Description and symptoms of alcoholism

Alcohol (ethyl alcohol, ethanol) was in the form of alcoholic beverages produced since time immemorial. Similarly, for a long time, mankind suffer the negative consequences of alcohol use, both physical and mental. Alcohol brought and brings the company’s wide range of problems, so that even in the Middle Ages demanded power solutions: the first alcohol law was with us already in 1039, when it introduced the king Břetislav I.

Excessive alcohol consumption is also known as alcoholism. The term was coined by Swedish alcoholism doctor Magnuss Hussalready in 1849, but only about a hundred years later, he began to worry about perceived alcohol as a medical problem (WHO 1951).

For excessive alcohol consumption it is typical that can cause damage to all body systems. An indispensable part of thepsychological impact, however. Psychological implications are twofold: the first is due to a direct effect of alcohol on the central nervous system. The second group of impacts of alcohol on the human psyche belongs to addictive behavior, personality changes, etc.

The effects of alcohol on the human organism, especially in the central nervous system are virtually all known. Their biological substrate lies in the fact that alcohol disrupts and changes the metabolism of neurotransmitters (mainly dopamine system, serotonin, and taurine) .Next is suppressed inhibitory effect of GABA system, etc.

Mental and behavioral disorders caused by alcohol use are classified according to ICD-10 (tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases). Very often, however, also used Jellinkova typology that identifies five types of alcohol dependence:

Type alpha: These people use alcohol as self-medication to eliminate a bad mood, anxiety or depression, a type of alpha is characteristic that usually drink alone

Type Beta: occasional use of alcohol, culturally significant influence, ie. The frequent drinking in the company, these people often have physical damage

Type gamma: also known as the Anglo-Saxon type, a typical preference beer and spirits, alcohol dependence, tolerance to progressively increasing amounts vypitému.

Type delta: also known as roman type, typical preferences wine. It is the permanent maintenance of blood alcohol levels, without significant signs of intoxication or loss of control.

Epsilon type: episodic alcohol abuse, excessive consumption periods, alternating with abstinence.This type is infrequent.

Jellinek also developed a description of the development of alcohol dependence into 4 stages:

1) Initial (symptomatic) period

2) warning (prodromal) period

3) Applicable (crucial) period

4) The final (terminal) period

Acute alcohol intoxication is manifested mostly as a simple drunkenness (ebrieta, ebrietas simplex).

Lower doses of alcohol has a stimulating effect, there is elevation of mood, excitation, verbosity, reduce self-criticism, barriers and signs of aggression. If the consumption is higher, there is the main expression of alcohol on central nervous system, and therefore the attenuation. Leads to fatigue, sleepiness, sleep. At high doses, a person can fall into a coma and die.

Total distinguish four stages of acute alcohol intoxication:

a) excitation stage

b) hypnotic stage

c) narcotic stage

d) asphyxial stage

Pathological intoxication is a form of alcohol intoxication in which the relatively small amount of alcohol used is a condition with altered consciousness incomprehensible conduct and often severe aggression against the environment. Failure takes a few minutes to several hours, ending sleep.After waking, the patient usually does not remember anything – amnesia.

Harmful use is a method of use of alcohol, leading to injury. Health is usually damaged a few years before they develop their own addiction to alcohol. Symptoms that are caused by harmful use of alcohol, are many. Most are chronic problems and signs of damage to the digestive system:difficulty swallowing – dysphagia, diarrhea, inflammation of the stomach, esophageal varices, liver damage, especially their fibrotisation to liver cirrhosis.

Furthermore, it was found that these patients have a higher risk of cancer, particularly liver cancer, esophagus, stomach and small intestine. For beer drinkers are placed higher incidence of cancer of the rectum.

Alcohol may damage the endocrine system (endocrine glands), especially pancreas (pancreas), which leads to the production of insulin and other hormones. (Insulin is formed by B-cells of islets of Langerhans which are dispersed in the pancreas). The result is that the alcohol may be involved in diabetes.

For alcoholics are frequent deficiencies of vitamins (vitamin deficiency), impaired hematopoiesis.

Men are also affected by insufficient production of male sex hormone testosterone, which has the effect of sexual dysfunction and impotence.

Alcoholic women who become pregnant, so they run a serious risk of the fetus .In consequence of alcohol consumption during pregnancy may develop in the fetus so. FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome), which is manifested growth retardation (children less thrive and grow slowly), then impairment of the central nervous system and facial deformities. If they are present only behavioral and intellect, no other signs of affection, then talk about FAE (Fetal Alcohol Effect)

Alcoholics tend also damaged the cardiovascular system, they suffer from systemic arterial hypertension (a high pressure) and cardiomyopathy (heart failure structure which begins to fail).

Spared neither nervous system that suffers emergence alcoholic polyneuropathy, cerebral atrophy, alcoholic epilepsy, etc.

Alcohol dependence develops after many years of harmful use of alcohol, and they are often alcoholics in smoke and enjoy themselves large amounts of cigarettes, they are therefore frequentbronchitis, but also lung cancer, lung cancer.

Typical characteristics of alcohol dependence is a gradual change: a gradual increase in tolerance to alcohol, the gradual loss of control of alcohol use and the gradual neglect of other pleasures and interests.

At the same time there are changes in thinking and behavior, which are initially very subtle, but soon leads to their fixation, and thus lose permanent personality changes. These changes are nothing more than an adaptation mechanism by which an alcoholic responds to conflicts arising when confronted with the reality of increasingly frequent and serious problems, caused by his drinking. Changes in thinking are called alcohol defense. Alcoholics use alcohol defense to cover up the first drink, but later that he explained and defended.

Alcoholics and rationalizing drinking. Signs of an already advanced dependence is a significant change in tolerance, which is followed by the appearance of withdrawal symptoms. An example is the so-called. Sip morning, it is necessary to supplement the alcoholic liquor immediately after waking.

A well-known disorder are alcohol box (palimpsest), which are acute memory loss, during which the patient does not remember what he did during alcohol intoxication.

At addict we observe a rapid increase in tolerance to alcohol, where one can drink large amounts of alcohol without the impression of a drunken man. Gradually, however, this tolerance is reduced, resulting in so that the person even after a small dose of alcohol quickly and very drunk.


alcoholism treatment

Treatment of alcoholism has several aspects. Known is called. Aversive therapy, from which, however, left as it is loaded by the occurrence of adverse symptoms. After drinking alcohol is a patient administered apomorphine, which causes severe vomiting. Trying to create a reflex so that the patient began vomiting immediately after drinking alcohol without getting apomorphine.

Sensitization: it is the use of substances which, in combination with alcohol cause patients problems. According to the best known of this reaction is called antabusová. Disulfiram, which is the main component antabuse, invokes block Acetaldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme, so that acetaldehyde (formed from ethanol) flood the body and causes: fluctuations in blood pressure, facial flushing, nausea to vomiting, collapse like.

Another important aspect of treatment is psychotherapy. The patient should get a glimpse of their disease (to know they have a problem). Furthermore, some help in the classification of patients into society. Therefore, in order to reduce the craving for alcohol (craving) are used substances:acamprosate and naltrexone.


How can I help myself

Active access to treatment, treat yourself to find and collaborate. During treatment at the institute are strictly abide by its rules. Trying to fight with alcohol, re-find lost friends and interests.


complications of alcoholism

For detoxification state can arise delirium tremens, which can be fatal.

Further neurological syndromes that are associated with alcoholism. Wernicke Korsakoffsyndrome, and psychosis.

Other names: dependence on alcohol, ethylic etiology

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