In our country, people take alcohol in varying degrees and quantity. People who take it on a long term basis may be in danger of suffering from chronic alcoholism. However, it should be understood that each stage of alcoholism has physical, psychological, health and social manifestations.
Addictive, problem drinking is not a character flaw or life choice. It is a debilitating disease that affects millions of people around the world: men, women and children.
As the disease advances, it takes over the body and destroys the physical and mental health of the drinker, and may lead to pre-mature death.
It also produces damaging psychological effects on family members, friends and co-workers that can have life-long ramifications. However, there is always hope for those afflicted through proper, timely treatment and ongoing support. You can always classify this kind of alcoholism in two classes; Alcoholic abuse and alcoholic dependence.
Alcoholic abuse is a condition whereby the drinker refuses to stop even when relationships and work responsibilities are compromised. Without proper treatment, abuse leads to dependence or addiction.
Alcoholic dependence is an addictive and potentially fatal disease whereby the individual’s behavior has devastating consequences on work and family because of an insatiable, uncontrollable need to consume greater quantities of the drug.
Eric Baganizi is a finalist at the medical school of the National University of Rwanda. He says that long-term alcoholism is not only serious, but in many cases, deadly.
In fact, chronic alcoholism can directly or indirectly cause certain types of cancer, such as cancer of the esophagus, throat, rectum, liver, larynx, and the kidneys.
He adds that chronic, long-term alcoholism often leads to brain damage, cirrhosis of the liver, and problems with the immune system.
In a word, the following represent the consequences of chronic alcoholism; destroyed lives, illness, failed health, and premature death.
The doctor (finalists are practicing doctors) points out that due to the fact that drinking usually starts earlier in the day and often continues throughout the day, very few, if any alcoholics can sustain full time employment given their out of control drinking behavior.
Many adolescents need to avoid the painful and damaging consequences that are so often related to chronic alcoholism. Baganizi, reveals that the pathogenic effects of alcohol abuse on the brain are well established and worth giving attention.
An appreciation of the functional and structural consequences may be helpful to individuals who retain access to a good rational processing system.
Intellectual appreciation is not sufficient to escape the corruptive trap of chemical dependency, and for the vast majority of problem drinkers detoxification and short term treatment have little long term impact.
Preventing relapse requires change at a deep motivational level. He says that one of the most common symptoms of alcoholism is denial and this makes diagnosing it difficult. This is because the diagnosis depends on the individual’s willingness to honestly answer questions about their drinking habits.
Usually, friends and family members closest to the drinker see the problem long before it is diagnosed in a medical setting. Common major signs of alcoholism include heavy regular alcohol consumption and frequent intoxication, which poses a high risk of future damage to physical or mental health and which places the drinker at a risk of accidents, arrests, poor job performance or other social problems.
Alcoholism does tend to run in families, and scientific studies indicate that genetics play a role in a person’s risk of developing alcoholic problems. But research also shows that an individual’s environment and peer influences also affect the risk of becoming alcoholic.