We are all used to think that an alcoholic is “not about me, but I’ll leave it at any moment!”. It would seem, yes. After all, by medical definition, an alcoholic is a person whose body depends on the constant intake of alcohol into it.
It is a chronic disease in which a person is unable to control alcohol consumption, even if it starts to create serious problems in personal relationships, at work and at home.
How does the dependence arise?
Regular consumption of alcohol disrupts the balance of chemicals in the brain. A complex medical explanation sounds like this: the balance of gamma-aminobutyric acid that controls impulsivity, glutamate, stimulating the nervous system, and the dopamine pleasure hormone is disturbed.
– Gradually, the metabolism of dopamine in the centers of pleasure and reward centers is gradually changing, and a person simply ceases to experience pleasure without these substances, – explains the expert of the National Scientific Center of Narcology of the Ministry of Health and Social Development of Russia Alexei Nadezhdin.
This leads to the fact that the human brain needs alcohol in order to get rid of unpleasant sensations and feel good.
Dependence may be genetic
Scientists distinguish several signs that you may face alcoholism:
There are specific genetic factors that make some people more prone to developing a dependence on alcohol. Those in whose families there is a history of using drugs or alcohol, become dependent on alcohol six times more often.
2. Early contact with alcohol.
The results of the study show that people who started drinking alcohol before age 15 are more likely to suffer from alcoholism.
According to scientists, five times more alcoholism occurs in those who smoke at least sometimes.
Because stress hormones cause anxiety, decreased mood and performance, some people try to consume alcohol in an attempt to get rid of unpleasant sensations.
5. Booze for the company
People who have friends regularly drinking or already having problems with alcohol, too, start to drink alcohol too often.
People with depressive symptoms can consciously or not use alcohol as a self-medication. But, as research results show, the use of psychoactive substances leads to the risk of developing depression but does not alleviate its symptoms.
Alcohol is often depicted as an attribute of a “beautiful” life. Experts believe that advertising alcohol and mentioning it in a positive way in the media create the confidence in the audience of the acceptability of excessive consumption of alcohol.
And now the very signs of alcoholism itself:
1. Booze alone
A person stops looking for a company to drink, and can take any amount of alcohol alone with himself.
2. Clearly felt desire to drink
The intake of alcohol does not depend on situations – a holiday or the presence of a company – but is determined only by the need to take alcohol.
3. Binge secretly from friends and loved ones.
Frequent trips “to the country,” “to a picnic,” the appearance in the pockets of a large number of candies, chewing gum and funds that repel the smell of alcohol.
4. Alcoholic “nest egg”.
Hidden in secret places started bottles of alcohol, alcohol in an unusual container – plastic bottles, decanters or jugs.
5. Lack of control over the amount drunk.
A person takes alcohol as long as they are able to do this – that is, actually before poisoning. The sense of proportion and ability to refrain from another glass disappears.
6. Dips in memory while drinking.
After sobering up, a person may not remember a part of the events that occurred during the intake of alcohol.
7. The appearance of drinking rituals.
Drinking alcohol before or after work, while watching TV, “for appetite.” A person is annoyed if the ritual fails to follow, or someone releases comments on them.
8. Loss of interest in your favorite pursuits.
A person forgets about a long-term hobby, stops caring for pets, communicates with relatives, refuses travel and trips.
9. Aggression towards relatives.
The reception of alcohol provokes quarrels, family scandals and aggressive actions towards friends and relatives.
Is it time to tie?
To learn this is very simple. Answer honestly a few simple questions:
– Have you ever had problems with the law in a drunken state? Deprivation of the rights for drunkenness at the wheel, spending the night in a sobering-up center, administrative or criminal offenses committed in a state of intoxication …
– Whether there were problems at work because of alcohol. Decreased performance, scandals with colleagues, absenteeism due to alcohol or hangover …
– Did you ever miss important meetings, events, instructions from your bosses or visits with your loved ones for the sake of alcohol? If binge begins to dominate all other activities, you can talk about the onset of alcoholism.
According to WHO, there are at least 140 million alcoholics in the world, and most of them are not being treated. About 2.5 million of them are in Russia. Scientists believe that 1 in 25 people in the world is dying from the effects of alcohol.