An estimated 75% of the population drinks alcohol. For about 10% of these people, this consumption will lead to serious problems for their health; it will affect their work, their finances, and their relationships with family members and friends. When a person consumes alcohol despite the harm it causes to the health and well-being, we consider it as an alcohol abuse (or dependence on alcohol).
The alcohol dependence can be treated like any disease. But the first test of cure is abstinence of alcohol from the start of treatment. Prevention of addiction to alcohol is based on information programs and education in order to achieve changes in behaviour early.
These programs of education and information can also be made as:
– Information via the media to strengthen the target groups (distribution of literature on addiction to alcohol).
– Information and education for young people in schools.
– Workshops or public forums to circulate posts more easily to the community level.
To prevent the onset of addiction to alcohol, it is also important to detect alcoholism in an individual at an early stage that is to say, in the absence of physical complications, psychological and biological. This is the role of the doctor who takes care of the clinical and laboratory evaluation of the dependence.
Care and treatment
Given the importance of psychosocial factors in the onset of addiction to alcohol, its psychosocial care involves much the presence and support of peers and must include:
– Couples therapy
– Family Therapy
– Group Therapy
– Associations of former drinkers
– Cognitive and behavioural therapies
However, drugs are used for the treatment of alcohol dependence and statistics have shown that 30-50% of patients receiving these drug therapies have become abstinent after one year. Administration of these drugs in the treatment of alcoholism requires medical monitoring associated with social care and psychological.
Excessive consumption of alcohol for many years can lead to chronic health problems as mentioned below:
Arrhythmias – Abnormal heart rhythms that can cause sudden death even if a young person drinks alcohol excessively.
Beriberi (vitamin B1 deficiency) – People who are addicted to alcohol often lack vitamin B1 (thiamine), this deficiency may be cause heart damage and mental degeneration.
Brain damage – Alcohol kills brain cells.
Heart damage – It is characterized by changes in the size and structure of the heart.
Hypertension – It is caused by high blood pressure.
It can also lead to loss of sensation in hands, feet and other parts of the body caused by effects on the nervous system. These are just a few problems closely related to alcoholism. In fact, excessive consumption of alcohol increases the risk of occurrence of almost all diseases.