Alcohol is easily one of the oldest and most common recreational substances, dating back as far as 7000 BC — and historians surmise that alcoholism is likely to have gone back just as far. But what is it and what causes alcoholism? Those suffering from this affliction can be thankful that these questions are being asked — and more importantly, researched. For the great majority of the time alcohol has been available to humans, over-indulging was seen as a choice or — worse yet — a weakness of moral character. Thankfully, we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that alcoholism (also known as Alcohol Use Disorder or AUD) is, in fact, a disease. Like any disease, there are often root causes, factors that increase the risk of acquiring it, and recognizable symptoms we can look out for.
What Makes Alcoholism a Disease?
Early suggestions that alcoholism could be a disease were met with derision and even accusations of making excuses for alcoholics. While this is incredibly unfortunate and much continued suffering occurred as a result, it’s easy to see why the uninformed are often so quick to dismiss the idea. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like what the average layman would classify as a disease — and further, those suffering from it are the first to deny that anything is wrong. However, as research began, it quickly became clear that alcoholism showed blatantly disease-like traits, which led the American Medical Association (AMA) to recognize it as a primary disease in 1956. This was further cemented by a report released by non other that the U.S. Surgeon General in 2016.
Firstly, it was soon shown that there is a clear neurobiological component to alcoholism. Research uncovered the fact that this and other substance abuse disorders were driven by changes in the brain that occurred due to repeated use of alcohol or drugs. Unknown to the user, the brains pleasure centers are gradually becoming less sensitive to the rush of dopamine released with the consumption of alcohol. This means that more must be consumed to obtain the same pleasure. In short, what we know as ‘building up tolerance’ has a very real biological cause. (This also affects the user’s ability to experience pleasure from other activities.)
The question of “why can’t they just stop when it starts to get out of control?” was also answered by medical research. Nefariously, alcohol abuse also disrupts normal prefrontal cortex activity — the part of the brain that controls judgment and decision-making. These issues point to another decidedly disease-like characteristic — a progressive nature. Slowly but steadily, the disease progresses until, if left unchecked, it reaches a point where it is almost impossible to control and possibly becomes fatal.
Alcoholism also shares many traits with another class of diseases — obsessive/compulsive disorders. While certainly distinct from conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (another disease that was not considered such for a long time), there is a clear component of obsession within alcoholism. The thought that the user musthave a drink is unrelenting — until, of course, the drink is taken.
What Are Alcoholism’s Causes and Risk Factors?
In another similarity with other diseases, the potential causes of alcoholism are numerous, sometimes difficult to prove unequivocally, and vary from person to person. A number of studies have suggested that there are hard and fast biological causes; one such study provided evidence that a failure to clear away a certain substance that inhibits signalling around neurons in the central amygdala could be to blame. Such studies are far from conclusive — however, there are a few things that are widely agreed to be the most common risk factors.
- Stress—This has long been known to be a risk factor for alcoholism. As with any psychoactive substance, alcohol provides an escape from stressful situations, jobs and the like. This is why in professions recognized as high-stress occupations, such as medicine or construction, alcoholism rates are unusually high. Ironically, alcohol abuse has been shown to increase the release of cortisol – the same hormone our adrenal glands release when we are stressed! The fact that the disease remains in the minority of all populations and occupations, however, tends to support the fact that there are generally interconnected factors.
- Mental Health Issues—Depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems are commonly seen in those suffering from alcoholism. As with stress, alcohol can seem to be a temporary solution – though we know it just exacerbates the problems. With already compromised brain function, alcoholism is especially dangerous in those with mental health issues. Making things more complicated is the fact that mental health issues can actually be the resultof alcohol abuse. This is why it is important to receive treatment from knowledgeable professionals who are experienced in treating such cases.
- Family Environment/Social Culture— In certain societies, the imbibing of alcohol is far more tolerated than in others. The same can be said for families and households. Once again, this may not be a problem at all for for many, but for those with other factors predisposing them to addiction, these environments put them at great risk. This also partially explains the high incidence of alcoholism amongst those in the service industry, such as bartenders, servers, chefs, restaurant managers etc.
- Beginning to Drink at an Early Age— This is a risk factor for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most simple is this makes drinking alcohol ‘the norm’. Those who then progress to the stage of suffering from alcoholism will be even less likely to recognize it — and be better able to hide it from others. Secondly, those who begin to drink at a veryearly age (pre-puberty) are at a huge risk. Science has shown the human brain is still developing well into our 20s and possibly even our 30s. Therefore, beginning to drink when the brain is its most malleable and continuing through its developing years can have disastrous effects. Lastly, the aforementioned rewiring of the pleasure centers that we know as ‘tolerance’ has been observed to be quite extreme in certain individuals who began drinking at an early age — thus the risk of regularly overindulging and falling further into alcoholism is increased.
