When one realizes that no matter how much they may know about theoretical drug problems and alcohol problems, it is still possible to be staring in the face of a full on alcoholic and not know it until after the fact. Alcoholism and drug problems, much like other chronic illnesses, are not things one can identify just by looking at someone’s face. However, if one pays attention there are probably warning signs that are indicative of a substance abuse problem. However subtle the signs may be, they are usually consistent. A story, with not so subtle signs, may be in order to properly illustrate the point:
Ahmed is a 30 year old junior marketing executive. He shares an apartment with his brother and is not in a relationship. Ahmed has a very active social life. Almost every night of the week, Ahmed can be found at some sort of festivity that is at a bar, club or restaurant. At all of these occasions, liquor is present. Ahmed often
jokes about how he must look like an alcoholic because in most pictures he is holding a drink. In addition, the woman he has begun a flirtation with finds that every time she calls him he is drinking. She thinks nothing of it, since this man must just enjoy one or two social drinks. The fact that he drinks every night does not flag him as an alcoholic in her eyes. They have spoken on the phone scores of times, spent time together and been in constant communication for a two month period. In addition, he really is such a nice guy. He casually mentions that his mother has asked him to promise not to drink. They laugh about how parents often refuse to view their children as adults.
One night before Ahmed goes out with his new lady friend, he tells her a few stories. One included waking up one morning after a night of drinking with blood on his shirt. The caveat being he had no idea where the blood came from. On another occasion, upon being shoved by a young woman in a club after drinking for a while, Ahmed pushed her back and the woman went flying across the room. Ahmed admits that at this point, he realized he did not know what his alcohol limit was. He stated this in past tense; these events had happened about a year prior and since then, Ahmed had allegedly altered his drinking habits. This statement was made as Ahmed pulled out two small bottles of vodka. One was for himself one for his lady friend. When she declined the offer of drink he downed both bottles himself.
Two hours later at the club the couple had gone to Ahmed has drunk two beers and was ready for a shot of tequila. He at this point is holding his liquor well. However; once the shot of tequila comes into play Ahmed succeeds in alienating his new friend. He spills salt all over the bar then begins dancing sloppily and says more than a few insulting things to his date. By the end of the evening the young lady wants nothing more to do with him. Ahmed can’t understand why.
Ahmed is in a state of denial about his drinking problem. The main issues here
include the following:
An inability to stop drinking
Inability to see conflicts arising subsequent to drinking
Spending excessive money on drinking to the point of putting oneself in a financially precarious position
Jeopardizing existing relationships
Damaging potential future relationships
Does not correlate his poor decisions with the outcomes they procure
Not understanding the concern those around have for him and his poor behavior
Ahmed continues to drink excessively, regardless of the concern expressed by his family and friends. He holds that he does not have a problem and does not seek help. In the long term, Ahmed is never able to find a more secure job position or maintain a serious romantic relationship with any woman he meets. The issues here are many. Ahmed’s inability to stop drinking will also eventually erode his body functioning. This will result in a financial strain both on Ahmed, his family and society. The most common health risks for alcoholics include strain on the liver and kidneys.
Should Ahmed ever decide he wants to stop drinking, , what he may not realize is detoxification from alcohol unsupervised can be life threatening. The purpose of writing down Ahmed’s story is his experience may be able to help someone you know. HEALTH RISKS OF CHRONIC HEAVY DRINKING
It’s no secret that alcohol consumption can cause major health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver and injuries sustained in automobile accidents. But if you think liver disease and car crashes are the only health risks posed by drinking, think again: Researchers have linked alcohol consumption to more than 60 diseases.
“Alcohol does all kinds of things in the body, and we’re not fully aware of all its effects,” says James C. Garbutt, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and a researcher at the university’s Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies. “It’s a pretty complicated little molecule.”
Heavy drinking can cause the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells to be abnormally low. This condition, known as anemia, can trigger a host of symptoms, including fatigue, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness.
