomiting, nausea, flushing are the common reactions of these drugs. Other than these medicines, there are drugs to cut the cravings too. These are not long term actions to be taken though.
Some people get successful results after treatment but there is a possibility that they might start drinking again. Medications also help in purifying the blood and help resist alcohol after treatment too.
Can I save myself from becoming an alcoholic?
There is always a warning before you fully develop alcoholism. You can evaluate yourself through some tests which are described below. These have been designed to clarify if you are an addict or close to becoming an addict.
There are four simple questions in this test and if there are any two positive responses to the questions, further tests become necessary. These are very simple questions and you do not need any professional to help you here.
Question 1: C – cutting off drinking
Have you ever tried to cut off drinking?
Question 2: A – Annoyed of questions on drinking
Have you felt annoyed when people ask questions about your drinking habit?
Question 3: G – Guilt for drinking
Did you ever feel guilty because of your drinking situation?
Question 4: E – Eye-opener
Is a drink the first thing you think about after waking up?
These are simple questions which you can ask yourself and if there are two positive answers then you should consider further tests too.
This is the second test which you can go for. Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) is a questionnaire that you can take and evaluate yourself whether you are an alcoholic or not. It is recognized as the best screening test for alcoholics.
Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) is a test that determines hazards for drinking in the past year. It was designed by the World Health Organization and is widely appreciated for the detection of dangerous drinking habits.
You need to be sure about yourself and others before things get out of hands. Drinking occasionally in parties is okay but as they say “excess of anything is bad.” Whether it is love, obsession or even alcohol – it can be lethal for your overall health.