Alcohol: Ineffectively Drowning Problems since Egypt 3000 B.C. Part 2

I looked at my long to-do-list today and saw that for the next few days I will be writing methods, abstracts, and looking over a lot of data. By the way: everyone is more than welcome to take my survey study, but I am looking for Hispanics males and females, White males, and African American males and females.Can you please take this survey for my research study the link is https://winthrop.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_2fX4mHSi3Rfoa45

Please be nice to all your friends and share it!!! Sharing is caring!!! Thanks readers!

Anyway so back to this, I was reading for my research and I was like, “Umm… midnight, let’s blog.” Guys, sometimes my level of nerdom scares even me, then I realize that nerds are awesome! Go nerds!

My family might come visit me this weekend ( I haven’t seen them since May 10th) so I promised to have the post by Friday, well I love you guys so much, I have it right now, today.

Risk Factors for Alcoholism

Though the exact cause of alcoholism is unknown, there are certain factors that may increase your risk of developing this disease (yes it is a disease. It might have started as a choice but true alcoholism is a disease).

Known risk factors for alcoholism include having:

  • more than 15 drinks per week if you’re male
  • more than 12 drinks per week if you’re female
  • more than five drinks per day at least once a week (binge drinking)
  • a parent with alcoholism
    • for males having one alcoholic parent increases the risk from 12.4 percent to 29.5 percent and having both mommy and daddy drunk on the couch every other day increases the odds of you being also being wasted to 41.2 percent.
    • Females are lucky…ish. Having no alcoholic parents their risk is 5 percent, one is 9.5 percent and two it jumps to 25 percent.

Genetics isn’t the whole story, not by a long run. There are other factors that could cause alcohol usage disorder such as:

  • Lack of parental guidance: one sound, duh! If your parents or if you are a parent and don’t offer guidance to your child at a young age chance are they will either join a rock band, become a Hippie or groupie, develop some sort of mental or physical illness (alcoholism), or to be honest die from some accident that could have been prevented if they had not run away to join the circus. This does not mean implant a tracking device on your child at the time of his/her birth, but rather offer support, be there to answer questions about boys and girls and what the heck is happening to their bodies around the age of 11ish. Be parents (#4).
  • If the person has a mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia. This is because sometimes people use alcohol to self-medicate. It’s cheap and if they are of age legal.
  • are a young adult experiencing peer pressure- this is huge and mostly because today alcohol and drinking are seen as fun. I’m not saying don’t drink (if you’re of age) just don’t make it a habit.
  • have low self-esteem- again low self-esteem plays into depression and all other messes. They can self-medicate with alcohol or like my professor, alcohol increased his self-esteem and made him believe for a few hours that he could dance the night away.
  • experience a high level of stress- Wilk and Colleagues (2010) found that high exposures to trauma and horrors (war) were associated with positive alcohol abuse screening. Why? Alcohol relaxes. People with high levels of stress or perceived stress drown their problems in alcohol. Sadly, most problems learn to swim and thus alcohol becomes ineffective.
  • live in a family or culture where alcohol use is common and accepted
    • Asians tend to have something called “alcohol flush reaction” basically if they drink alcohol they become nauseous, they have heart palpitations, blood pressure drops, and their skin flushes.
  • have a close relative with alcohol use disorder- you tend to pick up on what you see around you (social learning theory)

not the answer

Treatment for alcoholism varies, but each method is meant to help you stop drinking altogether (abstinence). Treatment may occur in stages and can include the following:

  • detoxification or withdrawal to rid your body of alcohol (this needs to be monitored because the body can go into convulsions and the person has the risk of dying if not done properly).
  • rehabilitation to learn new coping skills and behaviors: don’t drink when you’re stressed rather exercise, stuff like that.
  • counseling to address emotional problems that may cause you to drink: find out the deep dark secrets and problems we are trying to drown
  • support groups, including 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): Alateen is for teenagers dealing with alcoholism or have a family member who is an alcoholic and Al-anon is family support. They use “Higher Power” so for those not religious there are other treatment options.
  • medical treatment for health problems associated with alcoholism: this includes but is not limited to liver failure, kidney failure, heart disease, and mouth cancer
  • medications to help control addiction
  • Naltrexone(ReVia, Vivitrol) is used only after someone has detoxed from alcohol. This type of drug works by blocking certain receptors in the brain that are associated with the alcoholic “high.” This type of drug, in combination with counseling, may help decrease an individual’s craving for alcohol.
  • Acamprosate(Campral) is a medication that can help re-establish the brain’s original chemical state before alcohol dependence. This drug should also be combined with therapy.
  • Disulfiram(Antabuse) is a drug that causes physical discomfort (such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches) any time the individual consumes alcohol.

Alcoholics may need to seek treatment at an inpatient facility if the addiction to alcohol is severe. These facilities will provide 24-hour care as painful and dangerous withdraw from alcohol starts. They also provide medication and psychotherapy to start recovery. Once well enough to leave, the person needs to continue to receive treatment on an outpatient basis.

I don’t agree that to be 100 percent treated for alcoholism there needs to be 100 percent abstinence. Here is my reason, we live in a time where alcohol is everywhere. It’s not like other substances where you just avoid the people or place; you can buy alcohol at Walmart. There is alcohol in every sporting event and most parties. In my opinion (which does not matter at the moment because I am not yet a Ph.D) the true testament to recovery is being able to have a drink or two and know when to stop. Like for example, a person who burns her hand on the stove need not be afraid of the kitchen or the stove (she will starve if she can’t cook for herself); she needs to learn to simply be more careful. Same thing, in my view, with alcohol, if you wish and do so desire, drink, just be careful.

Random Fun Fact: people who like spicy food are at a higher risk to be alcoholics. Here is why: receptors in the brain connected to the reward (or opioid) system can be triggered by alcohol consumption. Those very same receptors can be activated by highly spiced foods. Alcohol and spicy foods stimulate the reward region of the brain, triggering the release of pleasure-sensing endorphins. Evidently, spicy food lovers possess an easily triggered reward system. (I think I might be trouble. I love me some jalapeño on well… just about everything).

Again, share my survey, and stay tune for next topic is opium and narcotics (pills and medications). I haven’t come up with a cute witty and very sarcastic title yet, but I am thinking “Pill Popping People” or something like that. Comment one if you have one.

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