Alcohol is the most widely available and most widely accepted substance of abuse. 90% of people in most Western societies consume alcohol, and alcohol problems arise in 30% of drinkers.The definition of alcoholism refers to repeated complaints in different areas of a person’s existence due to alcohol, despite which the person continues to consume alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol-related disorders can be classified into 3 groups:
Disorders related to the direct effects of alcohol on the brain: intoxication, withdrawal, delirium of withdrawal and alcoholic hallucination
Alcohol related behavioral disorders: abuse and addiction
Disorders with persistent effects: Alcoholic dementia, Wernicke encephalopathy, Korsakoff syndrome
Epidemiology of alcohol consumption:
- Drink at least once – 90%
- Drink now – 60-70%
- Temporary issues – 40%
- Abuse – Men 10%, Women 5%
- Dependency – male 10%, women 3-5%
Genetic hypothesis: Close relatives of alcoholics are at 4 times more likely to have problems with alcohol consumption
Psychological hypothesis: the anxiolytic, antidepressant and alcohol relaxant effect can be an easy solution to manage stress or traumatic situations
Behavioral Hypothesis: Alcoholism is a behavior learned through premiere and hardening debut after first contact with alcohol.
Signs and Symptoms:
Tolerance – manifested by the need to ingest increasing amounts to achieve the desired effect.
Abstinence – when sudden consumption stops, specific physical and mental signs disappear if alcohol is consumed. Signs are: anxiety, psychomotor restlessness, sweating, tremors in the extremities, general malaise, nausea, vomiting.
- There are successive efforts to reduce or stop alcohol use but are unsuccessful.
- It is time and money to buy or drink alcohol, but also to recover from its effects.
- Other day-to-day activities are gradually abandoned in favor of consumption.
- There is a clinically significant impairment of social and personal functioning.
- Alcohol use is continued despite the awareness of the problem or the occurrence of physical complications.
Complications of alcohol dependence:
Digestive: hepatic steatosis, risk for acute pancreatitis, esophagitis, gastritis, liver cirrhosis.
Cardiovascular: high blood pressure, alcoholic cardiomyopathy with heart rhythm disturbances that can become fatal.
Neurological: peripheral neuropathy, hepatic encephalopathy with confusion, agitation
Psychiatric: simple or complicated withdrawal syndrome, alcoholic dementia, alcohol depression.
The objectives of the treatment are:
- Increasing motivation for abstinence
- Stabilization of acute or psychiatric physical states
- Identification of social support resources and their correction
- Improving professional integration
- Increasing the chances of successful treatment by maintaining adherence to post-cure structures or self-help groups such as Anonymous Alcoholics
- Prolonged support for the restructuring of an alcohol-free life and to reduce the risk of relapse
- At the anaheim california rehab these objectives are primary.
Treatment of alcohol withdrawal
Seizure occurs about 12 hours after the last ingestion of alcohol and reaches a maximum intensity in 48-72 hours. It represents a medical emergency that can lead to death in the absence of adequate therapeutic behavior.