Alcoholism – INTRO (#1a)


 

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IMAGE:  “Overdose”,  designed & created by DMT (2017)

SITE: Brad Pitt, alcoholism 

The distinction between physical dependence & psychological addiction is  important. National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that physical dependence is not itself addiction – which is psychological & emotional.

Once the body is regularly used to a certain amount of alcohol – & then has to go without it for even a short time – withdrawal sets in. This is so painful that the alcoholic will resume drinking to avoid experiencing the distressing symptoms. The cycle continues unrestrained until some type of intervention occurs (self, legal, family….)(More….)

ADDICTION : A chronic brain disorder affecting a person’s sense of pleasure, motivation & memory. While there are psychological, biological, social & environmental factors that can play into it, a large part of the risk for addiction is genetic.

Addiction is any obsessional thinking about & the compulsive need for – drugs, alcohol, food (sugar ), sexual activity (dopamine), fear (adrenalin), romantic ‘love‘ (dopamine), dangerous sports (adrenalin)….  despite the negative consequences acting on them will cause.
It includes developing a tolerance, intense physical cravings, & withdrawal symptoms. This develops over time, starting with misuse, moving into abuse & resulting in addiction.

WHY: The more stressors we have to deal with, the more we search for solutions to alleviate suffering, to feel better. Using substances to manage uncomfortable emotions & life problems is not about which ones a person chooses, but rather it represents impaired coping mechanisms – instead of learning how to solve issues in healthy ways.

Medically, alcoholism is referred to as Alcohol Use Disorder AUD – determined by 11 criteria in the DSM-V . In 2012, an estimated 7.2% of American adults 18 & older (about 17 mil.) had a diagnosable AUD.
Men are almost 2x more often chemical substance abuser than women (11.2 mill vs. 5.7 mill). And teens are not immune. In that same year, an estimated 855 thousand young people (ages 12 to 17) also had this disorder.

The National Institute of Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA)
🚦 TWO or more of the following symptom indicate AUD
a. Moderate (“Normal”): Per day – 1 drink for women, 2 for men
b. Binging: Any drinking that brings blood-alcohol level to 0.08 – over a 2 hr. period, women = 4 drinks, & men = 5
c. Heavy Use: Binge drinking episodes on 5 or more days in the past month

LEVELS of SEVERITY for AUD
Mild: 2 -3 symptoms // Moderate: 4-5  // Severe: 6 or more
🚥 Only TWO (or more) of these symptom are needed to indicate AUD:
• Drink a larger amount or for longer than – you originally intended
• Spend an excessive amount of time drinking (many hours)
• Want to cut down or quit drinking, but so far unable to

• Developed a tolerance to alcohol, or the need to drink larger amounts to get the desired effect
• Have a craving for alcohol when not drinking, or want a drink so badly you can’t think of anything else

• Often been physically sick as a result of time drinking – & it has interfered with the ability to take care of your home & family, causing problems at work or in school
• When not drinking, have withdrawal symptoms (trouble sleeping, body tremors, nausea, sweating, or seizures….)

• Continue to drink in spite of external negative consequences (trouble with family, friends, work, the Law)
• Continue to drink in spite of internal negative results (depression, anxiety, worsening health problems, blackouts….)

• Cut back on or have stopped participating in activities you once enjoyed because of your drinking
• Found yourself in dangerous situations many times – as a direct result of drinking, (driving, swimming, in dangerous areas, unsafe sex….)

An average functioning alcoholic can be identified as someone who:
✴︎ drinks alcohol to replace eating food
✴︎ has angry or defensive reactions when someone suggests alcoholism

✴︎ can’t remember what happened while under the influence
✴︎ sets drinking limits, but can’t stick to them

✴︎ does “pre-drinking” before an evening out
✴︎ tries to hide drinking from others

✴︎ drinks in the morning, throughout the day or while alone
✴︎ jokes about the possibility of being an alcoholic (More….)

➡️ SITE: “I’d drink to just about anything. Being a functional alcoholic is no fun at all”, writes Kristen Pyszczyk

NEXT: STAGES #2a

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