- Early/Continued Social Isolation—Studies have shown that isolation, especially early in life, can increase the risk of alcoholism. This is not only due to observations made of those afflicted — controlled lab studies have shown test subjects such as rats to increase their alcohol intake when isolated. Taken out of their naturally social state, the young rats became stressed and anxious — states we now know to be risk factors.
- Shyness/Low Self-Esteem— It is a known fact that alcohol lowers inhibitions — and for many, this is one of the appealing features of the drug. Those that feel too awkward to interact with others often find themselves easily chatting after a few drinks. However, it is quite different in the case of those that are “chronically shy” – what we now know today to be Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). These individuals, if untreated, find it literally impossible to interact with others, or in the worst cases, even leave their house. If alcohol seems to alleviate this situation, it is not uncommon for this crutch to quickly become an addiction.
- Drinking in ‘High-Risk’ Numbers—The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse (NIAA) has defined high risk drinking as more than 14 drinks a week for men, and 7 for women, and more than 4 drinks in any given day for men, while the number for women is 3.
There are other risk factors as well, but one is more hotly debated and suspected by many of being the most important of all – we would not be surprised if it is the very one on the tip of your tongue as well.
Is Alcoholism Hereditary?
When the discussion about alcoholism being more complex than a choice made by individuals began, a major topic of debate was whether there was a hereditary component to the affliction. Those who believed it was a disease argued that, like many diseases, it most certainly was hereditary, while opponents of the theory argued that, if there was any correlation between family members, it was simply due to children copying their elder relatives. Through decades of studies, we now know that both of these things are true. Certainly, being in an environment where immediate or non-immediate family members visibly suffer from alcoholism is a risk factor for young people — one that increases exponentially when other factors are present. However, science has shown strong evidence that there is a genetic component to the disease as well.
After many years of work, medical researchers published a paper in 2012 reporting that they had found as many as 11 pairs of genes that could be associated with developing behaviors we would generally recognize as alcoholism. These include a gene mutation that causes the aforementioned discrepancy in the levels of a certain inhibitor (gamma-aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA) that works with neurons in the amygdala. In affected individuals, the intake of alcohol does not reduce the amount of GABA in the same amounts as in unaffected individuals. As a result, drinkers will feel the effects of alcohol less, and as they generally feel less impaired, have the potential to drink more — and more often. As a genetic mutation, this will be passed down through generations.
On the other had, there are also genes that may predispose a person to drink lessand therefore be at a lower risk of alcoholism. These include a gene variant most commonly found in East Asians that causes flushing, nausea and heart racing when alcohol is ingested. Due to the unpleasant sensation, affected persons are far less likely to drink, much less drink in excess. In yet another case of connectivity, any of the 11 genes found were associated with other neuropsychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder and anxiety.
How Do I Know If I Am an Alcoholic?
Like any person suffering from a disease, alcoholics display symptoms. As alcoholism has both mental and physiological components, so to do the symptoms present as both behaviors and physical reactions. Some of the former include:
- Drinking alone
- Drinking large volumes at a time (binge drinking)
- Routinely ignoring personal and professional responsibilities
- Engaging in behavior that can be detrimental in terms of safety, health, finances or legality
- Poor eating habits
- Erratic sleeping habits
- Becoming extremely defensive or agitated when drinking habits are brought up
- Loss of interest in activities previously considered important
- Poor personal hygiene
- Extreme emotions, often at inappropriate times or in inappropriate settings
- Inability to control alcohol intake
- Consumption of alcoholic drinks one does not enjoy, or objectively unpalatable sources of alcohol, such as mouthwash
As the disease progresses, physiological symptoms may also present, including:
- Intense cravings for alcohol
- Experiencing tremors following a binge drinking episode
- Increased recovery time from drinking episodes and more intense hangovers
- Alcoholic Ketoacidosis
- Withdrawal Symptoms, including:
- Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium or Delirium Tremens— The most severe type of withdrawal, which — in addition to all of the above — also includes extreme confusion and delirium, hallucinations, delusions, involuntary and painful muscle contractions, erratic breathing and heart rate, and even seizures which may prove fatal.
Where Can I Get Help?
