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When we think of drugs and drug addiction, alcohol seldom comes to mind. But Alcohol, sometimes referred to by the chemical name ethanol, is a psychoactive drug.
Ethanol ethyl alcohol and grain alcohol, is a clear, colorless liquid and the principle ingredient in alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits. Alcohol is one of the oldest and most common recreational substances, causing the characteristic effects of alcohol intoxication (“drunkenness”).
Among it’s other effects, alcohol produces all of the psychedelic changes in perception typically associated with “hard drugs” i.e. mood lift and euphoria, decreased anxiety, increased sociability, sedation, impairment of cognitive processes, memory, motor, and sensory function, and generalized depression of central nervous system function.
In many cultures around the world alcohol has been a long standing part of every day social life. While alcohol was used as part of meals, feasts, and even religious and other rituals, one common social expectation in nearly all communities and social norms was and still is; the advice to use it in moderation.
The failure to have some control on alcohol consumption has led many people down the path to destruction due to its impact at the personal level, the family and the larger society. It is common to hear people talk of alcoholism. But what really is alcoholism?
There are several types of alcohol consumers as defined by their drinking habits. According to one source, there are three main types of alcohol consumers. These are:
Another classification, according to the department of health (Britain), has more groups identified. In all there are nine types. These are:
Why is it important to identify the type of drinker a person is? This helps in offering help when needed. Alcohol problem management is an effort that goes beyond ceasing to take liqueur. This helps in individualizing treatment to the patient. With this, let’s now define the terms alcoholism and an alcoholic.
This is a person suffering from alcohol use disorder. Such a person is obsessed with drinking regardless of its consequences on their health, their family stability or even their career safety.
Alcoholism is usually a process. It may be a progression from a light social drinker to an alcohol abuser and ultimately to a compulsive and obsessive drinker with subsequent many personal and social problems due to the illness.
These can be grouped into a number of parameters. These include:
All these symptoms point to a person who is need of urgent help with alcoholism.
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