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Alcohol dependence has become an epidemic in the 21st century. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2.45 % of men and 5.78% of women consume alcohol daily. Every year, alcohol misuse causes the deaths of 2.5 million people. The problem of alcoholism is getting commonsense, and that is scary. Almost everyone has an experience of dealing with people who suffer from alcohol misuse. The following research will show signs of the addiction and methods of its treatment and how it is the part of discussion boards

World Health Organization defines dependence syndrome as

a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and that typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal state.

There are several symptoms of alcoholism. One of the signs of alcohol misuse is the pattern when responsibilities at home, at work or school are repeatedly neglected. That is poor performance at work or school, ignoring family members’ requests and personal commitments at home, and so on. The next alarming sign is a habit to consume alcohol in stressful situations. This way of relaxation has a negative peculiarity: every other time one needs more and more alcohol to relax in comparison to the previous time. An alcohol addict does not actually realize that consuming alcohol as a method to escape some problems will necessarily bring more of them. If a person continues to drink, ignoring further problems with spouse, relatives or friends, this is the next symptom of alcoholism. All the above-mentioned signs may not necessarily be the symptoms of alcoholism, but just alcohol abuse. The following signs indicate that the threat of alcoholism has become a reality.

When a person is getting addicted to alcohol, tolerance to alcohol is changing: an alcohol consumer gradually needs more and more alcohol to get drunk. If someone drinks to relieve withdrawal symptoms – such as headache, trembling, sweating irritability and nausea – this is the definite sign of alcoholism. It is common for alcoholics to have a desire to stop drinking but not to have enough will to do this. An alcohol addict usually spends more time on drinking and trying to withdraw than other activities, such as sports, hobbies, and communication with friends and family. If an individual acknowledges that drinking will lead to considerable problems in professional and personal life, but this has no effect, the problem is really huge and needs some professional treatment.

A person who has problems with alcohol consumption usually cannot imagine leisure time without alcohol. It often starts with drinking in a company of friends, and then more and more often one can see this person drinking alone. Furthermore, alcohol turns into the main goal and central value. All money that a person (or the whole family) possesses can be spent on alcohol; moreover, if an addict has no money for a bottle, money can be borrowed or something can be sold just for the sake of drinking. The worst thing about alcoholism is that it concerns not only a single person but also other people who suffer too. As soon as the problem reaches the stage of physical dependence, no conversations, persuading or threatening will help. Alcoholism is a disease that needs treatment.

Alcohol dependence can be treated in several ways. In 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous Group was founded (Drinking statistics). Additionally, one can undergo medication and behavior therapy (or it can be a combination of different therapies). Researches and technologies never stop providing more and more kinds of therapy for anyone willing to quit drinking.

All approaches to treating alcohol dependence may be divided into two groups considering the complexity of the problem. The first group includes the approaches aimed at alcohol-dependent people while the second group is aimed at people who are not heavy drinkers yet, but still under threat of alcoholism. One should bear in mind that every patient’s problem should be considered individually, and only after a scrupulous analysis, the way of treatment can be determined. For some people, minor behavior modifications are enough, while others need more intensive treatment.

Among different types of alcohol dependence treatment, one can choose between behavior modifications, support groups or pharmacological treatment. A combination of the above-mentioned methods is also possible and is often recommended as the most effective approach. A common treatment process consists of three steps. The first step is detoxification aimed at making withdrawal easier. The next step is a patient’s rehabilitation. Finally, the third step refers to maintenance.

One should bear in mind that people surrounding an alcoholic should not blame this person. Relatives and friends should treat the individual, who has problems with alcohol, as an ill person because alcohol dependence is a disease, like cancer or blindness. It is clear that alcohol addict causes many troubles to his or her family. Nevertheless, the members of the family should try to be patient and apply maximum efforts to cope with the problem and help the person. Not only cannot yelling and fighting with an alcoholic help in this difficult situation, but it will make it even worse. Alcoholism is a physical and mental disorder and needs some sympathy from the environment, not criticism. In this situation, an addict’s family members should find out the reasons of this terrible problem. If the reasons are unknown, it might happen that alcoholism will be treated, but drug use or gambling will replace it.

Alcohol might be a way of filling some hollow inside an individual. For instance, a person has plenty of free time but does not have any hobby and, therefore, does not know how to spend this free time. Family members should show their relative that life can be interesting and bright even without alcohol.

A person who is often in the company of people using alcohol should change the environment, if possible. The main task for the relatives of the alcohol addict is to arrange meetings with interesting people who will show that exciting and warm communication may not necessarily involve alcohol use.

It is also common for many people to use alcohol to escape from some problems. In this case, family and friends should show the alcohol addict their readiness to help, support or just listen. It is necessary to make an individual who runs away from the problem realize that asking for help is better than trying to drown problems in a bottle. It is advised to feel for the poor person who got into the trouble instead of criticizing.

It must be mentioned that early identification, as well as brief intervention are crucial for alcohol dependence problem solution. The approach emphasizes a possibility for people who misuse alcohol to be taught to drink responsibly. It is also necessary to remember that the problem should never be ignored; a slightest sign of alcoholism should make people consider the behavior and take actions before it is too late. Additionally, it is useless to hope that the problem will go away automatically, without any efforts being applied. Putting off the problem acknowledging will only make the situation worse. Unfortunately, it is common for alcohol-dependent people to neglect the problem and not to admit their relation to this terrible disease.

A patient’s own desire to quit drinking is vitally important for the treatment success. Inner desire to cope with addiction is half the battle. Motivational interviewing helps an alcohol-dependent person to rethink his or her drinking behavior. Once again, no hard pressure should be applied – this will result in a person’s desire to run away and hide from the problems and too persistent family members. Family support is also very important, so instead of scolding for drinking it is advisable to try to help the person who suffers from alcohol syndrome. For instance, one can make some tea or water (do not forget that the poor person suffers from dehydration); it is also recommended to consume vitamin C for withdrawal relief. Finally, it is preferable to say the poor alcohol-dependent some warm words instead of moaning, blaming and fighting.

The research has shown that alcohol dependence symptoms include tolerance, drinking to relieve withdrawal, ignoring commitments at school, work or home. As soon as these symptoms are detected it is necessary to take actions for the treatment. The treatment approach choice depends on the depth of the problem; that is why the treatment should be determined individually. The treatment may involve medication therapy, psychological therapy or both; it is advisable to make detoxification before the treatment. It is important for the family to be patient and treat the alcohol-dependent person with sympathy. Additionally, it is recommended to analyze the reasons of drinking behavior in order to change the pattern.

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