Identifying alcohol in the early stages is very important because full-scale problems as a result of alcohol consumption are very lethal to the patient or family at large. Although, in many cases physicians and therapist may be able to help patients through a wide range of practices. They use the method of observing the patients past drinking behavior, family life, employment, and legal authorities. The readiness of alcoholics to change can be done through the determination of the physician.
Nearly two thirds of American men and half of women drink alcohol of which half of those do not experience the consequences of alcohol abuse. Personal causes and prejudice is the leading cause why many of those numbers reduce their drinking behavior, physicians can help reverse the alcohol problems by stimulating the same reflection of the patients towards a better life. This is mainly done to reduce the consequences that may emanate from alcohol related problems by using simple screening.
Alcoholics point their drinking behavior to one particular reason, it can be either stress, depression or to gain confidence. Most people when meeting new individuals can find it very stressful, which makes them to find the quickest solution to ease the tension, which is often called social lubricant. The individuals start to use alcohol so that they can have the confidence to associate and edge off anxious feeling situations.
Others point to stress, peer pressure whereby one glass of drink has turned them into serial drunkards. However, some people have resorted to abuse rather than indulge in it, people of all walks in life that is doctors, lawyers, young, or old and they see it to be normal have clearly reported busing alcohol to alleviate the effects of anxiety, depression or even stress. There are numerous individuals abusing alcohol and a large number of those points out the effect of alcoholism to unseen catalyst.
DANGERS OF THE ALCOHOL PROBLEM
In most cases if an individual has shown signs of alcohol dependence, the best advice is to immediately restrain himself/herself and seek the therapeutic guidance. The patients are then required to be examined deeply, if the effects of alcohol usage then the doctor has to decide whether the person is to be put in inpatient treatment system or outpatient, but if the effects are deep and dire then the patient has no option but should be put in the inpatient treatment system. The outpatient on a patient will mainly depend on a wide range of things; the type of family support, employment, the resources contained and access to treatment programs. In conjunction with therapy and support. Groups can also be applicable to adult family members of the patient.
The strict rule of no alcohol, however, can be mutilated in case the individual has shown alcohol related problems or are at risk of developing problems related to stopping alcohol. The physicist end advice will be, for men no more than two drinks per day, for women and those over the age of 65 there will be no more than one drink in a day.
If our loved one, colleagues abuses alcohol, there are some signs you need to keep in watch or at times they abuse alcohol as a way to treat physiological distress.
Depression related alcohol abuse.
Depression and alcohol has a strong history, but most people with depression also engage in other substance abuse, which makes it hard to point a clear relationship with alcohol, that is if alcohol leads to depression or the other round. But according to research the two can simultaneously lead to one another. Alcohol can cause stress to increase leading to depression, which in many cases leads an individual to a life threatening symptoms such as weight loss, irritability, lack of sleep lack of motivation etc. also depression can lead to alcohol abuse to ease it. This leads to many individuals experiencing both depression and alcoholism known as dual diagnosis.
Using alcohol to treat anxiety.
The feeling of anxiety is normal. However, if it starts to affect our daily lives it is an evidence of anxiety problems such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder or even obsessive-compulsive disorder. These generalized problems can cause one to be an alcoholic mainly because of the bad advice or misconceptions that alcohol can ease the problems of anxiety. Health wise it is to be known that alcohol alters with the brain functioning which makes anxiety worse by increasing susceptibility to anxious feeling. Those who abuse alcohol to cover up the feeling of anxiety may end up having the worst feeling or deep sense of anxious. Most people have reported this problem from all the ages by using alcohol to alleviate the problems of anxiety
PTSD and alcohol abuse
Post-traumatic stress disorder, more than anxiety is the overwhelming feel of anxiety due to experiences such as death of loved one, car accidents. Victim who served in the military, childhood sexual abuse, natural disasters also experience PTSD. In retrospect, victims of PTSD experience the flashbacks of events which makes them hard to bear with, hence resorting to alcohol abuse to help reduce the effects. The brains responds to trauma by releasing chemicals of the same caliper as when an individual takes drugs and alcohol, to reduce the fear meted upon by trauma. Individuals who abuse alcohol to reduce the effects of trauma have been known to be violent in expressing their emotions unless they drink little to suppress the feeling, which in most cases worsens the feeling of anxiety and fear, releasing the hormones that gives the individual thirst of more drinking. Which makes it worse with the post-traumatic stress disorder people.
Need to change
It is very rare for a patient to present himself or herself to a physician seeking help in giving up alcohol. When they change their behaviors from alcohol or any other type of substance abuse they pass through therapy stages which are more often under careful watch. The stages are;
- Pre-contemplation – this stage is seeking for the change an individual from no change to agreeing to change
- Contemplation – this stage, marks the beginning of change
- Preparation – the patient is planning to change
- Action – this is the act of change
- Maintenance- the individual is now maintaining the new norm.
This model is very common in therapy sessions and individual changes, but it can be marked by the patient moving back and forth among the stages, depending on the behavior of an individual. Sometimes the patients may backslide but that is not an indication of failure. Contemplation is the most common stage of change whereby an individual decides the cause of the whole process. According to research it was found out that 29 percent of hospitalized individuals with alcohol problems were uninterested in changing, 45 percent were contemplating and 26 percent were ready to change their drinking behavior.
However, it has been argued that pre-contemplation is a synonym of denying alcohol, the patients seem to deny alcohol problems. Nevertheless, the therapist do not find the concept of denial as important when dealing with patients having alcohol disorders. In most cases, the patients having this problem should not be approached directly or confrontational counselling strategy as tis may invoke violence. Furthermore, the research also indicates that even patients who are adamant to admit to having alcohol problems finally change their behaviors. The decisions about the person’s lifestyle changes gradually as they begin to manifest and reflect, with repeated attempts of resorting back to alcoholism. Past studies have also indicated that patients cannot jump from pre-contemplation stage to action stage no matter the intervention used by the therapist. The goal of every session is to gradually help the patient move in a controlled manner along the stages.
With every stage in mind, the therapists should make the sessions to go according to the patients stage they are in. in clinical settings, a good session is itself an intervention, which helps the individual to reflect on their drinking behavior. A good advice plus professional talk can help a patient transition between the stages smoothly. A therapist who uses persuasion may trigger the patient to be uncollaborated. A pregnant woman who is an alcoholic with lethal medical, psychologic or any other problems relating to alcohol usage, in this circumstance, resistance is more expected. When giving advice the therapist should avoid using prescriptive direction. Instead they should use educational methods to educate in an objective way. Telling them the direct effects like “drinking affects the growth of the baby” can change their mind.
Treatment and health solutions
It is to be known that a wide range of psychological afflictions can make an individual to immerse themselves in alcohol abuse. It is still unclear whether the rates of dual diagnosis with mood disorders, depression, and dysphoric mania can indicate mental health problems leading to alcohol abuse. But it is obvious that alcohol worsens the symptoms of mental and emotional issues. The knowledge of knowing when to stop alchol abuse will guide you to seek the best options of treatment, preventing any previous conditions from causing further harm or escalating substance abuse.
It you know of anyone having alcohol related problems or any other substance abuse in general as described above, contact us today, and one of our admission coordinators will discuss the best options that will suit you. Call our toll free helpline anytime of the day and the process of helping you or your loved one will begin immediately
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.