“Habitual drinking increases the risk of cancer,” says Jurgen Rehm, PhD, chairman of the University of Toronto’s department of addiction policy and a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, also in Toronto. Scientists believe the increased risk comes when the body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, a potent carcinogen. Cancer
sites linked to alcohol use include the mouth, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), esophagus, liver, breast, and colorectal region. Cancer risk rises even higher in heavy drinkers who also use tobacco.
Heavy drinking, especially bingeing, makes platelets more likely to clump together into blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. In a landmark study published in 2005, Harvard researchers found that binge drinking doubled the risk of death among people who initially survived a heart attack.
Heavy drinking can also cause cardiomyopathy, a potentially deadly condition in which the heart muscle weakens and eventually fails, as well as heart rhythm abnormalities such as atrial and ventricular fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation, in which the heart’upper chambers (atria) twitch chaotically rather than constrict rhythmically, can cause blood clots that can trigger a stroke. Ventricular fibrillation causes chaotic twitching in the heart’s main pumping chambers (ventricles). It causes rapid loss of consciousness and, in the absence of immediate treatment, sudden death.
When someone is dealing with an addiction, one of the hardest parts of
them getting help is often simply to admit that they are having a problem.
Unfortunately it is much too easy for a person to just completely deny that they
are When this problem occurs, what it often takes is someone else staging an
intervention, and that intervention being what helps the afflicted individual
That they have a problem.
That they need to seek out help.
That the help they need is available if they are willing to reach for it.
PREPARING MENTALLY FOR THE INTERVENTION
In order to ensure that your intervention is successful it is vital that you prepare
yourself for the task at hand. Taking a loved one on and forcing them to face
the true addiction that they are going through is a difficult task to say the least.
Making sure you are emotionally ready to follow through with the intervention
is essential to being successful and helping them see the truth.
PROFESSIONAL INTERVENTIONAL HELP
A successful intervention cannot even begin without the right help to
guide you along the way. You might think you can do this on your own but
once you get started you will find a very different story. A professional
interventionist can walk you through the steps that need to take place in
order to be successful in your attempts at intervention. They will be able
to guide you and help you make the right choices for your intervention. A
qualified interventionist has been through the procedure multiple times
and has a good idea of what will work and what will not.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN
STAGING AN INTERVENTION
Drug intervention is a vital part of treatment for any individual who is in denial
of the problems at hand. This having been said it is extremely important to be
very organized about the intervention process. This will allow you to be
prepared for any turn of events that might occur along the way. Being prepared
is the key to success. Make sure that you are extremely detailed in the planning
of the intervention. Talk with the individuals participating in the intervention so
that you are sure each person has a clear understanding of what they will be
doing during the intervention and what their role will be for the process.
Keeping everyone working together is essential.
Meet with the participants of the intervention as often as possible before the
event to practice the process and the steps. This will help relieve some of the
pressure when the real thing is upon you. It is important that the loved one you
are trying to help does not feel as though they are being judged and the best
way to accomplish that is by everyone understanding their roles.
Be prepared for what is about to happen. The loved one you are trying to help is
more than likely going to object to the entire event and even the notion that
there is anything wrong in the first place. They may initially feel violated,
disrespected and betrayed by all of those involved in the intervention. They are
likely to lash out at all those making what they see as accusations toward
them. They could be verbally abusive in an effort to divert from the subject at
hand. Being prepared for this to happen will help everyone stay on track and
stay focused on the end goal. CONSEQUENCES OF ALCOHOLISM IN INDIA
Alcoholism in India
Alcohol is banned in some parts of India such as Manipur and Gujarat, but it is legally consumed in the majority of states. There are believed to be 62.5 million people in India who at least occasionally drink alcohol. Unlike many western countries the consumption of alcohol in India is witnessing a dramatic rise – for instance, between 1970 and 1995 there was a 106.7% increase in the per capita (this means per individual in the population) consumption. International brewers and distillers of alcoholic beverages are keen to become popular in India, because it is potentially offers the third largest market for their product globally. India has also become one of the largest producers of alcohol – it produces 65% of alcoholic beverages in South-East Asia. Most urban areas have witnessed an explosion in the number of bars and nightclubs that have opened in recent years
Drinking Culture in India
India is a vast sub-continent and the drinking habits vary greatly between the different those who live in the south western state of Kerala are the heaviest drinkers. People who live in this state drink an average of 8 liters per capita, and this is four times the amount of the rest of India. Other areas of the continent where people tend to drink relatively heavily include Haryana and Punjab. In some parts of India there is hardly any drinking culture to speak of – in some of these places alcohol is banned completely. In recent years there has been a noticeable rise in the number of urban males who claim to use alcohol as a means to relax. It still tends to be the poor and those who live in rural areas that are the highest consumers of alcohol. It is believed that as little as 5% of alcohol consumers are female – although this figure is higher in some states.
