Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a health condition that arises from the misuse of alcohol, resulting in alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use disorder or alcoholism refers to alcohol use pattern that entails problems controlling person’s drinking, continuing to drink alcohol even when it results to problems, being distracted by alcohol, drinking more to obtain the same impact, or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking or rapidly decrease in the amount taken (Doweiko, 2017). Alcohol addiction can be severe, moderate, or mild based on experienced symptoms and signs. These include being unable to control the quantity of alcohol taken, desiring to reduce the quantity taken, and using a lot of time getting alcohol, or drinking, and having a strong urge or craving to drink alcohol.

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Others include failing to accomplish major responsibility at home, school, or work due to recurrent use of alcohol, or continuing with alcohol use even if one knows it results in interpersonal, social, or physical issues. This can also include giving up or reducing hobbies, work, and social activities for alcohol, developing alcohol tolerance, and drinking alcohol in unsafe situations such as swimming or driving (Doweiko, 2017).

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Possible Cause of Alcohol Addiction

Normally alcohol is taken for recreation purposes. However, most individuals end up being unable to control the amount used with time. Some of the factors that can push a normal alcohol user into addiction include gender, psychiatric comorbidity, family history, age, and comorbid substance abuse. Based on history men have always been initiated in alcoholism earlier than women and hence, they have a higher tendency of developing alcohol addiction more than women. Stress or depression is another factor associated with alcohol addiction. Stress has been identified as a major trigger for excessive drinking (Sudhinareset, Wigglesworth & Takeuchi, 2016).

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Besides, about 3.8% of people diagnosed with alcohol use disorder have been diagnosed with other psychological conditions. Using other drugs also act as a trigger of alcohol abuse and the development of alcoholism. Also, the age of onset as discussed above. Those who start taking alcohol at a young age experience a high risk of developing alcoholism than those who start later in life. Family with alcoholism history also creates a high tendency for children to start tasting alcohol at a lower age. Alcoholism in the family also creates chances of subjecting other family members into stressful situations due to negative social behaviors associated with alcoholism such as violence and financial and medical challenges among other things. This increases the chances of more family members getting into alcoholism as a way of hiding their grief (Sudhinareset, Wigglesworth & Takeuchi, 2016).  

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Alcohol Addiction Prevalence

According to the research Albanese and Liu (2017), the estimated general alcohol use disorder prevalence in the U.S. is at 6.8% to 8.5%. The research shows that alcohol use disorder incidences are highest among individuals who used alcohol for the first time before they turned 14. The prevalence incidence decreases with the increase of individual age when they first took alcohol. Those who use alcohol for the first time after the age of 21 demonstrate lower incidences of alcohol misuse disorder or addiction. According to Albanese and Liu (2017), alcohol is the most popular substance abused disorder in the United States. Alcohol use disorder can also be defined using two phenotypes that mostly vary based on the personality traits and age of onset. Type A or type 1 is identified in almost 75% of men with austere alcohol use disorder.  In this category, drinking patterns are normally the same as that of their peers up to early to mid-20s when the use of alcohol escalates. The initial alcohol-associated life issues appear from 26 to 45 years. The disorders consequences mount in the 50s, with efforts to control remissions, exacerbations, and control drinking.

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Normally, recovery or treatment support is sought in this phase. Type B or type 2 is a smaller subgroup that starts the use of alcohol in pre-or-early teenage years with a highly rising course. This group tends to consider tasting other drugs at a very high rate. They demonstrate a low level of harm avoidance, fear, and guilt compared to the first group. There social, legal, and medical impact normally increases by the early or late 20s.  The alcohol use disorder social costs when regarding lost earnings, property destruction, legal and medical consequences, and treats is approximated to be more than 240 billion dollars (Albanese & Liu, 2017).

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Potential Treatment of Alcohol Addiction

One possible method used to treat alcohol addiction is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). This is a treatment approach that subscribes to 12 steps that act as the main tool for recovery and prevention of relapse, with different aftercare support intensities. AA is a community-based, global program that was developed to assist those struggling with alcohol use disorder to get sober with the help of their peers via daily meeting discussions regarding addiction.

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The AA offers women and men a place to meet any share of their experience, get better, and uphold sobriety.  This program should take at least 30 days (Kalema & Vanderplasschen, 2015).  According to Kalema and Vanderplasschen (2015), pharmacological interventions are also utilized specifically for detoxification and co-occurrence disorders treatment.

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