Alcoholism is a chronic addiction. It is a persistent disease, which needs medical help, when gets out of control. People, who suffer from this addiction, cannot do without alcohol. If some one consumes moderate quantities of alcohol, it is not harmful but when it turns into binge drinking and excessive drinking, it becomes a disease called Alcoholism. It is an addiction and people suffering from it have no control over their drinking. They drink a lot and frequently. They get dependent on alcohol.

Alcoholic prefers to drink alone in secret. Other signs and symptoms of this addiction are not being able to limit how much alcohol is consumed, short term memory loss, loosing interest in social life, hobbies and activities and having a great urge to drink all the time. They develop their drinking rituals and do not like any interference in this. They get irritable, when they want a drink and intensity of their feeling increases, if they do not get alcohol.

Alcoholism makes people nauseate or sweat, when they do not get drink. They start hiding alcohol in unlikely places and try to gulp down the drink as fast as they could, when they get it. They develop relationship problems, problems at work place and other social problems as they start avoiding social activities. They always have an urge for a larger quantity of alcohol to feel its effect. Alcoholism affects an addict physically, psychologically and socially. Drinking becomes a compulsion for him or her.

Alcohol dependence is a gradual process. It increases with time and ultimately regular consumption of large amount of alcohol upsets the balance of the brain chemical GABA. It is responsible for control of impulsiveness and nervous system stimulant glutamate. It ultimately leads to craving for alcohol to feel good and avoid feeling bad.

Alcoholism could develop due to several factors. People who start drink at an earlier age say before 15 or have easy access to alcohol, are more likely to develop alcoholism. Other factors leading to alcoholism are stress and peer drinking. People start having alcohol as a stress buster, which gradually turns into a habit and ultimately Alcoholism. People with friends who drink regularly are likely to drink excessively and turn into an alcoholic with the time. Some people start drinking to get rid of low self-esteem or depression. Later it becomes habit and they start drinking excessively.

Some people become alcoholic due to genetic factor. There are specific genetic factors, which may make some people more prone to alcoholism. Family history of alcoholism is also responsible for making a person alcoholic. The exposure to media and advertising has made drinking glamorous. Many people drink to look cool and ultimately end up being an alcoholic. Some people also need high amount of alcohol to get a high, which gradually leads to excessive drinking.

Alcoholism could cause many health related problems. It could lead to mental as well as social problems too. It weakens a person’s judgment, lower inhibitions and affects the thinking process. An alcoholic lacks proper coordination. Heavy alcohol consumption could lead to Fatigue, short-term memory loss, weakening of eye muscles, liver diseases, gastronomical diseases, hypertension, diabetes, heart problems or sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction or menstrual problems. It weakens the body and its immune systems thus exposing the alcoholic to more serious diseases.

Most severe side effects of Alcoholism are development of nervous system problems, thinning of bones or cancer. If a woman drinks during pregnancy, it could cause fetal alcohol syndrome. It could cause birth defects, including a small head, heart problems, shortened eyelids and cognitive problems in the child. It weakens coordination and thus alcoholic becomes more prone to accident. They may have suicidal thoughts or indulge in domestic abuse.

When alcoholism increases to a point when it starts interference in social life, professional life, or health, then the patient should consult a doctor. Alcoholics rarely seek medical help on their own. The responsibility lies on a family member or friend to force him or help him to seek medical attention. If an alcoholic gets medical treatment by any way, it is ultimately going to help him with the problem. Treatment also helps to motivate him to change the alcohol problem.

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