Alcohol

“Alcohol doesn’t console, it doesn’t fill up anyone’s psychological gaps, all it replaces is the lack of God. It doesn’t comfort man. On the contrary, it encourages him in his folly, it transports him to the supreme regions where he is master of his own destiny.”  Marguerite Duras

 

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Alcoholism
Classification and external resources

“King Alcohol and his Prime Minister” c. 1820
ICD10 F10.2
ICD9 303
MedlinePlus alcoholism
MeSH D000437

Alcoholism, also known as Alcohol Addiction, is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker’s health, personal relationships, and social standing. It is medically considered a disease, specifically a neurological disorder, and in medicine several other terms are used, specifically “alcohol abuse” and “alcohol dependence” which have more specific definitions.[1] In 1979 an expert World Health Organisationcommittee discouraged the use of “alcoholism” in medicine, preferring the category of “alcohol dependence syndrome”.[2] In the 19th and early 20th centuries, alcohol dependence in general was called dipsomania, but that term now has a much more specific meaning.[3] People suffering from alcoholism are often called “alcoholics”. Many other terms, some of them insulting or informal, have been used throughout history. The World Health Organization estimates that there are 140 million people with alcoholism worldwide.[4][5]

Alcoholism is called a “dual disease” since it includes both mental and physical components.[6] The biological mechanisms that cause alcoholism are not well understood. Social environmentstress,[7] mental healthfamily history, age, ethnic group, and gender all influence the risk for the condition.[8][9] Long-term alcohol abuse produces changes in the brain’s structure and chemistry such as tolerance andphysical dependence. These changes maintain the person with alcoholism’s compulsive inability to stop drinking and result in alcohol withdrawal syndrome if the person stops.[10] Alcohol damages almost every organ in the body, including the brain. The cumulative toxic effects of chronic alcohol abuse can cause both medical and psychiatric problems.[11]

Identifying alcoholism is difficult because of the social stigma associated with the disease that causes people with alcoholism to avoid diagnosis and treatment for fear of shame or social consequences. A common method for diagnosing alcoholism is evaluating responses to a group of standardized questions. These can be used to identify harmful drinking patterns, including alcoholism.[12] In general, problem drinking is considered alcoholism when the person continues to drink when they want to stop because of social or health problems caused by drinking.[13]

Treatment of alcoholism takes several steps. Because of the medical problems that can be caused by withdrawal, alcohol detoxification is carefully controlled and may involve medications such as benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium).[14] People with alcoholism also sometimes have other addictions, including addictions to benzodiazepines, which may complicate this step.[15] After detoxification, other support such as group therapy or self-help groups are used to help the person remain sober.[16][17] Thombs (1999) states according to behavioural sciences alcoholism is described as a maladaptive behaviour. He explains this must not be confused with misbehaviour. Behavioural scientists explain that addicts have a behaviour pattern that may lead to destructive consequences for themselves, their families and society. This does not label addicts as bad or irresponsible.[18]Compared with men, women are more sensitive to alcohol’s harmful physical, cerebral, and mental effects

 

Dr. Lewis Jordan has over 20 years experience in psychotherapy, counseling, education and public speaking. Dr. Lewis Jordan’s Florida therapy offices for Therapy & Neurofeedback Services are located in various locations throughout South Florida as well as offices in New York City and South Carolina.  Please click here for Dr. Lewis Jordan’s current Educational Videos

Please visit this site regularly http://www.JordanTherapy.com and http://www.LewisJamesJordan.com for more information and updates.  

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