Alcohol Abuse in India
India once had a reputation as having a culture that promoted abstinence towards drugs like alcohol. Things have changed and there is now serious problems arising due to alcohol abuse – some would say that there were always problems associated with alcohol use in India but in the past it was less reported. The implications for this rise in alcohol related problems include:
* An increasing number of people are becoming dependent on alcohol. This makes it difficult for them to function normally within society.
* Domestic and sexual abuse is often associated with alcohol abuse.
* This type of behavior can be damaging to communities.
* Those individuals who engage in this type of behavior can begin to fail in their
ability to meet family, social, and work commitments.
* Families can suffer financially as a result of this type of substance abuse.
* Business and the economy suffer because of lost productivity with people coming to work still suffering from the effects of alcohol.
* Drink driving is responsible for many roads death
Underage Drinking in India
Underage drinking is becoming a problem in India. Different states will have different age limits for alcohol consumption – the age limit in those states where it is legal to drink range from 18 to 27 years old. It is common for people to begin drinking before the legal age limit. The problems of underage drinking include:
* For those young people who are still in adolescence, it can interfere with their
normal development if they consume alcohol. This type of behavior can particularly interfere with crucial mental development that occurs at this age.
* Underage drinking is closely related to teen suicide.
* It encourages sexual promiscuity.
* Those people who drink at an early age are far more likely to develop alcoholism.
* It can mean that these young people perform badly at school or college. This means that their opportunities in the future will be limited.
* Even those who are young can develop alcoholism and all the physical and mental problems that come with this.
Treatment and Prevention of Alcoholism in India
There is help for people who have developed problems with alcohol in India including:
* Alcoholism and Drug Information Centre is devoted to prevention and treatment of substance abuse in India. They are a good resource to turn to for information and advice.
* Alcoholics Anonymous has meetings in many locations in India. This fellowship uses the 12 Steps to allow the individual to develop a better life away from addiction, substance abuse and helping them deal with other social problems.
* Many people are leaving India in order to seek treatment for their alcoholism abroad. The most respected alcohol and drug abuse treatment facility in Asia is DARA rehab
Alcohol is not an ordinary commodity. While it carries connotations of pleasure and sociability in the minds of many, harmful consequences of its use are diverse and widespread
From a global perspective, in order to reduce the harm caused by alcohol, policies need to take into account specific situations in different societies. Average volumes consumed and patterns of drinking are two dimensions of alcohol consumption that need to be considered in efforts to reduce the burden of alcohol-related problems. Avoiding the combination of drinking and driving is an example of measures that can reduce the health burden of alcohol.
Worlwide, alcohol takes an enormous toll on lives and communities, especially in developing countries and its contribution to the overall burden of disease is expected to increase in the future. Particularly worrying trends are the increases in the average amount of alcohol consumed per person in countries such as China and India and the more harmful and risky drinking patterns among young people.
National monitoring systems need to be developed to keep track of alcohol consumption and its consequences, and to raise awareness amongst the public and policy-makers. It is up to to encourage debate and formulate effective public health policies that minimize the harm caused by alcohol.