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Alcohol Dependence which consists of an individual being dependent of Alcohol can lead to Alcoholism that can have devastating consequences and often leads to severe health, social, economic problems. From affecting the human body along with having long term impacts to loved ones, friends or the community, this is a disorder doesn’t discriminate to any members of society. Furthermore, in this paper, we will cover the background, classification, causes and effects, treatment approaches, along with future intervention or prevention efforts.
Alcoholism is best described from one’s perspective, which is a continued excessive or compulsive use of Alcoholic with a progressive or fatal disorder that leads to psychological and physical traits that lead to addiction. Don’t mistake that this disorder is selective to only certain individuals as it doesn’t discriminate and often the individuals that are affected by this disorder never realized that they would end up with the disorder. Even celebrities such as Bradley Cooper, Billy Joel, and Mel Gibson have been affected by this disorder.
How it works
Social events, promote the drinking of alcohol while at these functions which is common among today’s society, but not everyone is affected the same way while drinking Alcohol to a severity that develops into a disorder while continuing to drink alcohol. However, we do recognize that this type of settings do contribute to the disorder or disease, which adds fuel to the fire and enables those individuals to continue to be impaired with no ability to stop or control Alcohol abuse. Therefore, as productive members of society we have an obligation to keep vigilante or recognize the early signs of Alcoholism with individuals that we may associate with because this person can easily fit into crowd without being noticed. With that said, we ask ourselves what are those early physical signs, symptoms or characteristics that are exhibited by this disorder, can’t control their own behavioral while under the influence, binge drinking with impairments that can cause harm to themselves, and continues to drink even though it’s causing a state of aggression or irritability that causes physical harm onto others. While at home this individual may fail to fulfill their responsibilities at work, home, school, has problems with their relationships with family or personal one’s, may also experience some anxiety.
Also, putting themselves in unsafe conditions while being impaired such as driving, operating motorized equipment while at work or when performing work, and through recreational activities, swimming, bicycling, etc. or the reduction in work activities or in hobbies. In addition, we may notice withdrawal symptoms, sweating, shaking or such as nausea can be noticed when the individuals doesn’t drink or drinks to avoid the symptoms. Alcohol Use Disorder is classified as a brain disease, which is related to an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite the consequences that may occur socially, occupationally or from a health perspective. This disease or disorder may have ranged from mild to severe, but treatment and recovery is possible even though the severity. According to the 2015 NSDUH, 15.1 Million adults ages of 18+ consisted of 6.2 million with AUD. This number consisted of 9.8 million were men and 5.3 million women (4.2 women in this age group). Alcohol related deaths were estimated at 88,000 (estimated 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from this type of related causes making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Nevertheless, in 2014 9.967 of the deaths were related to alcohol impaired driving fatalities which converts to 31% of overall driving fatalities. Along with 10% of children happen to reside with an alcoholic parent that has this disease.
The gorilla in the room, is it inherited or how does this come about in individuals. In the past, Alcoholism would be viewed as a hereditary disease which would have everyone in the community in agreement that this was the root cause. However, as time passes and as more studies have been conducted, we come to realize that the previous root cause identified in past generations may have been incorrect or it makes us realize that there is another explanation on the horizon that has been discovered. One may ask, is Alcoholism caused by the simple genetic factor or is it simply an imitation of parental drinking behaviors, or do we contribute the mere factor that between one-quarter and one-half of the fathers of alcoholics are alcoholics themselves, and 20% of mothers-rate five to 10 times greater than corresponding figures for men and women in the general population.
The Goodwin research previously conducted took 55 men from an alcoholic biological parent, whom had been adopted into a non-alcoholic environment for their childhood. After becoming adults, 18% were alcoholics as compared to only 5% of a group of adopted sons of non-alcoholic parents. On the other hand, research conducted by Sweden Bohman found that men that were brought up in a foster home environment had a rate of three times as high to be an alcoholic if their background consisted of biological parent that was an alcoholic. Then there were the findings related to the environmental influences which played a small part of the Goodwin research were the alcoholism rates for sons raised by an alcoholic parent, which were then mirrored by their brothers that had been taken away from this toxic environment. The most recent study in America supports the relative unimportance of a family environment in early life would cause alcoholism.
