What is alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a chronic disease caused by the systematic use of ardent spirits, characterized by a stable dependence on them. None is born as an alcoholic; you just can become an alcoholic. Various factors contribute to this.
- Biological factors – play a role in the formation of alcohol dependence. Biological predisposition (biochemical basis) is inherited, on the basis of which a painful dependence can develop.
- Social factors – the distribution of problems related to alcohol, is inseparable from the customs and views of the society about alcohol, family environment, which can both increase and reduce the risk of dependence.
Psychological factors of alcohol dependence include:
- certain personality patterns;
- pathological character traits;
- asthenic and hysterical disorders.
Signs of alcoholism are as follows:
The first sign is a primary pathological attraction to alcohol, a desire to consume alcohol in a certain rhythm, and this desire must be necessarily satisfied. A healthy person easily refuses from this desire, if circumstances require such a refusal. The alcoholic cannot refuse to drink under any circumstances, and if he cannot realize his morbid attraction, he becomes irritated, angry or depressed.
The second sign of early alcoholism is the increase in tolerance to alcohol. Healthy people are usually satisfied with just 100-150 ml of strong drinks (during the party), and in case of an alcohol overdose, they experience nausea and vomiting. It is because the body tries to get rid of the poison. Therefore, this normal reaction of the body to spirit is called a “protective vomiting reflex”. Alcoholics are able to drink much higher dosages of alcohol without any protective reflexes. Dosage of 400-500 ml of vodka during the evening should already alarm both the surrounding people and the alcohol consumer himself.
The third sign of alcoholism is the loss of control over a dose. A healthy person experiences a feeling of satiation during the drinking process. He drinks a bottle of beer or a glass of dry wine and there is no desire to continue drinking. An alcoholic drinks a basic dose, which is usually 100-150 ml of vodka causing a development of irresistible desire to continue drinking on. Control over the dose is lost, and in the case of continued drinking, in a few years any dose of alcohol will cause a heavy drinking-bout. After a period of sobriety, the patient, under the influence of the primary pathological attraction to alcohol, drinks a certain dose of alcohol, loses control over dose, gets drunk, tomorrow he feels bad (hangover or abstinence symptoms), freshens the nip, but does not control the dose and gets drunk again. Heavy drinking period can last from 2-3 days to several months.