Alcoholism Research Paper Sample
Alcoholism is generally a broader term for problem related to ethanol (commonly known as alcohol). It is generally known as alcohol addiction, which is the uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages. It is generally considered a disease due to its addictive illness. The misuse of alcohol has the possibility of causing damages to almost all the human body organs, including the brain. The increasing toxic effect of chronic alcohol abuse can cause both psychiatric and medical problems in human. The biological factors that cause alcoholism are no clear. However stress, social environment, mental health, age, ethnic groups, gender and family history influence the rick for the condition. Too much intake of alcohol causes changes in the chemistry and structure of the brain. This changes makes the person unable to stop drinking therefore resulting in alcohol withdrawal syndrome if the person stops.
Signs and symptoms
Haas, (2004), Osgood, (1992) and Blackburn & Dulmus, (2007) give the common signs and symptoms of alcoholism as being:
The need by the person to quit drinking but finds it impossible or unsuccessful.
The person continues to drink even if the intake of alcohol is affecting his or her relationship. For example, continuing to drink with the friends even if the wife does not approve of it and frequent fighting with the family members who do not approve his or her drinking.
The person drinks as a way to relive him or herself from stress. Frequent drinking in cases of stress or reaching alcohol anytime a person experiences stress for example argument with the boss or the spouse.
The person experiences frequent legal problems as a result of drinking. For example getting arrested for drunk and disorder cases.
The person has given up other activities because of drinking and spending less time on activities that used to be important to a person.
The person losses control over his or her drinking. This happens when he or she drinks more alcohol than he wanted and for longer than he intended.
The person will repeatedly neglect his or her work, home and school responsibility because of drinking. For example, neglecting your kids, performing poorly in class and work, flunking class.
Use of alcohol in dangerous situations such as operating machineries while intoxicated, driving while drinking, mixing of alcohol with the doctor’s prescription.
Causes of alcoholism
People drink due to various reasons, some people may consume little amount of alcohol but they turn out as addicts while on the other hand some people drink excessively but they easily stop drinking with no physical problem on them while others become addict. According to National Institute of health, the causes of alcoholic addiction are environment, neurology and genetics.
Children from certain social environment and homes have a higher possibility of developing alcohol related problems later in life as compared to others. According to the American academy of child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children from family that are alcoholic are four time more likely to be addicts as compared from those from families that are not alcoholic.
Kid may also be influenced by some environmental factors such as cost and availability of the alcohol, advertising, friends and portrayal of drinking in television and movies. Elderly people are majorly influenced by environmental factors like pressure at work, social situation, there friends or the amount their partners or spouse drink.
Drinking over a period of time may disrupt the normal balance of neurotransmitters of the brain and some may need to drink to feel right. For the change of the neurotransmitter activity to be compensated, the brain may direct the body to crave for alcohol to provide chemical imbalance in the body. As a result of this, alcohol use gradually turns into alcohol addiction as the brain losses the capacity to identify this balance as its own.
The existence of genetics difference between the different contributes in the risk of developing alcohol dependence. In the world there is the difference between the East Asians, Africans and Indo- racial groups in there alcohol metabolism. These genetics factors explain the different rate of alcohol dependence among racial groups. The alcohol dehydrogenase allele ADH1B*3 causes a fast alcohol metabolism and is mainly found on Africans therefore they have a reduced risk of developing alcoholism (Gifford, 2010).
Alcoholism is the known psychiatric disorder in the developed countries and a greater number of developing countries as demonstrated by various clinical and epidemiological studies. Over the past years, various measures have been applied for alcoholism treatment. Due to the various ways of the effect of alcohol on patients, there have been continuous efforts to improve the treatment. Various psychotherapeutic have been considered and applied to treatment of alcoholism.
Relapse prevention is still a major challenge in alcoholism treatment. Various forms of relapse prevention includes, individual psychotherapist with behavioral and supportive therapy, group therapy, advocated self-help groups and contingency contracting. The above forms have been confirmed to be successful in some cases and unsuccessful in a good number of cases.
Living out the chemical version therapy, various interventions of psychopharmacological have been tried for the prevention of relapse. In the resent years, neurobiological and neurochemical basic knowledge of craving for alcohol and alcoholism has significantly increased. The major focus has been the glutamatergic system. The glutamatergic system modulator is one of the new pharmacological agent used that prevention of alcoholism relapse that is very promising (Soyka, 1996).
Given that alcoholism involves many factors which motivate a person to carry on with the drinking habit, these factors must all be addressed for relapse to be successfully prevented. This kind of treatment includes detoxification then a combination of supportive therapy, self-help group attendance, and finally coping mechanisms ongoing development (Scanlon, 1991).
Alcoholism has a much greater effects than the benefits of alcoholism which is narrowed down to enjoyment mostly. People may benefit from avoiding alcohol hence the need for alcoholism abstinence and behavior related to alcoholism. Eventually alcohol in most cases is a facilitator of things mostly no preferred by people.
Blackburn, J. A., & Dulmus, C. N. (2007). Handbook of gerontology: Evidence-based approaches to theory, practice, and policy. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley. Page 317.
Gifford, M. (2010). Alcoholism. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood Press/ABC-CLIO. Page 29-30.
Haas, L. J. (2004). Handbook of Primary Care Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. Page 190.
Osgood, N. J. (1992). Suicide in later life: Recognizing the warning signs. New York: Lexington Books. Page 91.
Scanlon, W. F. (1991). Alcoholism and drug abuse in the workplace: Managing care and costs through employee assistance programs. New York: Praeger. Page 54.
Soyka, M. (1996). Acamprosate in relapse prevention of alcoholism. Berlin: Springer.