In contrast, what about women is there a correlation that alcoholic genes can be transferred in women? In several studies which have shown the rate of alcoholism for daughters that were adopted away of the non- alcoholic parents even though both groups of alcoholism were more widespread than in women in the general public or population. In many ways the drinking behavior that is inherited is yet to be explained and several general logics exist, but until further research is conducted, we will have to categorize them as a personality disorder or psychiatric disturbance.
With the epidemic at hand, researched has paved the way for the development of several different applications, methods or therapies that exist today and will continue to be enhanced in order to lead the way for the treatment of Alcoholism in today’s environment and into the future. Since the early 1935’s, Alcoholics Anonymous has had a 12 step program that has existed which focused on character and spiritual development on the basis of the premise of turning over one’s will power to a “higher power” was critical on the road to recovery.
In addition, one idea was dependent on the admission of powerlessness in order to continue down the road to recovery or sobriety with respect to alcohol or other substance abuse. Furthermore, no single treatment has been effective enough to address the widespread Alcohol dependence problem, so the stakeholders decided to propose assigning patients to treatment based on the specific needs and characteristics which would enhance the efforts with different results. In 1989, the project called “MATCH” (Allen, 1997, 7-29) was launched, patients had to be characterized according to several factors such from the severity of alcohol, psychiatric, cognitive impairment, readiness for motivational change, gender, and support for drinking versus abstinence were selected for the 12 step program along with behavioral and motivation therapy.
The tracking consisted of 3 month intervals for a 1 year, which found the patients with low psychiatric severity were suited best for the 12 step program and patients whom had more abstinent days were treated with cognitive behavioral therapy. Moreover, the research indicated improvement in abstinent days along with decreased number of beverages with minimal variances among the three groups. To conclude, the single or combination treatment provided different results on individuals that are dealing with this disorder, but have grown leaps and bounds since the early 1900’s to provide effective treatment in order to help make an impact to this non discriminate disorder that affects every aspect of life.
Now, we must be proactive to utilize the research and data gathered to take lessons learned and develop a program that can cause a paradigm shift in our approach to combat this Alcohol disorder that is a plague to our society. We must first take the individuals that might be at the highest risk which is anyone with the disease now and provide them treatment in order to recover from this disease. While going through this treatment the impact is most felt by their loved one’s because they have to be the one’s to support this individual(s) while in this current state and does pit a burden on the rest of the family. Then the secondly highest at risk, would be next generation of society members which would be our children.
We must start with them and then continue as the next generations arrive at that school level and continue to eventually minimize the overall number of individuals with this disorder. Intervention and education in the Schools is critical and we must start at the middle school level which will not only address this but can also address social or environmental risk factors. We must be able to provide theory along with cultivating the mindset of this audience in order to address the social and economic norms that would be surrounded around Alcohol abuse. Help students build certain skill sets that will help or enable them in order to be in a position to deflect the pressure or influence that they will encounter in the near future with Alcohol. Moreover, we must also be aware that it’s not only in our school that this occurs, as parents, grandparents, friends or members of society we must take the torch and continue that education, support and at times intervene if we see certain situations where peer pressure may be occurring. While the primary goal of this program would be to prevent or delay the onset of alcohol abuse, but overall to the reduce the risk factor in the use of alcohol.
In conclusion, we now understand how this disorder of Alcoholism a fatal disorder that leads to psychological and physical traits that are with the addiction. How one individual(s) may be plagued with it and not realizing that they are in need of help. Then physical traits on how this plagues our brain , our body that drives the question to be answered is this something that is inherited or that is created by the individual over time due to certain life situations, Then comes intervention on how best to help those individuals with different types of applications, methods or behavioral and motivation therapies. Lastly, we must be proactive, think outside the box to develop other intervention methods such as preserving our most vulnerable individuals that are at the higher risk which is our middle school adolescents. Provide them with the tools or skill sets necessary to be able to fight of that peer pressure or social or environmental norms that can take them down the lath into Alcohol abuse.
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