Exploring Alcoholism: Signs, Symptoms, and Consequences
Alcoholism is a prevalent disease that occurs around the world and comes with a price to pay. It is the repetitive pattern of misusing alcohol as an antidepressant and creating habits of drinking tolerance and withdrawals. More so, it is the act of being considered an alcoholic; however, it does not start or stop with a person drinking here or there every day. Alcohol abuse can be short-term, then prolonged to long-term, depending on how frequently a person drinks. Alcoholism does not have just one specific root; there are multiple signs and symptoms, thus impacting people of all ages. It can start as early as adolescence to become a full-fledged adult and has negative consequences.
Part One: Complex Origins of Alcoholism
People drink to escape stress, maybe peer pressure, to have fun, and for pleasure. It is hard to pinpoint the exact root of why someone drinks. As Ann Johnston puts it, “Other factors have influenced a rise in women’s drinking. Keri Wiginton, a 36-year-old journalist who now lives in Colorado, was diagnosed with chronic depression in high school and generalized anxiety in her 20s. The first time she got tipsy, she says, ‘I remember thinking, This is the first time I’ve felt this happy.’ Wiginton noted that the vodka and wine she drank with friends helped to manage the anxiety she’d built up by day’s end—though she wasn’t consciously treating her stress and depression with alcohol. Eventually, she faced the fact that her weekend drinking had become a daily habit and something she often did on her own.” Men and females are put through multiple factors in life, such as money, work, school, relationships, and more, that create tension and influence how alcohol comes into play for being used as a reliever. Alcohol is used to block problems to feel a little better at the end of the day; the more someone uses it, the more it leads to signs and symptoms of Alcoholism.
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Part Two: Identifying Early Signs and Symptoms
Furthermore, what are the signs and symptoms of catching the earliest stages of Alcoholism? Funks and Wagnalls highlight the development, “Alcoholism, as opposed to merely excessive or irresponsible drinking, has been variously thought of as a symptom of psychological or social stress or as a learned, maladaptive coping behavior. It has come to be viewed as a complex disease entity in its own right. Alcoholism usually develops over a period of years. Early and subtle symptoms include placing excessive importance on the availability of alcohol. Ensuring this availability strongly influences the person’s choice of associates or activities. Alcohol comes to be used more as a mood-changing drug than as a foodstuff or beverage served as a part of social custom or religious ritual.
Part Three: Consequences for Health and Behavior
Initially, the alcoholic may demonstrate a high tolerance to alcohol, consuming more and showing fewer adverse effects than others. Subsequently, however, the person begins to drink against his or her own best interests, as alcohol comes to assume more importance than personal relationships, work, reputation, or even physical health. The person commonly loses control over drinking and is increasingly unable to predict how much alcohol will be consumed on a given occasion or, if the person is currently abstaining when the drinking will resume again. Physical addiction to the drug often takes place, sometimes eventually leading to drinking around the clock to avoid withdrawal symptoms.” The use of alcohol can be minimalistic in the sense of having a drink here and there. The tolerance for it begins to fester after increasing consumption as time passes.
However, there are still consequences to these adverse effects on the health of one’s body and their behavior. Alcohol can mess with the logic behind every action you take, relationships you have with others, sexual problems, and their careers. It can cloud someone’s ability to do work and concentrate on reality. In worse cases, Alcoholism can lead to death and have a ripple effect on people around them. As Anne Le Berre states, “the pattern and extent of cognitive deficits among individuals with chronic alcoholism vary widely, and not all alcoholics demonstrate measurable cognitive impairment.” It all depends on how much and how frequently one uses alcohol.