Alcoholism is a disease that involves the following four symptoms:
Craving- A strong need or urge to drink
Loss of control- Not able to stop drinking once drinking has begun
Physical dependence -Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety after stopping drinking.
Tolerance- The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get “high”
80% of alcohol is absorbed in the small intestine and 20% is absorbed in the stomach. It takes 20 minutes for the
alcohol to register in the blood stream and is secreted by the kidney, lung, and liver.
Alcoholism is a chronic disease, meaning it will last a person’s lifetime. There is no cure for alcoholism but it can be managed with treatment
There are three types of oral medications for alcoholism:
Disulifiram– Antibuse -discourages drinking
Naltrexone– Depade or ReVia (Vivitrol is now available in an injectable form) – Acts in the brain to reduce
Acamprosate- (Camprel) Reduces symptoms of anxiety and insomnia associated with lengthy abstinence
Alcohol depresses the central nervous system and causes sedation. It lowers inhibitions, affects thoughts, emotions,
and judgment. An overdose of alcohol can lead to coma and death.
Severe health concerns are as follows:
Hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, gastritis, malnutrition, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, stroke, heart
failure, sudden death, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, loss of menstruation, birth defects, bone loss, and dementia.
Alcohol is now known as a human carcinogen and is related to cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus.
Woman who drink 3 or more alcoholic beverages a day are 30% more likely to develop breast cancer.
Slang name: booze
Blood alcohol levels:
.02-.03– slight intensified mood
05-.06– feeling of warmth, relaxation, mild sedation, exaggeration of emotion and behavior, slight decrease in
reaction time, impaired judgment about continuing to drink
.07-.09– Speech impairment and disturbance of balance and motor coordination, feelings of elation or depression, increased confidence, may not recognize impairment
.08– legal definition of intoxication
.11-.12– Coordination and balance difficult, distinct impairment of mental faculties and judgment
.14-.15– Major impairment of mental and physical control, slurred speech, blurred vision, lack of motor skills
.20– Loss of motor control, must have assistance moving about, mental confusion
.30– Severe intoxication, minimal conscious control of mind and body
.30-.60– This level has been measured in people who have died of alcohol intoxication