What Is Alcohol Addiction ?

Shah Wines Mumbai

Alcohol addiction means an inability to quit alcohol intake. Many people are used to take small amounts of alcohol on regular basis. This is not addiction. But if the alcohol consumption becomes so much that it becomes impossible for a person to carry out normal tasks without the consumption of alcohol, then it is an addiction of alcohol. This is not at all normal and leads to several harmful effects to general health conditions of a person. Alcohol is basically the name of a group of chemicals which are found in many of our household substances including body cleansers, mouthwashes, perfumes, deodorants, beer, wine etc.


It can be divided into four groups:

Grain alcohol,
Aromatic alcohol,
Denatured alcohol and
Fatty alcohol.

  1. GRAIN: It is also called as ‘ethanol’. It is the type of alcohol used in beers and wines. It is prepared by the fermentation of sugars and starches.
  2. AROMATIC: It is a kind of alcohol which is used in the health products and cosmetics.
  3. DENATURED: This type of alcohol resembles the grain alcohol except that it has alcohol addictives in it. These are unsuitable for the human consumption. It is normally found in cosmetic products, moisturizers, deodorants and mouth washes.
  4. FATTY ACIDS: It is also used in the cosmetic products. Thus the grain alcohol is the one used for human consumption and it leads to the alcohol addiction if used in large quantities on regular basis.

SIDE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL: Chronic alcohol consumption can lead to a number of harmful effects on body. It can affect the liver, pancreas, nerves and heart etc. Chronic alcohol consumption can lead to cirrhosis of liver, cardiac disease, polyneuropathy, sexual dysfunction and nutritional deficiencies. Besides these effects, there are many psychological side effects of chronic alcohol consumption. These include depression, anxiety, fatigue, hallucinations, balance difficulties and dementia. Alcohol addiction is particularly harmful for the babies of pregnant women. If a pregnant woman is alcohol addict it is going to have several harmful physical and mental effects on the baby, unless she quits alcohol intake at least during the nine months of pregnancy.

EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL: Sudden withdrawal of alcohol is neither easy, nor advisable for a chronic alcohol consumer. This is because of the withdrawal effects faced by the effected person. GABA is a neuroinhibitor found in body. The alcohol addicts lack the sufficient amount of GABA in their bodies as the alcohol reduces the amount of GABA. If alcohol is stopped suddenly, the body becomes immediately deprived of both the sufficient quantities of GABA and the alcohol, which leads to a burst of neurological synapses, as there is no appropriate inhibition available now. This leads to:

An increased risk of heart failure.
These effects are collectively known as ‘delirium tremens’.

TREATMENT: Alcohol addicts need a proper help and support in order to overcome this problem. The centers for treating alcohol addiction particularly pay attention to specific points like the factors which led the person to consume alcohol, encouraging him/her to develop a strong will power and other psychological support mechanisms.

The treatment includes certain steps. Detoxification is a process of replacement of alcohol with certain drugs having similar effects but preventing the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol. This is discontinued after sometime and psychotherapy is begun. Some patients are allowed to have moderate intake of alcohol; but this all varies from person to person. All these different ways are basically aimed to prevent the withdrawal effects of alcohol and to help the affected person attain a healthy life style without the consumption of alcohol. The treatment also makes use of certain medicines which act on neurological and synaptic levels in order to prevent the withdrawal effects or to treat any damage already occurred.

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