What is Alcoholism?
In a recent study undertaken by the Australian Health and Welfare Institute, it was discovered that one in every eighteen adults may experience an addiction to alcoholic substances in their lifetimes. This number, when compared to just a hundred years ago when statistics claimed that one in every thirty people may suffer, shows a shocking increase in the amount of people that may have a tendency to experience alcoholism.
But what is alcoholism and how does it affect the human body?
Often misbranded as a habit, alcoholism refers to a person’s innate need and addiction to alcoholic substances (including, but not limited to) most over-the-counter bottles of alcohol. Researchers investigating the causes and effects of alcohol recently discovered that the ethyl contained within substances of all grades can have an addictive effect on the human body – and with consistent consumption it can begin to affect the victim both emotionally and physically.
The emotional symptoms
The causes that can lead to alcoholism are wide and varied, with sufferers often claiming that an event in life led them to start to consume alcohol in vast quantities. Others simply enjoy the feeling of being intoxicated – and what can often start as a weekend activity can soon overwhelm all sense of control, until the person begins to rely on the substance in order to function correctly.
Before long the effects of alcohol abuse will make themselves known, as the toxins will begin to destroy brain cells; often resulting in memory loss, dependency (on the substance), anxiety and other emotional disorders. Although not possible to fully repair the damage, it is an option to stop any further illnesses from developing with treatment.
The physical symptoms
Although alcohol can have a drastic effect on the human mind – it’s the physical consequences that are the biggest cause for concern. When consumed infrequently, the human body is more than capable of expelling the toxins contained within alcohol. Over time however, and with repeat exposure, ethyl alcohol will begin to destroy cells within the kidneys and liver – two organs that are vital for regular bodily functions.
This can result in blood disorders as the immune system struggles to address the expansive volumes of toxicity, as well as organ failure – which has even been attributed to fatalities. Needless to say, in small doses the substance can be relatively harmless, but once a dependency is able to develop; the levels of damage caused can be irreparable.
There are two main ways to treat this disorder. The first is via personal decision and will often involve going ‘cold-turkey’, as those in the industry refer to it. This will require that the individual ceases all activities relating to consumption of the substance and allow their body time to heal. Unfortunately, with the withdrawal symptoms, this has a very low chance of success. The second option is via rehabilitation and when being treated by professionals within a secure environment, the potential for recovery skyrockets to well over 80%.