Alcoholism Do you know someone who is addicted to alcohol?
What is alcoholism? • Alcoholism is a disease where people are addicted to alcohol. • cannot control their drinking; their major goal is to get drunk • An alcoholic’s drinking patterns eventually control every aspect of their life. • Psychologically – alcoholics consider drinking a regular, essential part of coping with daily life. • Physically– an alcoholic’s body requires alcohol to function.
What causes alcoholism? • Nature v. Nurture? • Some believe alcoholism runs in family leading us to believe it is genetic. • What do you think????? • No one is sure why some drinkers become alcoholics.
Stages of Alcoholism • Early Stage: • Social drinkers, drinking small amounts with meals, special occasions, consume alcohol to relieve stress. • This stage of drinking is known as problem drinking. • Named for all the problems associated with excessive drinking • Use alcohol as a “crutch”, making excuses for their behavior • Often drink alone as they become dependent on alcohol. • More prone to unintentional injuries such as falls, drowning, burns, and accidents. • Also contributes to violent crimes such as fights, spousal and child abuse, rape, suicide, and murder.
Stages of Alcoholism 2. Middle Stage • The alcoholic’s need for alcohol becomes absolute. Alcohol dominates the drinker’s life. • Cannot stop after 1 drink, needs increasing amounts • May refuse to acknowledge drinking problem • Signs of middle stage may include: • Absence from work or school • Strained family, social, and business relationships
Stages of Alcoholism cont. • Late Stage: • Begin to experience a Reverse Tolerance – a condition in which less and less alcohol causes intoxication. • Serious health problems include liver and brain damage, cancer, lung disease, and heart disease are common in this stage. • When alcoholics are denied alcohol, they suffer from DT’s or Delirium Tremors. • Delirium Tremors is a reaction of the Central Nervous System to the absence of alcohol. • Uncontrollable shaking of the entire body, nightmares, seizures, fear of animals and people, and insomnia. • DT’s be fatal
The Cost of Alcoholism • The disease of alcoholism affects people other than the alcoholic. • Costs to Society – • Accounts for 150,000 premature deaths per year. • Alcohol is a factor in half of all traffic fatalities. • Alcohol related crimes, medical expenses, injuries, lost productivity on the job, and treatment programs cost the U.S. an estimated $200 billion each year.
HealthCare Costs • The total cost of alcohol problems is $175.9 billion/year • Alcohol use by underage drinkers results in $3.7 billion a year in medical care costs due to traffic crashes, violent crime, suicide attempts and other related consequences. The total annual cost of alcohol use by underage youth is $52.8 billion • Alcohol-related car crashes are the number one killer of teens. Alcohol use is also associated with homicides, suicides, and drowning-the next three leading causes of death among youth
The Cost of Alcoholism • Alcoholism and The Family – • About 1 in 6 Americans grows up in an alcoholic family. • Stress arises from uncertainty and embarrassment. • In some cases, the alcoholic verbally and physically abuses family members. • Family-life centers around the alcoholic as the needs of other family members are ignored.
Codependency and Enabling • Sometime people close to an alcoholic let that person’s drinking problem change their own daily activities. • People who assume responsibility for an alcoholic’s needs, feelings, and happiness are called codependents. • They do not acknowledge having needs of their own • Codependents focus on taking care of others, losing the sense of their own identity. • They are not capable of taking care of someone else since they are unsuccessful at taking care of themselves.
Enabling • Enablers are people who unintentionally protect addicts from the consequences, addicts are unaware of their dangerous behavior and therefore continue it. • Ie. Family, friends, coworkers • Codependents are the primary enablers of their addicted loved ones.
Stages of Enabling • Denial: Enabler see’s behavior as fun and share in the drinking episodes. “Can’t happen to me.” • Loss of Self Respect: Due to inability to effect change, family become dependant and suffer fear and shame. • Collusion: Family excuses and protects the alcoholic from consequences. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”.
Treatment of Alcoholism • With appropriate treatment, the progress of alcoholism can be stopped. 1. Acknowledgement – Recognize you have a problem and ask for help.
Treatment 2. Detoxification – Removing all alcohol from one’s body. • During detox the person experiences withdrawal symptoms that can last 3-7 days. • Several withdrawals can be dangerous, and requires medical supervision and care. • Headache Insomnia • Sweating, Paleness • Nausea Palpitations • Vomiting Unequal Pupils • Loss of appetite Convulsions
Treatment 3. Rehabilitation – Rehab is the process of learning to cope with the stress of everyday living without alcohol. • During rehab alcoholics receive counseling to help them understand their disease and behavior • Also receive care for malnutrition and other health problems that drinking caused.
Treatment cont. • Support Groups: A group of individuals’ that share experiences associated with similar problems. • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) - Composed of recovering alcoholics who give encouragement and support to help other alcoholics stop drinking. • Founded in 1935 by 2 alcoholics who decided to help each other quit drinking. • Has over a million members • Members meet weekly and share their struggles with one another.
Support Groups cont. • Al-Anon – Based on the same self-help principle as AA. • Designed to help friends and family members of alcoholics learn how they can contribute to the recovery process. • Encourages codependents to seek help for themselves and not wait until the alcoholic decides to get well.
Support Groups Cont. • Alateen – Provides help for teenagers who live with alcoholics. • Teenagers meet to discuss how their addiction has affected their lives. • Learn skills to develop self-esteem so that they can overcome guilt feeling and regain emotional and social health.
Support Groups cont. • All 3 groups encourage friends and family members to help alcoholics confront their disease through intervention. • An intervention is a planned confrontation with the alcoholic, family and friends, member of support group, and an alcohol counselor. • The group presents the alcoholic with a treatment plan and tells the alcoholic what steps they will take if the alcoholic refuses help.