Learn about the causes of Alcoholism & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Alcoholism within New Zealand.
Alcoholism is a physical dependence on alcohol which results in cravings and continued drinking despite the associated problems and interference this causes to personal and work life. Chronic consumption of alcohol can result in physiological and psychological disorders.
Alcoholism is separated into two categories: dependence and abuse.
Alcoholism is a powerful craving for alcohol - it can be uncontrollable
and the need to drink alcohol is as great as the need for water or
food. The causes of alcoholism are varied and typically involve
psychological or social triggers such as stress, depression, family
problems, peer pressure or low self-esteem. However, a person may be
predisposed to alcoholism and the condition has been linked to genetic
make-up. A family history of alcoholism increases the risks of someone
developing the disease.
Alcohol abuse does not present an overriding craving for alcohol nor is there a loss of control or dependence on the substance. Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that leads to a break-down in personal and professional responsibility including actions such as drinking when driving, aggression while drunk and continual drinking even when it causes problems with relationships. Alcohol abuse can lead to alcoholism as a person develops the need for alcohol to function.
Binge drinking is a severe drinking behaviour. It has become an escalating problem particularly in the UK where 40% of hospital admissions to A&E are due to alcohol-related illness or injury from excessive drinking in one session. Binge drinking is defined as eight or more units for a man and six or more for a woman and can be a precursor to alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
Symptoms of alcoholism
There are four symptoms to alcoholism:
Cravings – An overriding compulsion, desire or need to drink.
Loss of control – Inability to control the amount of alcohol consumed
Physical dependence – Physical symptoms from withdrawal of alcohol e.g. shakes, nausea and anxiety (having stopped drinking after a heavy period of use.)
Tolerance – Developing a high tolerance to the effects of alcohol and therefore needing more to get the sensation of pleasure from drink.
Many people suffering with alcoholism can appear to function and perform day-to-day activities but inevitably performance will become impaired and relationship problems can ensue.
There are some physical signs to look for when someone is suffering with alcoholism or alcohol abuse:
Diagnosis of alcoholism
For a successful diagnosis of alcoholism the individual must recognise
their problem and seek confirmation and help. Your GP can help you by a
physical examination and also asking some pertinent questions about
your drinking habits.
There are a number of physical diagnostic tests that can be carried out such as:
Should a GP diagnose you as suffering with alcoholism they will refer you to a psychological specialist to help with your mental issues and if need be a specialist to help with any physical conditions that have resulted from excessive drinking.