Alcohol addiction is a disease that manifests itself in the addiction to drinking alcoholic beverages often and in excessive quantities. Alcohol addiction disrupts brain activity and physical abilities, impairs memory and the ability to think correctly, a person begins to commit unreasonable acts. Alcohol affects the ability to make decisions and makes a person irresponsible to such an extent that in the last stage of alcoholism, they become unable to take care of even themselves (Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, 2019). Then, it would be wrong to look for the reasons for alcohol addiction. For example, at the age of 16, a person can start drinking against the background of relationship problems and not stop. This disease is multifactorial – there are genetic predispositions and a bunch of provoking factors (Hensley, 2019). They are social and psychological. In adolescent alcoholism, this is very pronounced: if the family and parents are dependent, then the probability is very high that the adolescent starts drinking too.
There is a pre-stage of alcoholism or domestic binge drinking. It is characterized by the situational use of alcoholic beverages, which rarely ends with serious consequences. At this stage, a person is able to calmly do without drinking and stop drinking alcohol for any length of time. But if he drinks every day, after six months or a year, he may begin to develop alcoholism. At the first stage of alcoholism, the desire to drink becomes formidable, and the person ceases to control the amount of alcohol consumed. Usually, at this phase, there is a tendency to explain your drunkenness by external reasons. At the second stage, a person regularly develops withdrawal symptoms, and alcohol tolerance decreases (Nova Recovery Center, 2021). Craving for alcohol becomes uncontrollable, and human behavior becomes unpredictable and dangerous for others.
The third stage of alcoholism is characterized by almost daily alcohol consumption. A person gradually degrades, changes in his psyche become irreversible, hallucinations and alcoholic psychoses appear more and more often. Disorders in the work of internal organs are also irreversible – cirrhosis of the liver and alcoholic hepatitis appear. The treatment of the disease is mostly related to various psychological programs and establishments that offer assistance in overcoming this addiction.
The Canadian demographics within the scope of alcohol dependence are as follows. In 2018, 19.1% of Canadians 12 years and older reported drinking alcohol at least once a month. 23.5% of men reported drinking five or more alcoholic drinks at least once in the past year, compared with 14.8% in females. Young men and women (18/19 to 24 years old) are more likely to report alcohol abuse than adults over 25 years old (43.1% vs. 27.1% for men and 36.3% vs. 19.6% for women).
The first myth about the disease is that a person suffering from alcoholism must want to be cured. In fact, very few people who drink are aware of the need for healing. Even if at critical moments an alcoholic may ask for help, his main need is still the search for another dose of booze. Second, a person makes the choice of being alcohol-dependent consciously, and no one has the right to condemn them. The very concept of “freedom of choice” does not apply to patients suffering from addiction to a chemical. The development of addiction is influenced by many factors, including the choice of the patient. The third myth is that helping an alcoholic can only harm him or her (Sana Lake, n.d.). This myth is born out of a reluctance to interfere with family routines and change the usual order of things. Often alcoholics manipulate relatives, pretending that they were betrayed by the closest people.
Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. (2019). Alcohol. Web.
Hensley, L. (2019). Harmful alcohol use is on the rise — and experts warn it’s not slowing down. Global News. Web.
Nova Recovery Center. (2021). The 3 stages of alcoholism. Web.
Sana Lake. (n.d.). 10 common alcohol myths: Breaking the myths about alcoholism. Web.