What exactly qualifies as an alcoholic? A college student who binge drinks on weekends? A father who likes to have 1-2 beers at night after work? While some may consider these amounts to be above average, they do not quite meet the criteria for alcoholism. To be considered an alcoholic a person much consume large quantities of alcohol on a regular basis due to physical dependence. If this person does not consume alcohol regularly, they will develop withdrawal symptoms. There is also an emotional dependence to the alcohol, and mood changes such as irritability will become noticeable if they do not drink.
How can you identify an alcoholic?
– An alcoholic can be identified as someone who is unable to control their urge to drink. These individuals may realize that their alcohol consumption is a problem, but they can’t seem to get the drinking under control. Once they start drinking they usually have a hard time stopping.
How we treat?
– An individual may need to attend a formal detox as alcohol withdrawal is very dangerous and potentially life threatening. There are residential treatment centers and intensive outpatient programs which you can attend to help prevent relapsing. 12 step programs and AA meetings are also very beneficial for helping treat addiction and preventing relapses. Medications such as Naltrexone, Vivitrol, Campral, and Antabuse can also be used to help with cravings and preventing relapse. In order for these medications to be effective, one must be compliant with taking the medications on a regular basis.
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