What Is Alcholism?
In order to be able to help yourself or to help the people you love who have fallen victim to the disease of
alcoholism you must know what you are dealing with.
Here we answer some of the frequently asked questions that many people want answers to in regards to
How do the harmful effects of consuming alcohol affect the brain?
The cognitive abilities of the brain are affected by alcohol consumption as is attention span, coordination
and the ability to sleep properly. These are all acute effects of alcohol consumption. Alcohol also negatively
impairs memory and concentration. On a long-term basis, brain cells die off as a result of heavy alcohol
consumption as do the cells of the brain that provide the rest of the body with adequate nutrients and
Are there medications that are able to help in the treatment of alcoholism?
Yes and no. Alcoholism is a disease that can be treated but no known cure is currently available. There are a
variety of medications however that are often prescribed as part of the treatment plan geared towards
Not all of the medications yield the same result. Some are geared at making it easier for a person to get used
to being sober while others are geared towards easing the physical symptoms of stopping drinking.
The number one desired effect for all of the medications is to make it as easy as possible for an individual to
abstain from consuming alcohol all together. The most commonly prescribed drugs include Antabuse, Naltrexone,
Acamprosate, and Sodium Oxybate.
Did You Know
The Addictive Side Of Alcoholism
Yes, it is a disease, but Alcoholism is also an addiction.
It is the undeniable need for a drink that makes if an addiction.
It is the inability to stop at just one drink, and the level of difficulty in
quitting, requiring professional assistance and the need for a support group to be able to kick the
drinking habit; that makes Alcoholism an addiction.
Alcohol is after all a drug. As an addiction the condition is a progressive one. It
changes in intensity growing and taking over like weeds in a garden.
Addiction robs the drinker of the ability to see beyond the haze of alcohol to the
reality of situations. T
hey may see an exaggerated reality that is fuzzy and unreal. Addiction makes
choices for you that you would not otherwise make.
Addiction often takes the romance out of relationships.
Some alcohol-related illnesses that female alcoholics are at risk for include heart
disease, ulcers, reproductive problems, pancreatitis, memory loss, and
In the late stages of alcoholism, women can develop hypertension, anemia, and
malnutrition faster than men according to the Centers for Disease Control. Several recent research projects have determined that
excessive alcohol consumption in women can result in breast cancer and different cancers of the
A recent study showed that women who drink two to five alcoholic drinks per day
have a 41 percent increase in their risk of getting breast cancer. Research has shown that excessive drinking in women actually
causes the brain to shrink.
Is there a difference between social drinking and problem drinking?
Yes there is. Social drinking is classified as being mild to moderate drinking (such as one to three
drinks at a given time) which is done for the purpose of relaxing at home or out with friends. In the case
of social drinking, the drinking is kept in check- there is no impaired judgement, no loss of control and
no loss of any level of responsibility on the individual’s part.
Problem drinking on the other hand is drinking that takes place on a continual basis despite the fact
that a host of problems arises because of it. These problems could involve social problems, legal problems,
physical problems or occupational related problems that are directly caused by drinking or else are made
worst by consuming alcohol.
An example of this might be a college student who goes on a drinking binge every second or third weekend
and then misses a day or two of classes at the start of the school week in order to recuperate. This person
shows no other noticeable symptoms that his drinking has developed into a problem.
If a family member is worrying you with their behavor when they are drinking, make
arrangements so that you have a safe place to go when their drinking gets out of hand.
Are there any medical tests that can be done to help detect if a person’s body is being affected
by too much alcohol consumption?
Yes there is. There are a variety of diagnostic tests that are put to use in the medical community to
test for how much alcohol an individual has consumed and how exactly the consumption of alcohol has
affected the person’s bodily organs.
Alcohol can have a harmful effect on many different organs of the body including the liver, the kidneys
and the brain. Some of the most commonly done medical diagnostic tests are liver function tests, full blood
count and blood alcohol content.