Essay title: Alcoholism
Today 14 million Americans (1 in 13 adults) abuse alcohol or are alcoholic. These individuals have a dependency on alcohol and are chronic drinkers. The symptoms that are associated with being an alcoholic are identifiable. Alcohol is commonly used when there is an occasion or just a drink after a long days work. Alcoholics cannot limit themselves and revolve their lives around drinking until they are intoxicated. Their lives become more and more out of control and they lose themselves to alcohol.
Moderate alcohol usage is usually up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. An average size drink is one twelve ounce of beer or wine cooler or one five ounce glass of wine. Unfortunately, many of these people are not following these guidelines. They binge drink causing their judgment to become impaired and they make risky decisions.
Alcoholic dependent people often manifest four symptoms. Craving for alcohol is a symptom that alcoholics experience. They feel they need alcohol to get through the day. When an alcoholic drinks, he or she loses self-control and cannot stop from drinking until intoxication. This sometimes results in the person experiencing a “blackout”. Blackouts are time gaps with no memory, which can occur for hours or days while intoxicated. Another symptom is physical dependence (known as withdrawal) that causes nausea, shakiness, sweating, and anxiety after a long period of time without alcohol.
There are certain questions individuals could ask to decide if they have a problem with alcohol. Do they ever drink heavily when they are pressured or disappointed? Can they handle more alcohol now than when they first started to drink? Do they experience periods of blackouts about which they cannot remember what happened? Do they feel guilty about their drinking? Have they ever been arrested for drunk driving? Do they stay drunk for several days at time? Is alcohol taking their lives and making them less likely to take care of responsibilities? These are just a few questions that someone who thinks they may have an alcohol dependency should ask himself or herself. When they answer these questions they can see for themselves what point they are at.
So, How do alcoholics receive help? They are several different ways for them to reach out and receive the help they need. It strongly depends on the severity of their condition. If an alcoholic is ready to admit he or she has a problem that is half the battle. Severe alcoholics may need detoxification, which is the process of safely getting all alcohol out of the person’s system. There is a prescribed medication from the doctor to help someone who is a recovering alcoholic suffer from a relapse which is called disulfiram. There are also outpatient services that are available to help teach alcoholics how to deal with situations that would trigger then to drink. Alcoholics Anonymous is one type of program that I observed and will go into detail later on in my paper. Family is encouraged to support and attend meetings for the recovering alcoholic.
Not only is the individuals affected by their own addiction but families are inflicted too. Family members can become angry, anxious, resentful, and sometimes even physically ill because of the stress of trying to cope with someones drinking problem. Because of the social stigma, embarrassment and denial, families tend to keep the alcoholic’s drinking a secret (Williams). Alcoholism is a disease that is known as the “family disease”. This indicates