First, it is important to note that there is no simple ‘cure’ for alcoholism. It is an infamously complex disease, with — as we’ve seen — numerous risk factors, causes and symptoms. The key to continuous recovery — and it is indeed a continuous process — is treatment by knowledgeable, experienced, caring and compassionate professionals who are able to help you identify the many likely root causes of your addiction and have the expertise to best treat all aspects of the disease.
At Riverside Recovery Center in Spokane, Washington, our mission is to do just that. We provide a host of specialized programs to help each individual discover how to change their life for the better. To further increase the chances of continued recovery, we offer family programs as well. We even provide resources for employers to be better prepared to assist in recovery, and legal support services to reduce the stress from legal issues that may have arisen due to addiction. If you or someone you know is suffering from alcoholism and/or other addictions, we urge you to contact Riverside Recovery Center today. Beginning with a complimentary consultation, we can get you or your loved one on the road to a better life.
Cialis Mit Paypal prorgikili Pumpoberroub Levitra Einnahme
“Great, thanks for sharing this article post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.” Shiloh Capellas
I am so grateful for your blog post.Really thank you! Cool. Kenneth Kaye
My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s
to be exactly I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content for you?
I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on most of
the subjects you write with regards to here. Again,
Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It’s the little changes that make the most important changes.
Thanks for sharing!
This is really fascinating, You are a very professional blogger.
I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to in the hunt
for more of your magnificent post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks
Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe this amazing site
needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read
through more, thanks for the info!
I just like the helpful information you provide for your
articles. I will bookmark your weblog and test again right
here regularly. I am slightly certain I’ll learn lots of new
stuff right here! Good luck for the next!
Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about
this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message
home a little bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog.
A great read. I’ll certainly be back.
Excellent post. Keep writing such kind of info on your blog.
Im really impressed by your blog.
Hey there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
I am confident they will be benefited from this site.
If you wish for to get a good deal from this paragraph then you have to apply such techniques to your won website.
Esthetic Dental Clinic – DENTYSTA
Toruń – Stomatologia estetyczna – Implanty – ORTODONTA TORUŃ
Heleny Piskorskiej 15, 87-100 Toruń
Basics – The system runs from the internet as opposed to hard copper lines
making invulnerable to magnetic interference and the majority cheaper, because it uses the net a hosted PBX system can connect virtually any end point which
includes access to the internet, on an instance you can interconnect multiple
offices together making them work just as one whatever the distance.
Smartphones are the fastest growing technological advancement in the sectors.
But when security is concerned Linux is much better in comparison with Windows.
good one keep it up
Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against
hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve
worked hard on. Any tips?
Esthetic Dental Clinic – DENTYSTA Toruń – Stomatologia
estetyczna – Implanty – ORTODONTA TORUŃ
Heleny Piskorskiej 15, 87-100 Toruń
Great, thanks for sharing this article post.
Thanks a lot for sharing this excellent info! I am looking forward to seeing more posts by you as soon as possible!
Online Dumps Shop
Bu mükemmel bilgi paylaşımı için çok teşekkürler! Ben en kısa sürede sizin tarafından daha fazla mesaj görmek için sabırsızlanıyorum!
I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the
layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days.
Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to “return the favor”.I am trying to find things to
enhance my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!
Awesome post. thank you everything for toplu sms
Cafe Ekipmanları, Remta Satış, Remta Online Satış, Remta Mutfak, Remta, Endüstriyel Mutfak, Büfe Ekipmanları, Kantin Ekipmanları, Restaurant Ekipmanları, otel ekipmanları
Cafe Ekipmanları, Endüstriyel Mutfak, Büfe Ekipmanları, Kantin Ekipmanları, Restaurant Ekipmanları, otel ekipmanları
Vizyondaki filmler, full hd tek parça izle, full hd, tek parça, izle
gomeria en tacuarembo
Millennials face another challenge for the track to homeownership. Evvy Dannel Soinski
Amazing this is very open with a precise explanation of the issues. It was truly informative. Rebeka Avictor Richard
I am so grateful for your blog article. Much thanks again. Much obliged. Madelaine Graeme Osbourne
Very good post! We are linking to this particularly great content on our site. Keep up the great writing. Karia Frederico Welker
I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous
blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!
constantly i used to read smaller posts that as well clear their motive,
and that is also happening with this article
which I am reading at this time.
full hd film izle, full film izle, hd film izle, film izle, dizi film önerileri, Konusu, Oyuncuları, Tanıtımı, Fragmanı,
Excellent blog here! Also your website rather a lot up very fast! What host are you the use of? Can I get your associate hyperlink for your host? I desire my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol
I just could not go away your site before suggesting that I really enjoyed
the usual information an individual provide to your guests?
