Statement on alcohol|Alcohol abuse

Alcohol is amongst the 5 most important disease factors in industrialized countries. One in 5 people between 18 and 64 has a drinking problem. In Germany, 74,000 deaths per year are attributable to alcohol-related health problems.

  • 6.2% of men die of alcohol abuse
  • 9% of people between 15 and 29 die of alcohol abuse

After tobacco, alcohol is the second cause of mortality.

In Bavaria, the annual costs of health and social care for alcohol abuse is €3 billion. This also includes accidents at work, absenteeism, car accidents, premature pension, divorces and health care costs.

  • The increase in percentage of young people is alarming. As shown in the statistics, Germany is in second place in Europe!

Alcoholism

Alcoholism (also called alcohol dependence, ethylism, dipsomania, potomania, drunkenness or alcohol addiction) is the dependence on the psychotropic substance of ethyl alcohol. The procurement and consumption of alcohol determine the addict's life. Typical signs are: Progressive loss of control over the drinking behavior up to compulsive consumption, neglect of former interests in favor of drinking, denying addictive behavior, withdrawal symptoms in the case of reduced consumption, tolerance to alcohol (ability to drink large amount of alcohol)[1] as well as changes in personality.[2]

The classification systems ICD-10 and DSM-IV differentiate between alcohol dependence (F10.2 or 303.90) and alcohol abuse (F10.1 or 305.00). The latter describes alcohol consumption as a weaker variant of alcohol abuse with a demonstrably harmful effect (physically or mentally) without an addiction.

The number of people suffering from alcoholism and the social and economic consequences caused by this are much higher than with other, illegal drugs – besides health damage caused by tobacco consumption – in absolute figures in Europe and the USA. 7.4% of health problems and cases of premature death in Europe are attributed to alcohol. Therefore, alcoholism is the third most common cause of premature death after tobacco consumption and high blood pressure. It is also the most frequent cause of death in young men in the EU.

» continue on Wikipedia (Alcoholism)

Source: Wikipedia

Alcohol addiction and the consequences

Social consequences

If alcohol defines your life, you divide your circle of friends into friends who drink with you and friends who don't drink with you.

Men sometimes have intensive and supportive friendships with drinking mates. For women, however, drinking is risky. A drinking woman often is an easy target and an available object for men as well as the victim of sexual violence.

The extent of suffering in families in which the father or the mother drinks is considerable. Physical and psychological violence against women and children, abuse, neglect and isolation. Insecurity and inconsistent behavior are harmful to the development of children. A child from a family with an alcoholic parent has an 8–10 times higher risk of becoming an alcoholic themselves.

Childhood experiences with alcoholic parents

  • Engagements are broken
  • The social life of the family is destroyed, no friends, no invitations, no celebrations
  • The children are often left to their own devices
  • Children who have to take care of their parents, pick them up from bars and put them to bed
  • Children who lie for their parents
  • Children who are afraid of their parents losing their jobs
  • Children who are afraid of losing their parents, injuries, accidents, falling downstairs, etc.
  • Children who are responsible for the upbringing of their younger siblings due to lack of upbringing by their parents
  • Children who do the chores and therefore neglected school to the point of a drop in performance and early school leaving

Relationship problems

  • Violence in the relationship
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Concealment of the situation
  • Overcompensation and trying to maintain the family at all costs
  • Social relegation: Unemployment, illness and isolation

Sequelae with excessive alcohol consumption

The following illnesses occur with alcoholism and could make people sit up and take notice with regard to the severity of alcohol consumption:

  • Inflammation of the esophagus with burning behind the sternum, hematemesis and impaired ability to swallow
  • Mallory-Weiss syndrome, nausea and vomiting of food and drinks with hematemesis
  • Esophagus varicosities, vomiting of dark red blood, hematin or blood clots, tarry stools, hemorrhagic shock, nausea from feeling in the upper abdomen
  • Gastritis, chronic gastritis, upper abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, tarry stools, circulatory shock
  • Impaired food intake in the gastro-intestinal tract, intestinal absorption disorder, diarrhea, abdominal pain, electrolyte disorder, vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency
  • Fatty liver with feeling of pressure in the upper abdomen, abdominal fullness, metabolism, hepatic inflammation, fever, jaundice, nausea, vomiting

 
Late symptoms of alcoholism:

  • Liver cirrhosis with enlargement of the liver and the spleen, jaundice, signs of liver disease in the skin, spider nevi, palmar erythema, Dupuytren's contracture, abdominal alopecia, gynecomastia, ascites
  • Acute pancreatitis, girdle-shaped pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting, circulatory insufficiency
  • Chronic pancreatitis, weight loss, drop in performance, recurring abdominal pain and fatty stools
  • High blood pressure
  • Myocardial insufficiency with cardiac enlargement, ECG changes and myocardial disorder