Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Alcohol and Drug Addictions

What are alcohol and substance related problems?
Alcohol or substance related disorders are the conditions arising from the misuse or excessive use of alcohol, psychoactive drugs and other chemicals including charas, ganja, heroin, cocaine, etc.

When to call someone suffering from alcohol or substance related problems?
The continuous use of different types of drugs or alcohol gives rise to various problems in physical health as well as social and occupational life of a person. a person is diagnosed as having alcohol or substance related problems when:
ü  Person gets a strong desire to take alcohol or other drugs. The desire is so strong that a person feels compelled to take it,
ü  Person cannot control himself from taking drugs or as he losses the sense of when to stop taking it, or when he get completely intoxicated and need to curtail the intake,
ü  Person experiences extreme discomfort, restlessness, dizzy, body ache, disturbed sleep, tremors, nausea or other symptoms when tries to stop taking or reduces the amount of drug or substance,
ü  Person requires larger amount of alcohol or drug to get the same level of effect. The effect that he used to feel from small amount is not achieved with same amount of drug after some time,
ü  Person starts neglecting other interests and activities because he invests more time in obtaining the drug,
ü  Person continues to take drug or substance even after knowing clear, harmful consequences as accidents, physical problems or death.

What all things can cause such problems?
Most of those chemical or natural products that affect our central nervous system (Brain and other related system) have some capability of causing these problems. Such as:
  1. Alcohol , “Desi sharab”, “Taadi”, Wine, Bear, Vodka, Gin, “Mahua”, “Hadia” etc;
  2. Tobacco, “Khaini”, “Gul”, Ciggarette, “Bidi”, etc;
  3. Opioids, “Brown sugar”, “Chase”, Opium, Heroine, “Charas”, “Cough Syrups”, “Spasmodic pain reliever”  etc;
  4. Cannabis, “Bhang”, “Rocket”, “Ganja”, “Hukka”, etc;
  5. Volatile solvents, “Thinner”, “Whitener”, “Paint”, “Petrol”,     
  6. Steroids,
  7. Hallucinogens,
  8. Sedatives, Tranquillizers

What is the harm in taking such drugs?
These drugs may lead to following consequences:-
Immediate consequences-
  1. Loss of control over body movements
  2. Nausea,
  3. Vomiting,
  4. Restlessness,
  5. Tremors,
  6. Dry mouth,
  7. Increase heart beats,
  8. Sweating,
  9. Irregular breathing,
  10. Irritability etc.
Long term consequences-      
  1. Damage to brain leading to psychiatric problems,
  2. Deficiency of protein and vitamin B from the body,
  3. Liver damage,
  4. Increase susceptibility to infections,
  5. Gastritis,
  6. Peptic ulcers,
  7. Acute or chronic pancreatitis,
  8. Hepatitis,
  9. Cirrhoris,
  10. Hepatoma,
  11. Death, etc
Psychological consequences-
  1. Anxiety,
  2. Depression,
  3. Memory problems,
  4. Sleep disturbance,
  5. Lack of interest in work, etc.
Social Consequences-
  1. Marital disruptions,
  2. Loss of social status,
  3. Familial discords,
  4. Problems at work place,
  5. Financial loss, etc.

What are the causes of alcohol related illnesses?
The causes of alcohol and drug related illnesses are divided in three major categories:
Biological Causes:
ü  Heredity or genetic causes: In person who has family members who had similar problem, have more chances of acquiring tolerance and vulnerability to take alcohol as compared to the other with no such background,
ü  Presence of any other psychiatric illness specially anxiety related,
ü  Presence of physical illnesses causing intense discomfort and pain,
ü  Experience of “high” and elevated, cheerful mood due to intake,
ü  Bodily discomforts, pains, tremors, disturbed breathing and disturbed heart beat when alcohol, drug is not taken, etc.
Psychological Causes:
ü  Curiosity, sensation seeking behavior,
ü  Social rebelliousness,
ü  Poor stress management,
ü  To get over with fatigue or boredom,
ü  Poor self-control,
ü  Trauma or recent loss, etc.
Social Causes-
ü  Pressure from friends,
ü  Imitation of actors or elders who take alcohol,
ü  Easy availability,
ü  Poor family bonding and support,
ü  Religious reason,
ü  Faulty concept of modernization, etc.

Is it habit, bad character, or something else?
Addiction, alcohol abuse, drug abuse are not simply habits or are part of bad character but it is an ILLNESS or PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER, which has some identified biological and other causes, and which is TREATABLE.
 
What can family do to help this illness?
The family has a major role in the treatment of this condition,
ü  For identification and evaluation of the problem,
ü  For leading and motivating patient,
ü  For arranging treatment facilities for patient,
ü  For supporting and expressing faith in the patient,
ü  And for boosting self-esteem and self-efficacy of the patient.

What is the treatment of this condition?
The treatment of this condition is divided into two parts
Biological:
ü  It includes detoxification, which is helping the patient to stop the consumption of drug/alcohol and manage the physical discomforts that a person may experience due to sudden cessation of drug intake. This process takes only a few weeks.
ü  It also includes helping the patient in reducing the intense desire or craving sensation for drug.
ü  The patient can also be helped by giving certain components which if take regularly cause highly distressing reacting to intake of alcohol and thus prevents person from taking it.
Psycho-Social:
ü  It includes improving persons’ motivation to quit drug/alcohol,
ü  Helping patient to develop skills to control his behavior,
ü  Helping patient to prevent further relapses (restarting drug),
ü  Bringing about changes in person’s life style, stress management, etc,
ü  Involving family members to get support and care,
ü  Helping patient to regain self-esteem, self-efficacy, and self-respect.

Is it curable?
Substance related conditions can be cured with effective treatment but what required is personal motivation to help oneself, good support of family, and professional consultation.

9 comments:

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