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Alcoholism: these are the effects of drinking dependence

Alcoholism: these are the effects of drinking dependence

July 18, 2024

Alcoholism is a health problem caused by compulsive use of alcohol, which is capable of generating physical and psychological dependence. It is an excessive intake, problematic, difficult to control by your own will. In turn, this behavior is caused by multiple and varied factors: physical predisposition, psychological vulnerabilities and social factors that facilitate consumption.

But one of the most striking aspects of alcoholism is that many times, in its early stages, it is socially accepted.

  • Related article: "The 5 types of alcoholism (and associated disorders)"

Alcoholism and its naturalization

Alcohol consumption is often naturalized and accepted socially and in the social imaginary is considered alcoholic who is seen drunk during the day, in a street situation, starting their consumption in the morning or drinking every day of the week. In this way other forms of alcoholism are rendered invisible. This is not determined by the amount of alcohol a person consumes per day but by how that person relates to alcohol: with dependence, need, compulsion and difficulties to be without consumption.


That is, a person is an alcoholic because of how he drinks, regardless of whether he does it every day, one day a week or more sporadically. However, any person who consumes alcohol is not alcoholic, since there may be consumption without establishing a dependency and addiction link with him . But ... what happens in the human body where there is dependency?

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The effects of alcoholism

Once ingested in the body, alcohol produces two opposing actions, a disinhibiting effect and a depressant effect . The first blocks parts of the brain responsible for thought, the ability to reflect, moral conscience, ethical values; and overstimulates impulses and emotions. This allows us to understand that an alcoholic can be different from when he is sober and even commit crimes without the possibility of control, which, without consumption, would not take place.


The depressant effect inhibits the central nervous system causing a decrease in its functions: less attention, less psychomotor coordination, drowsiness, feeling of exhaustion, among others, reaching extreme cases of respiratory arrest and death.

The emergence of tolerance to drinking

Why are the quantities consumed of alcoholic beverages increasing? Why the body generates tolerance to the substance It is as if you get used to it and, as it does not produce the expected effect, then it becomes necessary to take more alcohol or stronger alcoholic beverages to achieve the desired effects.

Why can not the alcoholic stop drinking?

Another conception to be denaturalized refers to the reasons for the difficulty, in some cases, and the impossibility, in others, to stop drinking. It is not because of taste, caprice or vice, it is because of the strong compulsion to take that the alcoholic person feels, that it becomes irrepressible and beyond its voluntary control , because he is in a situation of physical and psychological dependence.


The body asks for alcohol and the head needs it to continue. Besides without consumption the symptoms of abstinence develop, which is presented with unpleasant sensations, physical manifestations, anxiety, irritability, anguish and strong desire (need) to consume.

How to act with the suspicion that someone close is addicted?

A first step involves denaturing the problematic use of alcohol. In doing so, doubts begin to arise and need to ask for help .

Here we can locate a second step: look for a space of listening, questioning, guidance on alcoholism, to learn to observe how the person's relationship with consumption and alcohol: can control the intake without depending of alcohol? Do you find it hard to stop drinking? Are you looking for excuses to take?

It is important to be aware of problematic alcohol consumption in time, because of the risks it can cause, since alcoholism causes greater probability of suffering accidents, illness and death , in addition to having behavioral, emotional, linking, social, labor, legal effects.

The orientation and containment to families is fundamental to understand that alcoholism is a disease that has recovery and for which a specialized treatment is indispensable for both the alcoholic relative and the rest of the family. This will allow families to resignify consumption and its consequences, generate changes in attitude and build spaces for dialogue and family communication.

It is also important that the family can work in spaces specialized in alcoholism those difficult and traumatic situations caused by the effect of alcoholism that affects the whole family, such as anguish, impotence, fears, anger, psychosomatic symptoms, feelings of guilt ... start having new healthy habits, strengthening self-esteem, developing new personal fulfillment projects to learn how to live better and build a healthier life.

  • Related article: "The 7 effective psychological treatments for alcoholism"

Drug Addiction : How to Do an Alcohol Intervention (July 2024).


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