WHAT IS ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE AND ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION ?

WHAT IS ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE AND ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION ?

In common parlance, excessive, repeated and uncontrollable consumption of alcoholic beverages is most often referred to as “alcoholism”. However, the lack of precision of this term has led the World Health Organization (WHO) to propose a more precise term, “alcohol dependence”, which highlights the addictive nature of alcohol and the parallel that exists with alcohol. other addiction disorders ( dependence on opium derivatives, gambling, sex, etc.). Alcohol dependence is an addiction to alcohol in the form of more or less “strong” drinks.

Repeated consumption of alcoholic beverages can take different forms depending on the rate of consumption and the amount of alcohol ingested. There are various degrees of severity ranging from abstinence (no alcohol intake ) to proven dependence , along a continuum of intensity.

WHAT IS RISKY ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION?

There is no safe alcohol consumption, but more or less high risk consumption. We speak of consumption of alcoholic beverages ” at risk ” when the quantity of alcohol ingested and the frequency of intake is such that, if this behavior persists over a prolonged period, physical, psychological and social complications will inevitably arise.

These same experts recommend having days in the week without drinking and, for each occasion of consumption:

  • reduce the total amount of alcohol drunk on each occasion,
  • to drink slowly, while eating and alternating with water,
  • avoid places and activities at risk of excessive alcohol consumption ,
  • to make sure that you are surrounded by people you trust and that you can return home safely after consuming alcohol

WHAT IS ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE?

Alcohol dependence (or alcoholism) is an addiction to alcohol which has harmful consequences on health, social life and emotional life . In USA, it is estimated that around 1.5 million people are alcohol-dependent and that 2.5 million people have risky drinking. The addiction to alcohol is more often men: 14% of men against 5% of the female population. Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible, according to sources, for 33,000 to 49,000 deaths per year in USA.

According to the WHO, alcohol dependence is proven when the consumption of alcoholic beverages becomes a priority over other behaviors previously predominant in a person. The desire to drink alcohol becomes unmanageable and must be satisfied to the detriment of all other considerations. The alcohol becomes an obsession. Its consumption should be continued even when it leads to manifestly problematic consequences. First of all, the drinker develops a tolerance. He must drink ever greater amounts of alcohol to obtain the desired effects. Then the drinker passes to a stage where he can no longer control his consumption. An addiction physical settles down. Stopping alcohol then causes the symptoms lack of (sweating, trembling, dizziness , etc.) that are difficult to bear.

MASSIVE EPISODIC CONSUMPTION (“BINGE DRINKING”)

Some people drink large amounts of alcohol (at least six glasses) in the shortest possible time. This occasional and massive consumption, also called “ binge drinking ” or “ express biture ”, has become frequent among adolescents and young adults. It is particularly dangerous, because it can be responsible for acute intoxication (deliriums) which can lead to death by cardiac arrest.

Recently, a particular form of binge drinking has appeared, ” neknomination “, where teenagers challenge each other by posting videos online where they swallow large amounts of alcohol “dry”.

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