What is it?

alcoholism, alcohol abuse, alcohol use disorder or alcohol dependence disorder, is the condition of alcohol drinking leading to harmful effects and consequences and the inability to stop drinking despite them.
Excessive alcohol use can damage all organ systems, but it particularly affects the brain, heart, liver,pancreas and immune system.

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Signs & symptoms

signs and symptoms of alcoholism include:
* acute alcohol intoxication symptoms - euphoria, increased self-confidence, impaired judgement, balance problems, blurred vision, confusion, slurred speech, dizziness and vomiting.
* dependency - strong urge to drink alcohol,  preoccupation with drinking to the exclusion of other activities, promises to quit drinking and failure to keep those promises etc.
* Deterioration in personal or professional aspects - decreased appetite, neglecting personal hygiene, missing work or school, giving up social activities and more. 
* Tolerance – a higher amount of alcohol is needed to reach the same effect
* withdrawal symptoms when not drinking including nausea, anxiety, confusion, shaking, hallucinations, and even seizures and death.
* mental health problems including cognitive problems, anxiety and depression, psychosis and dementia
* other health problems including liver disease, heart disease, and more.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made primarily via questioning and may include psychiatric assessment.
Additional tests may include blood tests to measure alcohol levels in the blood or to evaluate other health problems associated with alcoholism, such as liver disease.

Treatment

treatment may include:
detoxification - stop of alcohol drinking
medications to help control addiction and withdrawal symptoms
psychological therapy and/or group therapy
medical treatment for other health problems associated with alcohol consumption

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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