It is not uncommon to see people occasionally drinking a glass of wine or other types of alcoholic drinks at a social event. Everyone who is drinking alcohol is not an alcoholic. Alcoholics are people who become physically and mentally dependent on alcohol. They crave for alcohol in the same way as people feel hungry to eat food.
A person who is alcoholic craves alcohol every day and once he starts drinking, he may tend to drink more and more because he has developed a tolerance to alcohol. Alcoholism is a chronic disease which has affected and ruined many lives.An alcoholic who tries to stop drinking may present with symptoms of withdrawal such as profuse sweating, nausea, anxiety, shaking of hands and legs, memory lapse, etc.
Addiction to alcohol has been a hot topic of research since many years. Scientists have reasoned out a combination of factors to know why some people become alcoholics while others who drink alcohol occasionally may not become addicted.
Reasons Why Some People Develop Alcohol Dependence
Alcohol dependence does not have one single cause, but multitude factors. It is a combination of genetic inheritance, social, physiological and psychological reasons.
- Genetic inheritance: Researchers are now convinced that hereditary has a definite role in a person’s alcohol dependence. According to them a child of an alcoholic father or mother is four times more at risk of developing alcoholism during his life. While environmental factors are partly responsible for it, scientists are still unable to isolate the gene that plays an active role in this disease.
- Physiology: Alcohol is known to alter the brain chemistry. The minute alcohol enters into blood it travels to the brain. In the brain, alcohol influences the brain chemical such as dopamine. Dopamine is released during pleasurable activity or occupations. Alcohol acts a stimulant which causes dopamine release. The body starts craving alcohol to feel pleasure all the time instead of negative feelings.
- Psychological factors: Mental health plays a great role in alcohol abuse. Alcoholism is particularly common in people suffering from schizophrenia. People who are struggling from depression, anxiety, paranoia etc are at greater risk of becoming alcoholics.
- Social causes: Certain social factors in adults and teenagers pose a risk in development of alcoholism. Peer pressure, estranged marriage life, advertisements of alcohol, frequent partying etc all can increase the risk of becoming alcoholic dependent.
Signs And Symptoms Of An Alcoholic
- Tremors in the morning after drinking last night.
- Person when asked tells he drinks to forget all problems in life.
- Alcoholics often drink alone. In the beginning, person may seek company of friends for drinking, but gradually he will start drinking alone even without friends.
- Person starts lying about his drinking habits with the family member.
- Momentary loss of memory while drinking due to blackouts.
- Person drinks more and more because he has developed tolerance to alcohol.
- Person is always on the search of excuses for drinking.
- Often misses meals.
- Due to alcoholism, the person faces problems in his workplace due to increased absenteeism. Alcohol not only takes its toll on alcoholic person, it also affects the lives of family members.