Alcohol Dependence

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Alcohol Dependence in Adults

Alcohol Dependence in Adults


One out of very thirteen adults is considered to be an alcoholic or they go through from a drinking problem. Today, fourteen million Americans experience from this ailment which is caused by a combination of physiological, psychological, social, and inherited factors (Gregg, Toumbourou, 2003). Alcoholism is a developmental disease that progress slowly over a period of time and is based exclusively on both the physical and emotional addiction of alcohol. In many cases it leads to brain and liver damage and/or early death (Boyle et. al, 2001).

Problem drinking occurs when a person begins to drink regularly. Whether it is social drinking, drinking to avoid stress or boredom or drinking just because they think it is fun. A problem drinker may also start to drink at inappropriate times (Christoffersen, Soothill, 2003). If these problem drinkers drink too often, they may build a tolerance to alcohol, which is the second stage of alcoholism. When a person develops a tolerance, their body requires more alcohol to receive the same affect. The more time they spend drinking and recovering from drinking, the more time is lost with their work, families, and friends (Boyle et. al, 2001). People who build a tolerance to alcohol often become paranoid and secretive as they try to hide their problem.

Dependence is the third step of alcoholism. This is where a person's body starts to need alcohol to function normally. If a person with dependence stops drinking, they may experience withdrawals like sweating, shaking, and nausea. Dependence leads to the last stage, alcoholism. Alcoholism is where a person becomes completely addicted to alcohol. They care about it over all other things. They crave alcohol and think about it constantly (Adger, 2000). In severe cases, a person may substitute food with an alcoholic drink.

DSM-IV Criteria for alcoholic drink Dependence

A faulty adaptation pattern of alcohol use, leading to clinically significant mutilation or distress, as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period (Offord et. al, 2002):

Tolerance, as characterized by either of the following:

A need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve Intoxication or preferred effect

Markedly diminished effect with proceeded use of the identical amount of alcohol

Withdrawal, as evident by either of the following:

The characteristic withdrawal set of symptoms for alcohol

Alcohol (or a closely related pharmaceutical such as valium) is utilized to relieve or bypass departure symptoms

Alcohol is often used in larger amounts or over a longer period than was wished-for

There is a persistent yearn or failed efforts to cut down or control alcoholic drink drink use

A large deal of time is expended in activities essential to get alcoholic drink, use alcoholic drink, or retrieve from its effects

Important social, occupational, or recreational undertakings are granted up or decreased because of alcohol use

Alcohol use is constant regardless of knowledge of having a constant or regular physical or emotional problem that is prone to have been caused or ...
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