Consequences of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a great problem, it is estimated that in the United States 9 million people are alcoholics or problem drinkers, in Holland there are about 650,000. The costs for medical care are enormous, in Holland this is about 5 billion every year. Other consequences of alcoholism are criminality, traffic problems and suicide.
|"What causes alcohol addiction?"|
There are various definitions of alcoholism, but they all include the fact that the alcoholic is inable to abstain alcohol, and lack of control over themselves.
Test your Drinking
The following test you can do yourself to determine whether you might have a drinking problem or not:
Below are some questions that will help you how dependent you are on drinking:
If you answered -yes- to one of the questions above, you might consider to do something about it before it gets worse.
- Has someone close to you sometimes expressed concern about your drinking?
- When faced with a problem, do you often turn to alcohol for relief?
- Are you sometimes unable to meet home or work responsibilities because of drinking?
- have you ever required medical attention as a result of drinking?
- Have you ever experienced a blackout-a total loss of memory while still awake- when drinking?
- Have you ever come in conflict with the law in connection with your drinking?
- Have you often failed to keep the promises you have made to yourself about controlling or cutting your drinking?
(source: National institute on Alcohol abuse and Alcoholism, 1977).
Stages in Drinking
Becoming an alcoholic you describe the following stages: the prealcoholic stage, individuals drink socially and to relieve tension and to forget problems. The prodomal stage, drinking becomes furtive and the individual drinks more and more. The crucial stage, once the individual starts drinking he cannot stop untill he is getting sick. This stage is called crucial because when the individual do not get help in this stage, he will get into the next stage. The last stage is the chronic stage, drinking is now continual and the individual can get medical problems as the result of alcohol.
There is no generally accepted theory of alcoholism. Some evidence suggest it is something hereditary, others say that children having alcoholic parents have a big change of becoming an alcoholic.
The common-sense view is that people drink to reduce anxiety, often as the result of problems, and to relieve tension. This might be a reason why people start drinking, but this is no explanation why people continue drinking. Another motive for start drinking for young people is to keep up with their peers.
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