Is gonna be back steadily in order to check up on new
Esthetic Dental Clinic – DENTYSTA Toruń – Stomatologia estetyczna
– Implanty – ORTODONTA TORUŃ
Heleny Piskorskiej 15, 87-100 Toruń
Take a look at my web site … Implanty toruń
After I originally commented I appear to have clicked the
-Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the same comment.
Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from
that service? Thanks!
buy ciprofloxacin online uk
hassle free payday loans
silagra 100mg uk
bad credit catalogues
buy kamagra jelly uk
cash advance online
Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job! Lesli Any Ranger
Hiya very cool site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb ..
I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally?
I am happy to find so many helpful info here within the submit, we need develop more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing.
. . . . .
Fajny artykuĹ‚, pozdrawiam serdecznie i do uslyszenia
Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it! Odetta Joshua Watkin
I couldn?t refrain from commenting. Very well written! Rebecka Reginauld Golden
personal loans with bad credit
I enjoy looking through a post that can make men and women think. Lark Ryon Faith
no credit check direct lenders
If some one wants expert view on the topic of blogging and site-building afterward i propose him/her to go
to see this website, Keep up the fastidious
Hey there. I discovered your site by means of Google whilst looking for a comparable matter, your site came up. It seems good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then. Shirley Brucie Mercorr
Hi I am so grateful I found your site, I really found you by accident, while I was researching on Aol
for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a marvelous post and
a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the fantastic jo.
silagra 100mg tablets
personal loan online
how much does permethrin cost
I am regular visitor, how are you everybody?
This piece of writing posted at this web site is actually nice.
need a loan for 5000
tadalafil brand name in india
payday loan denver
Hey there, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
When I look at your website in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, very good blog!
buy terramycin online
silagra 100 mg tablet
He looks and sounds like heâ€™s gonna tell me that â€śitâ€™s against railroad regulations to cross cars without a grownup!â€ť. Shawnee Quinten Mattie
Thanks so much, comments section now I know that this video is useless . Pasqualina Nikol Steph
I’m extremely pleased to uncover this website. I need to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful
read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it
and i also have you bookmarked to check out new things on your web site.
This design is incredible! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.
Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my
own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job.
I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.
I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post.
Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!
bad credit loans direct lenders
Excellent article. I am dealing with some of these issues as well.. Portia Cori Lindley
Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I
find It really useful & it helped me out a lot.
I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.
cash installment loans online
bad credit loans approved
doxazosin 2mg cost
aldactone 200 mg price
kamagra oral jelly 100mg offers
canadian pharmacy 24 com
no interest loan
buy nitrofurantoin online
short term payday loans
Günlük yerli ve yabancı altılı ganyan tahminleri ile kazanmaya daha yakınsınız. Ücretsiz at yarışı kurgularının paylaşıldığı sitemizde, sizlerde kendinize ait altılı ganyan kurgularınızı göndererek katkı sağlayabilirsiniz. At yarışı dünyasında en son gelişmeleri takip edebilir, başarılı ekibimiz tarafından oluşturulan tahminleri değerlendirebilirsiniz.
fast payday loan
I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. Patience Waylin Codd
no hassle payday loans
I really loved this article and I will return to see more of your lovely stuff. Thank you so much! Claudina Hermy Bysshe
purchase tadalafil online
student loan debt
consorcio itau simulador motos consorcio para reforma de imovel santander consorcio imoveis porto seguro tabela consorcio porto seguro imoveis login consorcio de imoveis santander consorcio imobiliario bradesco telefone consorcio sicredi imoveis reclame aqui consorcio imobiliario magazine luiza reclame aqui consorcio imobiliario simulador caixa consorcio imobiliario bb simulacao tabela de precos consorcio imobiliario porto seguro simulador consorcio imobiliario caixa economica federal. Luella Si Lough
synthroid 137 mcg tablet
synthroid 137 price
Really no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of after that its
up to other viewers that they will help, so here it
antabuse buy online australia
debt consolidation bad credit
bad credit loans not payday
short term loans for bad credit
loan bad credit instant approval
Thankfulness to my father who shared with me about this website, this blog is actually amazing. Karrie James Detta
trazodone 100 mg tab
I’m still learning from you, as I’m trying to reach my goals. I absolutely enjoy reading everything that is posted on your blog.Keep the aarticles coming. I loved it!