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Alcoholism Information

  • Alcoholism is a term with multiple and sometimes conflicting definitions. In common and historic usage, alcoholism refers to any condition that results in the continued consumption of alcoholic beverages despite the health problems and negative social consequences it causes the individual. Medical definitions describe alcoholism as a disease which results in a persistent use of alcohol despite negative consequences. Alcoholism may also refer to a preoccupation with or compulsion to consume alcohol and an impaired ability to recognize the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption...
  • Causes of Alcoholism

    The use of alcohol itself does not predict the development of alcoholism. The quantity, frequency, and regularity of alcohol consumption required to develop alcoholism varies greatly from person to person. While the biological mechanisms of alcoholism are uncertain, established risk factors include social environment, emotional health, and genetic predisposition, which are all unique to every individual.

    Treating Alcoholism

    Treatments for alcoholism are quite varied because there are multiple perspectives about the condition itself. Medications are sometimes prescribed to help reduce the compulsion to drink. DailyStrength members have described their experiences with Antabuse, Naltrexone, and Campral. Most treatment programs focus on discontinuing alcohol intake, followed by life training and social support in order to prevent a relapse. A typical treatment program consists of detoxification followed by a combination of therapy, daily participation in support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, and ongoing development of coping mechanisms.

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View Top Alcoholism Answers at sharecare.com

Health Blogs

Officially, a diagnosis must come from a qualified health professional. It could involve a mental health assessment, blood tests, etc. However, anyone can develop a suspicion of dependence that may be close enough to the truth to help you decide to take action. Observation of behavior patterns can include:
It is estimated that alcohol consumption is responsible for about 80,000 deaths in the US each year. Binge drinking has also been associated with many health problems including:
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Liver Disease
  • Chemical Dependency
  • Pregnancy
  • STDs
  • Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol dependence is a gradual process which can take from a few years to several decades to become a problem - with some very vulnerable people addiction can come in a question of months. Eventually, over time, regular alcohol consumption can disrupt the balance of the brain chemical GABA which controls impulsiveness, as well as glutamate, ... Read More »

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Community Advisors
Dr. Kimberly Dennis
Psychiatrist,
Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center

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