Statement on alcohol|Alcohol abuse

Alcohol is amongst the 5 most important disease factors in the industrialised countries. One in 5 people between the ages of 18 and 64 have a problem with alcohol. 74,000 deaths per year are due to alcohol-related health problems in Germany.

  • 6.2% of men die due to alcohol abuse
  • Between the ages of 15 to 29 years it is 9% of deaths!

Alcohol is the 2nd biggest cause of mortality after tobacco.

In the state of Bavaria alone, the annual cost of health and social care for alcohol abuse is €3 billion. This also includes accidents at work, breakdowns in the workplace, car accidents, premature retirement, divorce and health care costs.

  • The increase in the percentage of young people is alarming. As the statistic above shows, Germany is the 2nd highest in Europe for this!

Alcoholism

Alcoholism (also called alcohol dependence, ethylism, dipsomania, polydipsia, drunkenness, alcohol addiction or alcoholism) is the dependence on the psychotropic substance of potable alcohol. The procurement and consumption of alcohol increasingly define the addict's life. Continuing loss of control of drinking behaviour is typical, up to compulsive consumption, neglect of earlier interests in favour of drinking, denying addictive behaviour, withdrawal symptoms in the case of reduced consumption, tolerance to alcohol ("ability to hold your drink") [1] and changes in personality. [2]

The diagnosis systems ICD-10 and DSM-IV differentiate between alcohol dependence syndrome (F10.2 and/or 303.90) and harmful use of alcohol / alcohol abuse (F10.1 and/or 305.00). The latter – as a weaker variant of abuse behaviour – describes alcohol consumption with a demonstrably harmful effect (physical or mental), without dependence being present.

The number of people who suffer from alcoholism, and the social and economic damages caused as a result of this, are higher many times over in absolute numbers in Europe and the USA -–alongside the damage to health caused by tobacco consumption – than with other, illegal drugs. 7.4% of health problems and premature cases of death in Europe are traced back to alcohol. Therefore, the illness is in third place as the 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.

» continued on Wikipedia (alcoholism)

Source: Wikipedia

Alcohol addiction and the consequences

Social consequences

If alcohol defines your life, then your circle of friends will be divided into people who drink with you and people who don't drink with you.

Men sometimes form intensive and supportive friendships with drinking mates. However, life is risky for drinking women. A drinking woman is an easy target for men, an available object and frequently the victim of sexual violence.

The extent of suffering in families, where the father or mother drinks, is considerable. Physical and mental violence towards women and children, abuse, neglect and isolation. Uncertainty and inconsistent behaviour damage the development of children. A child from a family with an alcoholic parent has approx. a 8-10 times higher risk of becoming an alcoholic themselves.

Childhood experiences with alcoholic parents

  • Agreements are not kept
  • The social life of the family is destroyed, no friends, no invitations, no celebrations
  • The children are frequently left to their own devices
  • Children who have to take care of their parents, and pick them up from the pub and put them to bed
  • Children who lie for their parents
  • Children who are afraid of their parents losing their job.
  • Children who are afraid of losing their parents, the parents becoming injured, accidents, falling downstairs, etc.
  • Children who take on the upbringing of their younger siblings due to lack of upbringing by their parents
  • Children who do the housework and neglect their own school education, to the point of a drop in performance and premature school leaving

Partner problems

  • Violence in the relationship
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Keeping the situation a secret
  • Overcompensation and trying to preserve the family with all their strength
  • Social decline: Unemployment, illness and isolation

Subsequent illnesses in the case of excessive alcohol consumption

The following illnesses occur in the case of alcoholism and could cause people to take notice with regards to the severity of alcohol consumption:

  • Oesophagus inflammation with burning behind the breastbone, vomiting blood and difficulties swallowing
  • Mallory-Weiss syndrome, nausea and vomiting food and drinks with vomiting blood
  • Oesophagus varicose veins, vomiting dark red blood, haematin or blood clots, tarry stools, haemorrhagic shock, nausea from the feeling in the abdomen
  • Gastritis, chronic stomach upset, abdominal complaints, nausea, vomiting, tarry stools, circulatory shock
  • Disturbance in food intake in the gastrointestinal tract, intestinal resorption disorder, diarrhoea, stomach pains, disturbances in electrolytes, vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency
  • Fatty liver with feeling of pressure in the abdomen, feeling of fullness, metabolism, liver inflammation, fever, jaundice, nausea, vomiting
     

Late indications of alcoholism:

  • Liver cirrhosis with enlargement of the liver and spleen, jaundice, signs of liver disease in the skin, spider naevi, palmar erythema, Dupuytren's contracture, stomach baldness, gynecomastia, ascites
  • Acute pancreatitis, belt-shaped abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, circulatory weakness
  • Chronic pancreatic inflammation, weight loss, poor performance, recurrent stomach pains and fatty stools
  • High blood pressure
  • Myocardial weakness with heart enlargement, ECG changes and myocardial disorder