Why Do We Drink And How Will It End

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Why Do We Drink And How Will It End
Why Do We Drink And How Will It End

Video: Why Do We Drink And How Will It End

Video: Why Do We Drink And How Will It End
Video: What If You Stopped Drinking Water? 2023, December

Why do we drink and how will it end

At what point does a glass of wine in the evening turn into a real addiction? How to help a loved one return to normal life and not fall into codependency from an alcoholic? What compels us to open the bottle over and over again? Educational program from the deputy chief physician of the Medlux anti-alcohol center in Maryino Petr Ivanov.

Why do we drink and how will it end
Why do we drink and how will it end

Photo: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock /

At what point does a glass of wine in the evening turn into a real addiction? How to help a loved one return to normal life and not fall into codependency from an alcoholic? What compels us to open the bottle over and over again? Educational program from the deputy chief physician of the Medlux anti-alcohol center in Maryino Petr Ivanov.

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How to become alcoholics

There are many reasons for the development of acute alcohol dependence, but there are three characteristic factors that contribute to the onset of the disease. As strange as it sounds, the first and main reason is the very use of alcohol in any quantity. Even a person who meets with friends for a glass of beer just a couple of times a month can become a hostage of the disease, unlike someone who does not drink at all. The fact is that in a state of intoxication, almost everyone feels strong, beautiful and successful, and life's troubles and problems fade into the background and become insignificant.

This is explained by the fact that alcohol in a very definite way affects our nervous system: due to oxygen starvation, the threshold for the emergence of positive emotions decreases, which causes euphoria. In addition, inhibition of the work of the cerebral cortex blocks reflexes and dulls the feeling of fear, and the increased circulation of norepinephrine inspires a person with a feeling of omnipotence, increases libido, and causes the desire to do something "heroic". It is the search for this state that makes a person look again and again for a way to return to it - that is, to drink one more time.

The second reason is loneliness. As the results of numerous studies show, the overwhelming majority of those who are addicted to alcohol mention a feeling of total loneliness. Moreover, many of them led an absolutely normal, socially active life, had a family and a stable job. But at the same time, they realized that they were left alone with their emotions and problems and there was no one with whom to share, who would understand and would not condemn. A person finds such an interlocutor in a bottle, first expensive and high-quality, and then at least some kind of alcohol.

The third reason is the inaction of relatives. Many alcoholics could be cured if their family members raised the alarm in time. But according to statistics, only half of families of alcoholics begin to act immediately. The others do nothing, letting the situation go too far. As a rule, it seems to them that the amount of alcohol consumed by a person is within the "norm", or they do not consider it possible to interfere with the life of an adult. Many believe the patient's promises to stop drinking and return to normal life, do not want to offend the patient with suspicions of alcohol dependence. In such doubts and self-deception, a long time passes, and the patient plunges more and more into his addiction, gradually moving from the first stage of alcoholism to the last.

Stages of alcoholism

The initial stage of alcoholism can be easily confused with a difficult life period of a person, when it seems to him that he needs the support of alcohol, just to cope with the troubles that have fallen on him. At the same time, he drinks more and more, the amount of alcohol that a person can drink at a time also increases noticeably (an increase of 3-10 times is a very alarming sign). Alcohol tolerance improves, the next morning after libation a person does not feel discomfort: so at the first stage a person breaks the body's defense mechanisms. He may feel that he needs alcohol to be productive, socialize with friends, or perform unpleasant duties. And the state of health after taking a dose of alcohol becomes better.

At the second stage of addiction development the patient no longer controls his craving for alcohol. If at the first stage he simply could not stop, starting to drink, then at the second stage, the craving for alcohol is irresistible. Craving for alcohol does not depend on the situation and does not require logical justification - to cheer up, do the work, relax, endure a difficult conversation. The dilemma "drink - not drink" does not arise in principle. The sedative effect of alcohol disappears, giving way to a stimulating effect. Compliance and fun no longer accompany the feast - aggression and irritation come in their place. Good company is no longer needed, on the contrary, at the second stage the alcoholic is looking for drinking companions, in front of whom he will not have to be ashamed. The amount of alcohol, having reached its maximum at the end of the first stage, does not increase anymore - that is why the second stage is often called the stage of stable tolerance by experts.

