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Overview Alcoholism is drinking alcoholic beverages at a level that interferes with physical health, mental health, and social, family, or job responsibilities.
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Symptoms *Activity*Anxiety *Inhibitions *Tension *Abdominal pain *Confusion *Drinking alone *Episodes of violence with drinking *Hostility when confronted about drinking *Lack of control over drinking *Making excuses to drink *Nausea and vomiting
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*Need for daily or regular alcohol use to function *Neglecting to eat *Not caring for physical appearance *Numbness and tingling *Secretive behavior to hide alcohol use *Shaking in the morning *Anxiety *Death (rarely) *Increased blood pressure *Loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting *Psychosis *Raised temperature & Rapid heart rate *Restlessness or nervousness *Seizures & Tremors Symptoms
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Treatment *Intervention *Detoxification *Rehabilitation *Acamprosate is a new drug *Disulfiram(Antabuse) produces very unpleasant side effects if you drink even a small amount of alcohol within 2 weeks after taking the drug. *Naltrexone (Vivitrol) decreases alcohol cravings. Those who are dependent need to stop drinking alcohol (abstinence). Those who are problem drinkers may be successful with moderation. Because many people refuse to believe that their drinking is out of control, trying moderation can often be an effective way to deal with the problem. If it succeeds, the problem is solved. If not, the person is usually ready to try abstinence. Three general steps are involved in treatment once the disorder has been diagnosed:
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Causes *A need for increasing amounts of alcohol to get drunk or achieve the desired effect (tolerance) *Alcohol-related illnesses *Memory lapses (blackouts) after drinking episodes *Withdrawal symptoms when alcohol use is stopped *A need for anxiety relief *Conflict in relationships *Depression
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* Low self-esteem *Ease of getting alcohol *Peer pressure *Social acceptance of alcohol use *Stressful lifestyle Alcoholism is a type of drug addiction. There is both physical and mental dependence on alcohol. Alcoholism is divided into 2 categories: dependence and abuse. People who are dependent on alcohol spend a great deal of time drinking alcohol, and getting it.Physical dependence involves: Causes (cont..)
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Tests & diagnosis *Men who have 15 or more drinks a week & women 12. *Anyone who has 5 or more drinks per occasion at least once a week *Do you ever drive when you have been drinking? *Have you felt that you should cut down on your drinking? *Have you ever had any blackouts after drinking? *Have you ever missed work or lost a job because of drinking? *Is someone in your family worried about your drinking? *Complete blood count (CBC) *Folate tests & Liver function tests *Serum magnesium *Total protein & Uric acid Those at risk for developing alcoholism include:
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Prognosis Only 15% of people with alcohol dependence seek treatment for this disease. Starting drinking again after treatment is common, so it is important to maintain support systems in order to cope with any slips and ensure that they don't turn into complete reversals. Treatment programs have varying success rates, but many people with alcohol dependency make a full recovery.
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Prevention Educational programs and medical advice about alcohol abuse can help decrease alcohol abuse and its problems. Alcohol dependency needs more intensive management. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that women have no more than 1 drink per day and men no more than 2 drinks per day. One drink is defined as a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 1 1/2-ounce shot of liquor.
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Complications *Brain degeneration *Cancers of the larynx, esophagus, liver, and colon *Cirrhosis of the liver *Delirium tremens (DT's) *Depression *Esophageal bleeding *Heart muscle damage *High blood pressure *Insomnia *Liver disease (alcoholic hepatitis) *Nausea, vomiting & Nerve damage *Pancreatitis *Problems getting an erection (in men) *Severe memory loss *Stopping of the period (menstruation) in women *Suicide *Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
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When to contact a doctor If you or someone you know has alcohol dependence and develops severe confusion, seizures, bleeding, or other health problems, go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number such as 911.
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Liver with disproportional fattening, CT scan
Alcoholism and its e...
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