WHAT IS ALCOHOL?
Alcohol is a drug found in all alcoholic drinks like beer, wine and spirits such as vodka and whiskey.
Alcohol is primarily metabolised in the liver by oxidation.It is first converted by alcohol dehydrogenase(ADH) to Acetaldehyde, which is there after converted to Acetaldehyde dehydrogenase(ALDH) to Acetate. Acetate is rapidly converted to carbon dioxide & water.
Alcohol is a depressant drug. It slows down various sections of the brain and the central nervous system which affects your ability to control your behaviour and your bodily functions, like thinking, talking, walking and even breathing.
Alcohol is also described as a psychoactive drug. This means a drug that affects the mind, or mental processes of a living being.
Alcohol is a colourless, odourless and inflammable fluid.Alcohol’s effects are similar to the effects of sedative drugs.
Now a days Alcohol is a part of many people’s lives in the world– from a point after work to a big night out, from a glass of wine at home to a family celebration. Many people influenced their life with alcohol. The image of alcohol in our society is of An ‘acceptable’ drug….
The ‘craic’, the go-to stress-reliever, something to turn to when things are hard or an essential part of social life. we often don’t think of it as a drug in the way we might think of other drugs like cocaine, marijuana, heroin and prescription drugs and we underestimate the harm it can do.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ALCOHOL
-The (BAC)Blood alcohol consumption reaches its peak in 30-60 minutes of consuming alcohol on an empty stomach.The peak BAC achieved is 20% higher in women due to less water content in their body compared to men.Due to same reason,fat people achieve relatively higher BAC.
-Carbonated beverages like soda increase & food decrease the rate of alcohol absorption.
-Alcohol is metabolized at the approx rate of 1standard drink/hour. So alcohol may be detected in the blood for nearly as many hours as number of drinks a person had.
-Some Asian individuals may have a genetic variant of ALDH, which is inherently slow to metabolize. It leads to accumulation of Acetaldehyde in body,producing vasodilatation, flushing & aversion reaction each time alcohol is taken.
-For an average person, one standard drink(30ml spirits)causes the BAC to increase by nearly 20mg/dl(may vary with gender,weight & other factors).
-Under motor vehicle act,the legal limit of alcohol for driving had been specified as maximum 30mg/100ml of blood.
-Alcohol consumption leads to road traffic accidents,accidents at home & at work place,More than 20% of head injury cases have recent ALCOHOL consumption.
-Possibility of head injury should be considered in all alcohol users presenting with intoxication withdrawal symptoms or disturbed consciousness.
ACUTE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS-
Clinically a person is said to be intoxicated if he exhibits significant maladaptive behavioral / Psychological changes (e.g, in-appropriate sexual/aggressive behaviour,mood liability,impaired judgement ,impaired social/occupational functioning)during or shortly after alcohol ingestion.This is accompanied by one (or more)of the following signs-Slurred speech,motor in cordination,unsteady gait,nystagmus, impairment of attention/memory & stupor/coma.
COMMON ACUTE EFFECTS AT INCREASING (BAC)
<80 -Euphoria,feeling of relaxation & talking freely,clumsy movements of hands & legs,reduced alertness.
80-100 -Noisy,moody,impaired judgement,impaired driving ability.
100-200 -EEG changes begin to appear,blurred vision,unsteady gait,gross motor in-cordination,slurred speech, aggressive, quarrelsome,talking loudly.
200-300 -Amnesia for the experience-blackout.
300-350 – Coma.
355-600 -May cause or contribute to death.
ACUTE PHYSICAL EFFECTS-
Gastrointestinal effects-An appetizer in moderation,gastritis with hyperaemia,vomitting ,gastric bleeding,gastro aesophageal reflux,oesophagitis
Cardiovascular effects- Ventricular premature beats,blood pressure fall(with small or large doses),rise with moderate dosed, vasodilatation warm flushed skin & a feeling of warmth,loss of heat risk of hypothermia,Relief from anginal pain(analgesia due to central depression/generalised vasodilatation).
Respiratory effects- Stimulation by small/moderate doses, depression by large doses,vomitting Aspiration pneumonia.
Musculoskeletal effects- Alcoholic myopathy,muscle pain,muscular swelling & progressive weakness of lower limb muscles.
Renal effects- Asymptomatic or acute rhabdomyolysis with myoglobinuria,acute tubular necrosis & fatal renal failure.Diuresis initially, alcohol suppresses (ADH) & causes diuresis Later,urine volume generally reflects fluid intake.
HEALTH HAZARDS OF LONG TERM ALCOHOL USE–
Regular drinking of alcohol associated with a wide range of medical complications.
Gastrointestinal-Fatty liver, Alcoholic hepatitis,cirrhosis,esophagitis,acute gastritis, malabsorption, pancreatitis.
Nutritional deficiencies-Thiamine, pyridoxine,vitamin A,Folic acid,Ascorbic acid.
CNS-Wernicke-karsakoff’s syndrome, Dementia, cerebellar degeneration, peripheral neuropathy, Myopathy,Head injury.
Cancers-Oral, Oesophagus,colon, Hepatocellular,breast.
Other- Fetal alcohol syndrome, osteoporosis, tuberculosis, psoriasis, domestic & traffic accidents.
THE EFFECT OF ALCOHOL DETERMINED BY FOLLOWING FACTORS –
Patterns of use, quantity, frequency, preparation.
Individual factors,Naive/experienced user,genetic susceptibility,mental set & Expectations.
Social factors,group influence,social ambience,shared values.
PHILOSOPHY OF TREATMENT-
Abstinence based approach,Aiming at a life free of any kind of drugs.
Harm reduction-Even if complete abstinence does not occur ,the concept of harm reduction aims at a significant reduction in quantity, frequency & severity of drug use &/reduction of the adverse health psychosocial, economic & legal problems associated with drug use.
Nearly 70-80% of individuals are unable to achieve a lasting abstinence & may relapse within three months.drug use is often compared to Chronic medical illnesses such as Diabetes & hypertension beacise control rather than cure is a more realistic option in Treatment of drug abuse.
There is a broad spectrum of drug related risks which are (less severe-most severe).most damaging consequences should be prioritised first & contained at the earliest.
Interventions may target individual,family, community or society.
Providing best available Treatment options along with harmless alternative treatment methods such as Homeopathy is of great use As with the complete approach of mental, Physical, Psychological aspect Homeopathy can play very important role in alcohol related acute/chronic problems sometimes Homeopathy can be given along with modern Medicines before/during/after the first stage of line of Treatment. Homoeopathy acts on a dynamic level. HOMEOPATHY focuses on complete Treatment of an individual in a holistic way,good nutritional Dietary support ,fasting therapy,yoga meditation,accudetox,family atmosphere, Counseling for family & proper guidance for long time till the patient restores to normal healthy happy positive life. So i request people who need help & who really want to get rid of the Alcohol/any type of drugs they need to make very strong decision with themselves and take a step forward and say no to addiction.
GOALS OF TREATMENT
Harm reduction, improvement in Psychological health, improvement in psychosocial functioning, improvement in quality of life.
The goal of Treatment can also vary depending on the motivation if the individual.The treating professional can provide information about which Treatment options are likely to work well in a patient’s case.ultimately ,it is the patient’s decision to exercise his own choice with the help of the treating physician.
About the Author:
Author is Consultant Homeopath,Addictionologist & Counsellor & can be reached at Sahil.email@example.com