Alcohol dependency syndrome is a serious health problem affecting many people around the world. Alcohol dependence syndrome can develop into alcohol-Related Brain Damage (ARBD) which is described by the Royal College of Psychiatrists as a long-term effect of alcohol abuse that affects the cognitive behavior of an individual (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2013, p. 3). Alcohol dependency results in patients having mental as well as physical health problems such as malnutrition, liver disease, cancer, and other diseases (Slater, et al., 2015). Seeking treatment for alcohol dependence is the only choice for a patient suffering from this condition to be healthy again.
Why Alcohol is a health problem
Alcohol consumption is related to a bunch of diseases such as cancer, liver disease, and malnutrition. According to Lyu, et al. (2017), 5.1% of global illnesses and injuries are related to alcohol dependence, with more than 3.3 million deaths occurring due to causes attributable to alcohol consumption (p. 127). However, chronic alcohol intake results affect the operations of the brains and the nervous system. In teenagers, toxins contained in alcohol affects the brains more than it does to adults (Mccreanor, et al., 2013, p. 114). Alcohol consumption in pregnant mothers is likely to cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) which affects the fetus (Enns & Taylor, 2018, p. 206). Some doctors argue in support of alcohol intake in moderation as a solution to cardiovascular problems while others hold that the demerits outweigh the benefits. According to Lyu, et al., (2017), heavy alcohol consumption can destroy any organ in the body and hence it should be avoided (p. 139).
Impact of Alcohol dependency
Alcohol dependency has various effects on the consumer which range from economic, social, physical, and psychological problems. Alcohol costs money to purchase and also it requires the consumer time that they could use to develop their financial situation (Powrie, et al., 2014, p. 107). Diseases resultant from consumption of alcohol is too costly to treat, same does rehabilitation to help consumers stop (Dwivedi, et al., 2018, p. 25). The economic effect of alcoholism is also felt by the family of the alcohol abuser as more of the budget goes to alcohol reprieving the family of resources.
Socially, alcohol leads to withdrawal of the alcoholic from social relationships. Families are often broken due to misuse of resources and the negative behaviors associated with alcoholism (West, et al., 2014, p. 440). When one becomes alcohol dependent, only other alcohol-dependent persons are comfortable relating with them since most of them are only seeking for alcohol money (Salvi, 2017, p. 874). The psychological effects of alcohol dependence also play a role in making alcoholics antisocial as the alcohol alters their brains.
Solving the problem of alcohol dependency can be done through medication that is provided in hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Detoxication is conducted to remove alcohol toxins from the system of an alcoholic. Literature suggests that a firm will of an alcoholic can cure the addiction but only on rare occasions when this occurs and there is no proper documentation of such statistics. The minimum age to consume alcohol in the United States is 21 years with minors allowed to drink with the consent of spouse or parents (Saylor, 2011, p. 330). The law should restrict alcohol consumption age to 21 for all states including those that currently have lax laws.
Dwivedi, A. K., Chatterjee, K. & Singh, R., 2018. Lifetime alcohol consumption and severity in alcohol dependence syndrome. Industrial Psychiatry Journal , 26(1), pp. 24-38.
Enns, L. N. & Taylor, N. M., 2018. Factors predictive of a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Neuropsychological assessment. Child Neuropsychology., 24(2), pp. 203-225.
Lyu, K. Y., Lee, K. & Bejerano, L., 2017. Factors Related to Internalisation of Stigma for Alcohol Dependence Among Korean Men. Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 45(1), pp. 127-142.
Mccreanor, T. et al., 2013. Youth drinking cultures, social networking and alcohol marketing: implications for public health. Critical Public Health, 23(1), pp. 110-120.
Powrie, I., O’Neill, B., Merrick, J. & Powrie, S., 2014. Dealing with a social externality – alcohol and health. Journal of Wine Research, 14(2), pp. 105-126.
Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2013. Alcohol and Brain Damage in Adults with Reference to High-Risk Groups , London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Salvi, D., 2017. Attitude towards morality in alcohol dependence syndrome with and without family history of alcoholism. Indian Journal of Health and Well-being , 8(8), pp. 872-876.
Saylor, D. K., 2011. Heavy Drinking on College Campuses: No Reason to Change Minimum Legal Drinking Age of 21. Journal of American College Health, 59(4), pp. 330-333.
Slater, M. D., Hayes, A. F. & Chung, A. H., 2015. Injury News Coverage, Relative Concern, and Support for Alcohol-Control Policies: An Impersonal Impact Explanation. Journal of Health Communication, 20(1), pp. 51-59.
West, C., Usher, K. & Clough, A. R., 2014. Study protocol – resilience in individuals and families coping with the impacts of alcohol related injuries in remote indigenous communities: a mixed method study. BMC Public Health, 14(1), pp. 439-451.