The third stage of alcoholism,in which addiction completely controls a person, changing his personality and physiology, doctors call the final one. There is a complete loss of situational control, personality degradation and irreversible physiological changes. The alcoholic loses emotional ties with family and friends, loses orientation in time, space and society and is no longer able to manage his own life. He turns into a person unknown to those around him - rude, aggressive, heartless. Many physiological changes that have occurred under the influence of alcohol are already irreversible. Physical exhaustion, impaired functions of the liver, kidneys, heart and blood vessels, disturbances in the brain and mental disorders can lead to the most frequent complication of chronic alcoholism - "delirium tremens" or alcoholic delirium (clouding of consciousness).

Is it possible to be cured

The disease is best treated in the first stage. Specialists in the treatment of alcohol addiction today are able to relieve painful cravings for alcohol. And mild supportive therapy and conversations with a psychotherapist make the exit from addiction as calm as possible.

In the second stage, treatment will be much more difficult. At this time, the alcoholic develops withdrawal symptoms, which prompts him to relieve the unpleasant hangover symptoms the next morning with a new dose. So addiction becomes cyclical, provoking binges. At this stage, you must first stop the binge, and then drug the patient intolerance to alcohol. After that, inpatient supportive therapy and the work of a psychotherapist are required, which help the patient to cope with withdrawal symptoms and resist a return to the addiction.

At the third stage, alcoholism is incurable; it is only possible to alleviate the patient's condition. Narcologists can stop drinking and provide supportive therapy to help gradually failing organs. Alcoholics in the third stage of the disease, as a rule, do not stop drinking until the end of their lives.

Therefore, if you see how a loved one kills himself day after day, the most important thing is not to waste time. Cast aside doubts, don't have soul-saving conversations, and don't listen to empty promises. The only thing you can do is see an alcohol addiction specialist. But, unfortunately, the problem is often aggravated by the fact that the relatives of the alcoholic also become addicted - not only from alcohol, but from himself. This state is called "codependency" - the concentration of the whole family's life around the alcohol dependence of one of its members.

Why codependency is dangerous

Codependency develops quite often, since it is very difficult for a person to look at the situation from the outside, turning off emotions. As a rule, codependent people are so immersed in the problems of an alcoholic that they forget about themselves, their only goal is to take care of the alcoholic, the desire to help him, or at least just be there in case you need something. This is what is called a "disservice": in such a situation, the drinker eventually develops the confidence that he is doing everything correctly and is absolutely innocent of anything.

It can be difficult to recognize that not only a loved one, but you yourself are in this vicious circle. Several signs indicate this problem. For example, if due to alcoholism of one of the family members you have excluded something familiar from your life (“we cannot receive guests - our dad drinks”, “I have no time to meet with my friends - I have to be at home to control him”). And they also took upon themselves the solution of all everyday problems of the alcoholic, removing any daily duties from him. A relative who has dedicated himself to caring for an alcoholic not only sympathizes with him, but often takes the blame for his breakdowns and binges. And the worst thing is that he does not recognize the existence of a problem that needs to be solved. The codependent relative finds more and more excuses for the next breakdowns and turns a blind eye to the obvious destruction,which alcoholism of one of the family members brings to all household members.

And how to deal with her

First of all, as in the case of alcohol dependence, the existence of a problem should be recognized. Then answer some difficult questions: are you ready to continue sacrificing your life and the lives of your children for the sake of another person's dependence on alcohol, or do you want him to start a new life. Feel the difference between yourself and the alcoholic, accept the idea that you are two different people, and you should not be responsible for both, you are only responsible for yourself. Think about your own needs: how long have you been doing something for yourself. Think of other people - your children, parents, friends, and coworkers - who no longer mattered to you for a long time. Visit a psychotherapist - codependency is not so easy to overcome on your own, and sometimes the help of a specialist is simply necessary. And, of course, take care of the alcoholic's treatment. Once you feel the strength to deal with your addiction, tackle the cause.