Alcohol is a psychoactive substance that can cause either positive or negative effects on a person’s mind, body, and general well-being. Its consumption can have varying effects, depending on the amount consumed.

For instance, while moderate consumption of alcohol is mostly safe, too much drinking can lead to a condition called alcoholism. This refers to a chronic addiction to alcohol consumption, leading to grave consequences that affects the health.

However, excessive alcohol drinking is only one risk factor for developing alcoholism. Alcoholism is a complex disorder that is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Hence, it’s important to note that heavy drinking does not necessarily lead to alcoholism.


Alcoholism, which is a severe form of alcohol addiction, can affect one’s social, psychological, and physical aspects. Some common signs of alcoholism include neglecting responsibilities at home or work, drinking alone or in secret, and drinking to cope with negative emotions. However, these symptoms can vary from person to person.

Meanwhile, withdrawal from alcohol may cause the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Tremors or shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Hypertension
  • Fever
  • Seizures

For extreme cases, withdrawal from alcohol may cause delirium tremens (DTs), which can be life-threatening and cause:

  • hallucinations
  • confusion
  • seizures

If you or someone you know is experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention.


In order to diagnose alcoholism, the doctor may conduct the following tests in order to assess a person’s drinking habits and/or any related health conditions:

  • physical exam
  • blood tests
  • psychological evaluation

Moreover, your physician may also provide a set of questionnaires in order to identify your alcohol use disorder.


Treatment for alcohol addiction often involves a mix of medical and behavioral interventions. Medications tha can help reduce cravings and prevent any relapse include:

  • naltrexone
  • acamprostate

For severe cases of alcohol addiction, hospitalization may be advised in order to manage symptoms of withdrawal, as well as prevent complications, like delirium tremens.

Meanwhile, behavioral interventions may include:

  • therapy
  • joining support groups

It’s important for individuals struggling with alcoholism to seek help from a medical professional or addiction specialist. With the right treatment and support, recovery from alcoholism is possible.

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