Alcohol addiction follows 4 basic characteristics.
The urge to repeat the process of getting high on alcohol can be quite overwhelming, and can sometimes be stronger than the person’s will power, in spite of the full awareness of the risks
The urge to satisfy the craving for alcohol becomes the number one priority in the addict’s life, eventually becoming greater than any of the other needs of the body, including hunger, sexual needs, and even survival
Any emotional high or low can trigger the desire to drink, making it inextricably linked with almost every aspect of life
No matter how long a person has been sober, the risk of falling back into the habit is always there. An alcohol-abusing person can never be cured of his habit, but can only learn to control it.
The tolerance for alcohol increases over continued consumption, which leads the person to assume that he can now drink more. It also leads to him drinking more to achieve the same high. Over a period of time, with regular use of alcohol, the liver might eventually get damaged. This manifests itself as a reverse tolerance where the body’s tolerance appears to go down. This is a sign of an advanced stage of alcoholism.
First stage Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are::
- Sleep disturbance
- Irritability, anxiety and restlessness
- Tremors or Morning Shakes
- Physical weakness accompanied by a rapid heart rate
- Mental sluggishness
- Difficulty in thinking
If the person was not a heavy drinker or severely addicted, these symptoms clear up on their own after a period of abstinence. Second stage withdrawal can bring convulsions where the person experiences seizures after 12-48 hours of the last drink, unconsciousness and body control.
Third stage symptoms can be alcoholic hallucinates and delirium tremens. There may be a chance of death at this stage of withdrawal, without medical supervision.