Stages of alcoholism
Excessive alcohol use is the cause of many chronic and dangerous diseases. Drinking alcohol for a long time can lead to alcoholism, which greatly affects your quality of life and further affects socio-economic development. Understanding the facts and knowledge of alcoholism is the first step in the treatment process, which includes understanding the stages of alcoholism.
1. What is alcohol addiction?
Alcoholism, also known as alcoholism, is a chronic condition. The ICD-10 International Classification of Diseases classifies alcoholism as "Behavior and mental disorders due to the use of psychoactive substances". The main ingredient in ethanol is formed during alcoholic fermentation.
Alcohol use disorder is a term used to describe excessive drinking and serious health effects. This is a new term that combines the concepts of alcohol abuse and dependence, also known as alcoholism (alcoholism). Alcoholism is a chronic and relapsing condition that includes:
The patient uses alcohol regularly and compulsively Loss of control when it comes to alcohol use Severe psychological disturbance when not using alcohol Alcohol use In the early stages there are usually no significant symptoms but the condition will gradually get worse without treatment. And it can even be fatal if alcohol is used in excess.
Nearly 88,000 people in the United States die from alcohol-related causes each year. If alcoholism combines other factors such as smoking, poor diet, and lack of physical activity, a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of death. Approximately 31% of all driving deaths are alcohol related.
Alcohol use disorders affect nearly 16 million Americans. Alcoholism can range from mild, moderate to severe. You need to have knowledge about alcoholism to avoid falling into this situation. This is the first step in the prevention and treatment of alcohol use disorders.
2. Diagnosis of alcoholism and alcohol use disorders
Alcoholism can start even with small but frequent drinking. Alcoholics are not always in a state of intoxication. People with this condition are often unaware of the severity of the condition. Drinking too much alcohol is the cause of serious physical and psychological diseases such as cirrhosis, myocardial infarction, dementia.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), alcohol use disorder is diagnosed based on an 11-question questionnaire used to detect symptoms of a use disorder. alcohol use. If a patient has two out of 11 symptoms that persist within a 12-month period, an alcohol use disorder is diagnosed.
The severity of alcohol use disorder depends on the number of symptoms present in the patient. If the patient has more than six symptoms that can be considered a serious case of alcohol use disorder. Questions included:
How often do you spend a lot of time drinking? Or do you have a medical condition or spend most of your time treating the harmful effects of drinking?
You want to drink uncontrollably and you can't think of anything else but drinking? Do you continue to drink despite causing trouble with your family or friends? Do you have to drink more than before to feel drunk, or find that the amount of alcohol you are currently drinking is not enough to make you as drunk as before? How often does drinking or alcohol-related illnesses affect quality of life? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) are the latest standards to help physicians understand and diagnose this disorder. This standard has been developed based on research developed on the dangers of alcohol.
3. Stages of alcoholism and alcohol use disorder
E. Morton Jellinek, a pioneer in the study of alcohol abuse and addiction, proposed the progressive stages of alcoholism in 1950, represented by the Jellinek curve, which is still widely used today. now.
The curve, adjusted for time, begins with the onset of alcohol consumption and progresses through physical problems such as poor eating and breakdown of the body as well as mental problems such as emotional Guilt, resentment, and personality changes often accompany alcohol use disorders. The curve bottomed out with heavy drinking.
But the Jellinek curve ends at the bottom which can move upward into the improvement phase if the patient begins alcohol withdrawal or falls into a pathological vicious circle at the bottom of the curve.
3.1. Symptomatic stage
In the early stages of alcoholism and alcohol use disorder, behaviors may include:
Drinking more than intended Continued drinking and despite interventions from others Regularly meaningfully reducing drinking or quit drinking The initiation of alcoholic beverages is always socially motivated. In contrast to regular drinkers, people who later become alcoholics experience "satisfying relief" for the purpose of relieving stressors.
Alcoholics began to have increasing demands. Over the next several months or years, the state transitions from occasional morning drinking to constantly requiring more and more alcohol for the same effect.
3.2. Pre-addiction stage
In the prodromal stage, which is manifested by memory holes or amnesia, which appear suddenly without the need for signs of intoxication.
At this point, the amount of alcohol consumed has increased significantly, but the patients still do not pay attention because it has not yet led to drunkenness. At the end of the pre-study period, the patient began to show symptoms of memory loss, memory gaps, and memory gaps. The body's ability to work and resistance gradually decreases, often colds and blood circulation disorders are more common.
3.3. Critical period
Alcoholics in this stage lose self-control. Even a small amount of drinking can trigger an intense need to drink more and only stop when the alcoholic is too drunk or unable to continue drinking.
Alcohol use disorder worsens as the drinker becomes more prone to use alcohol and requires more to use it to get the desired effect. If a person becomes dependent on alcohol and when alcohol is not available, the patient may have withdrawal symptoms that include:
Nausea Vomiting Headache Anxiety Family life begins to change. Faced with social pressure, concealing addicts or alcoholics isolating themselves from society, avoiding family by many outside activities.
When there is a shortage of alcohol, alcoholics find ways to get alcohol, protecting it by hiding alcohol in unusual places. The consequences for the body begin to appear such as shaking hands, sweating and sexual disorders (impotence). These symptoms are exacerbated by poor nutrition. Patients started drinking alcohol from the morning, daily binge became the norm.
3.4. Chronic phase
The chronic phase ends only with a severe decline in bodily functions. Alcoholics degraded morally, the state of intoxication was getting longer and longer. Some people develop alcoholic psychosis such as schizophrenia. In the absence of alcoholic beverages, this person also drinks denatured alcohol such as alcohol used as fuel.
As the disease becomes more severe, more severe symptoms begin to appear, representing the breakdown of the body and loss of control. Psychological changes and cuttingness began to become more apparent. The patient began to present with physical illness due to the return of excessive alcohol use. Alcoholism can cause or worsen medical conditions in the body such as:
Diabetes Hypertension Cardiovascular disease
Depression Digestive diseases Many types of cancer Notably during this stage, the body's ability to respond to alcohol decreases. The patient has psychological symptoms such as unexplained fear. Alcoholics respond to symptoms of alcohol deficiency by drinking more. The mentality of accepting failure and completely collapsed, falling into a state of work neglect and unwillingness to work.
If you continue to drink alcohol, neurological disorders appear such as hallucinations, delusions of hearing voices, fear or disorientation. The most serious consequence is the life-threatening Delirium tremens, which can occur with sudden cessation of alcohol. At this point, the symptoms of schizophrenia or epilepsy are evident.
It is only in these late stages that alcoholics begin to panic and begin to want help. Hospitalization in hospitals that specialize in treating alcohol use disorders can help patients get out of the situation.
4. How can alcohol use disorder be improved?
Because of the great potential of alcohol addiction, the only effective treatment is to completely give up alcoholic beverages, foods or drugs. To achieve this goal, psychological treatment measures play an extremely important role.
Accepting alcohol addiction treatment can help most people with alcohol use disorders. First, the patient needs to talk and consult with your doctor. Specialists can assess your needs and help you find the right measures to improve your alcohol use disorder, including:
Group therapy Family counseling Long-term detox programs Teams Alcoholics Anonymous Organization Outpatient Treatment In addition, the drug may help relieve withdrawal symptoms, reduce levels, or stop drinking alcohol.
Customers can directly go to Vinmec Health system nationwide to visit or contact the hotline here for support.
Reference article source: webmd.com