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Addiction

09 June 2010

Alcohol abuse and dependence

Drinking is widely socially accepted and plays an important role in many people's lives. In moderation, alcohol is relaxing and can also be beneficial to one's health.

Drinking plays an important role in many people's lives. In moderation, alcohol is relaxing and can also be beneficial to one's health. Unfortunately, not enough is said about excessive drinking which can cause havoc in a person's personal, social and work life.

These effects usually wear off in a matter of hours after a person stops drinking. Larger amounts of blood alcohol can impair brain functioning and eventually cause unconsciousness. A severe overdose - when the blood-alcohol level is higher than 0,50 - can be fatal.

  • Recurrent alcohol use resulting in failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school or home (e.g. poor work performance or absenteeism, neglect of children or the household)
  • Recurrent drinking in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g. driving a car or operating a machine)
  • Recurrent alcohol-related legal problems (e.g. arrests for disorderly conduct)
  • Continued drinking despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (e.g. arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication)

  • Tolerance (diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol or the need for increased amounts of alcohol to achieve the desired effect)
  • Withdrawal (when you stop drinking, you experience a series of withdrawal symptoms. Alternatively, you use substances to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms)
  • Substance is taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended
  • Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control drinking
  • A great deal of time is spent on activities necessary to obtain alcohol, use the substance or recover from its effects
  • Important social, occupational or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of drinking
  • Alcohol use is continued even though the person knows that it worsens some physical or psychological problem.

 

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