When some are happy and want to have fun, others prefer alcohol to accompany them somehow when they are alone. Just like this diversity in use, how individuals are affected by alcohol also varies greatly. At the opposite end of the level that is accepted as a social drinker, we can encounter a much more opposite situation defined as alcohol use disorder. So what is alcohol use disorder? “How much do we drink we are considered alcoholics?” We seem to hear your questions. Before answering these questions, it is necessary to address the effects of alcohol on the body.
Short-Term Effects of Alcohol
After alcohol is swallowed, it reaches the stomach and is metabolized by enzymes. Most of it goes to the small intestine and mixes with the blood. It is then primarily dissolved in the liver and the majority of this amount is transferred to the bloodstream. However, these situations are not the main causes of behavioral differentiation. When we look at the short-term effects of alcohol on the brain that cause behavioral changes; Alcohol stimulates the neurotransmitter GABA, which acts as a tension inhibitor. Thus, tension is reduced and relaxation occurs. In addition, alcohol causes an increase in serotonin and dopamine levels, which are thought to be associated with pleasure and pleasure. In this direction, when alcohol is consumed, pleasure and happiness emerge.
Long-Term Effects of Alcohol
Alcohol abuse has negative effects on almost many organs in the long run. All these negative conditions, from nutritional disorders to memory disorders, from cirrhosis to weakening of the heart, from erectile dysfunction to hypertension, may be the result of the effects of alcohol abuse. After all these effects, it will be useful to learn about the symptoms of alcohol addiction that occurs as a result of alcohol abuse.
The addiction dimension should be considered when alcohol use causes a decrease in functionality and significant distress in individuals. Apart from this, people who have developed alcohol dependence may consume alcohol much more than desired, may make unsuccessful efforts to quit alcohol, spend most of their time to obtain alcohol, and most importantly, may have a great desire to use alcohol. It should be noted that these symptoms are only a few of the DSM 5 diagnostic criteria. If you are wondering why these symptoms do not occur in everyone, you are with us. So, let’s continue to read the factors that cause the symptoms together.
Genetic, Psychological and Environmental Factors
Made works; showed that genetics, personality traits and environmental factors have a great influence on alcohol dependence. When genetic studies are examined, it has been shown that addiction develops more in the children of those who use alcohol and substances compared to the children of those who do not use alcohol and drugs. In addition, according to twin studies, which is one of the most important genetic studies, it has been observed that alcohol use disorder is higher in identical twins than in fraternal twins. However, these studies should not make us forget that genes do their work together with the environment.
Psychological factors can be summarized as mood, personality and expectations from alcohol. Substance and alcohol use is mostly preferred to get away from negative mood. Individuals frequently use alcohol during the stressful events they experience. A person who has had a problem at work may find himself at home with alcohol in the evening. However, it is a fact that the stress experienced does not decrease with alcohol. But why do people persistently resort to alcohol in such situations? The answer to this question reveals the expectations of individuals from alcohol. In fact, people prefer to drink alcohol not because it relieves their tension, but because they hope so.
Personality traits, on the other hand, can be helpful in understanding why some people are addicted and some people stay away from alcohol and drugs. In one study, they investigated the personality traits of participants aged 17 and then 20 to predict substance use disorder in 1000 boys and girls. The results of the study showed that low self-suppression and high negative emotionality were associated with starting alcohol and substance use in both boys and girls.
All these studies provide many benefits to our understanding of alcohol abuse and alcohol use disorder. However, it should not be perceived that alcohol, which has been used very actively from the past to the present, is completely harmful, and studies show that it is beneficial. To conclude as a summary of the day; Alcohol, like many other things, can be positive when consumed in moderation. However, considering its highly addictive effect, it is useful to be careful. Stay healthy…