Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism, is a problem faced by many people. Alcohol addiction is chronic, progressive and can be potentially fatal if left untreated. Alcohol addiction is similar to alcohol abuse but is much harder to overcome as it consists of four more major symptoms.
The first of the alcohol addiction symptoms is a craving, a strong need or urge to drink alcohol. Alcohol addiction victims lose all control and are unable to stop drinking once drinking has begun. Physical dependence causes withdrawal symptoms that can include nausea, shaking, sweating and anxiety after they stop drinking. And the final characteristic of alcohol addiction is an increase in tolerance, the need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to achieve the euphoric feeling again. Alcohol addiction is a disease that lasts a lifetime and has many consequences. Alcohol addiction can cause or increase an addict’s chance of getting cancer of the liver, esophagus, throat and larynx. Liver cirrhosis, immune system problems, brain damage, impotence and incontinence are a few more of the unpleasant effects of alcohol addiction. Pregnant women who suffer from alcohol addiction can do serious harm to their fetus. The baby will be born with Fetal alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and may suffer the same withdrawal symptoms as an adult trying to recover. FAS can impact the child’s brain, resulting in learning and behavior problems. Babies born under these circumstances are at a higher risk to be born prematurely and may have birth defects.
People who do not suffer from alcohol addiction do not understand why the alcoholic can’t just stop. Alcohol addicts have a strong defense mechanism known as denial, and will continue to drink despite serious health, family and/or legal problems. Most addicts need the help of an external source to overcome their addiction and absolute sobriety is a must in recovery and for the rest of the addict’s life.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.