Enthusiaitic alcoholic

Can Alcoholism Be Treated With Medications?

There are three medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used in the treatment of alcohol addiction. Of these medications, none can be approved for use by anyone who isn’t sober. This means anyone who is still drinking alcohol.

These medications are for people who are abstinent and want to stay that way. No medications exist that can be prescribed if alcohol is still being drunk regularly. This is because medications and alcohol can’t mix well.

Using medication to combat addiction is highly debated. This is because some people think it is just transferring one addiction for another. When it comes to medicines to treat drug addiction, this is generally true.

Methadone works by blocking highs and withdrawal symptoms from other drugs but is addictive in itself. It has been responsible for quite a few overdoses annually.

The medications used to treat alcohol addiction are generally used differently.

Antabuse (Disulfiram)

The first medication approved for the treatment of alcohol addiction was Antabuse. It can cause adverse reactions if someone decides to break and drink alcohol. This can help deter people from relapsing. It can also have them form negative associations to drinking.

If people try and drink alcohol after taking Antabuse, they might end up vomiting.

Antabuse used to be prescribed in larger doses. It was meant to give very severe reactions to help people abstain. This led to dangerous side effects or overdoses, so the dosage was changed.

Naltrexone

This medication is meant to block the high effects of alcohol on the brain. It also works for opioids like cocaine or heroin in similar ways.

Naltrexone can also decrease alcohol cravings and make drinking alcohol not feel as good. This works best when used with psychosocial therapy That is why it eventually went from treating just opiates to alcohol as well

The FDA approved it to treat alcohol addiction in 1994.

Campral (Acamprosate)

This medication is the one approved most recently for use by the FDA. It can lessen the physical distress and emotional discomfort attributed to quitting alcohol abuse.

Campral was used for more than 20 years across Europe. It was effective and a common treatment for alcohol addiction. It was finally approved for use by the FDA in the United States in July 2004. We were a little behind the times when it came to using this particular drug.

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Drugs addiction

Alcoholism In Modern Society

Addiction affects more than just those who have the problem. It actually affects everyone in their lives from friends to family to loved ones. Alcohol abuse, generally, can change every aspect of life.

Alcohol is known to be a part of at least 88,000 deaths a year. There are 14 million people in the United States that have alcohol use disorders.

Interestingly enough more alcohol consumption is done by those who aren’t dependent on alcohol. Meaning, binge drinking is the real contributor to high numbers of alcohol drinking. Binge drinking is four or more alcoholic drinks within a two hour period.

Alcoholism And The Costs For Society

The CDC says that alcohol drinking costs more than $200 billion annually. Binge drinking is the cause for 70 percent of that number. Federal and state and local governments pay 30 percent of the costs.

These costs include healthcare, crime and law enforcement, and car accidents. The most go toward workplace productivity. Of course, incidents are often unreported. So these figures aren’t always accurate.

Drinking alcohol regularly can be a contributor to 25 diseases or conditions. It can affect psychiatric issues, cardiovascular problems, cancers, and digestive disorders. It can also increase the risks of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

$28 billion is spent a year on healthcare to treat alcohol-related problems.

The consumption of alcohol can also lead to violence and aggression. There are many injuries caused by alcohol, both intentional and unintentional. Alcohol use can lower inhibitions and make people more impulsive. This can lead to dangerous situations.

Alcohol is often easily linked to outbreaks of violence. Many research studies have shown the connections between the two.

Alcoholism And How It Affects Families

There is more than just the cost of the effects of alcoholism on society. There is also an intense relationship between alcoholism and family problems. Addiction can wreck and pull apart families.

What starts at home always moves forward into the community. So this problem isn’t just bound to home.

Since alcohol abuse and addiction are related to violence, there is often an increase in domestic violence. It can also be the reason behind families financial issues if someone is spending all their money at bars or on alcohol that can cause problems. It also might affect work and the income they depend on.

Child abuse or subsequent neglect can be blamed on alcohol abuse as well. Kids can be ignored or forgotten in favor of alcohol.

Domestic violence is also common for binge drinking. This is because even if they don’t drink much if someone drinks a lot at once than can still get violent. They aren’t really affected by continuous use so it can increase the violence each time.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is sadly too common in the United States. This is caused by mothers drinking heavily throughout their pregnancy.

Children whose parents are alcoholics are more likely to grow up to have the same problems.

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Substance abuse

The Metabolism of Alcohol

What Is A Metabolism

Alcohol addiction is serious. Dependency on alcohol is common in people who drink it regularly or binge on it.

Heavily drinking can cause a lot of health problems. It can harm your liver, heart, and even start other issues. Diabetes and cancer can both be caused by drinking heavily.

Everyone’s body metabolizes alcohol differently. That’s why some people get drunk faster or have a higher chance of becoming addicted. Metabolizing is the bodies way of breaking down alcohol and removing it from the bloodstream.

A person’s body can only manage so much alcohol to metabolize at once. When there’s too much alcohol blood concentration raises. That means a person is drunker and for a longer amount of time. This is because the body can’t process it fast enough.

How Does It Effect You

The body metabolizes alcohol because it sees it as a toxin and wants to be rid of it.

Alcohol goes right to the stomach to be absorbed into your blood. There’s nowhere else for it to go. We have enzymes that do all the hard work for us. They break down those nasty harmful chemicals in what we call “metabolizing”.

The two enzymes are Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). They are liver enzymes. That is because the liver is what processes the alcohol. Heavy drinking can take its toll on your liver over time. This is why liver cirrhosis is so common for alcoholics.

What Damage Can It Do?

A liver is only meant to process so much. Alcohol can severely irritate it and cause damage to it. If it can’t metabolize and process toxins, your body is in danger because there are natural toxins that have to be processed.

The ADH enzyme turns the alcohol into acetaldehyde, and that is what damages your liver. It leaves carcinogens in your body, and those cause cancer as well.

Also, alcohol isn’t always processed out. Sometimes the body takes in small amounts. Over time these amounts build up. They can form into compounds that can really hurt you and your organs. This specifically can harm your pancreas and liver. Yes, your liver really takes some damage from metabolizing alcohol.

How Can They Test Your BAC?

Blood and alcohol concentration is often tested by breathing into a breathalyzer or having urine tested. This is because not all alcohol leaves your system. That’s the whole problem with alcohol. It builds up.

You can be tested to see how drunk you are and you can be tested to see if you’ve drunk in the last six months. Technology is amazing.

Remember the acetaldehyde that’s formed and how it can hurt your liver? This is because the liver is where the party is at. The liver’s job is to take care of you, and that means keeping alcohol from poisoning you.

The body’s metabolism is one of those magical processes we rely on upon without thinking about. That shouldn’t be the case, because we need to look out for our bodies and not overdo it.

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