How Alcohol Addiction Epidemic Hits the United Kingdom

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Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide and is responsible for many deaths each year in UK. The epidemic of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) has been growing at an alarming rate over the last decade.

Alcoholism is defined as a pattern of heavy drinking leading to physical dependence and/or psychological problems. It can be caused by genetic or environmental factors, but usually, both are involved.

This article will review some basic facts about this serious problem in the United Kingdom. It will also discuss how it differs from other addictions and what treatment options exist.

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How Alcoholism Affects Our Bodies

The brain controls all of our body functions – including our emotions and behaviour. When we drink alcohol, it enters the bloodstream and goes directly to the brain. If you consume more than your body’s ability to break down, alcohol will build up in your blood.

Over time, this leads to changes within the brain as well as in organs throughout the body such as the liver and pancreas. Eventually, these effects manifest themselves in the form of symptoms associated with alcoholism.

There are several different types of symptoms experienced by individuals who abuse alcohol. Some may experience one symptom while others may have a combination of them.

One of them is fatigue – a feeling tired, lacking energy, and feeling sluggish. Other common symptoms include changes in appetite, memory loss, difficulty sleeping, irritability, anxiety, and depression. In severe cases, there may even be hallucinations.

In addition to physical symptoms, alcoholics often experience emotional ones as well. They may feel depressed, anxious, guilty, ashamed, or angry. Symptoms like these can cause additional problems because they affect their relationships with family members and friends.

Related:5 Effective Ways to Prevent Relapse After a Drug and Alcohol at Home 

Treatment Options for Alcoholism

If you think you might have a problem with alcohol, you should seek help immediately. There are several ways to treat alcoholism. Most importantly, you must recognise that you need help. Once you do so, the next step is to find out if there is a professional organization near where you live that deals specifically with alcohol abuse. 

Detoxification, as a whole, is a series of cleansing procedures that aim to remove toxins from the body. These procedures can take place either through a medically supervised withdrawal method or on one’s own, though the latter option is not recommended unless under the guidance of a qualified healthcare provider.

If you are looking for a secure way to detox at home, services such as UK Home Detox can provide you with the needed supervision and medical assistance while you cleanse your body away from prying eyes.

Related: How Using CBD help Decrease Alcohol Drinking

How many people in UK are addicted to alcohol?

Over 7.5 million people in the United Kingdom show signs of alcohol dependence, according to NHS figures. For them, drinking alcohol is an important, or maybe the most important, part of their day, with many feeling unable to function properly without it.

Currently, data shows that in the United Kingdom the alcohol epidemic has reached crisis levels, with nearly two million adults affected by alcohol use disorders. According to the National Health Service, around £4 billion is spent every year on treating alcohol-related illnesses. In 2016 alone, the NHS reported that 10% of its patients were admitted due to alcohol-related conditions.

However, it seems that there is no easy solution to this issue. Many studies show that most people who suffer from alcohol addiction cannot get rid of the habit without professional intervention. If you are among those who wish to kick the habit, then you need to make sure that you choose the best treatment center available today.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Acute Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AAWS) is a condition that occurs when someone stops drinking suddenly without any preparation. During this period, the individual experiences extreme mental and physical discomfort.

For example, one might become;

      • agitated,
      • restless,
      • confused,
      • disoriented, and
      • suffer from nausea.

One could also experience muscle cramps, vomiting, seizures, delirium tremens, and hallucinations.

Delirium Tremens (DTs) is an acute psychiatric disorder that involves a sudden onset of confusion, agitation, restlessness, delusions, and hallucinations. DTs usually develop during alcohol withdrawal but can occur after the person has stopped drinking for some time. The most dangerous aspect of DTs is that it can lead to death. This is why DTs require immediate treatment.

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AAWS is very similar to DTs, except that DTs only last 24 hours and AAWS can last up to 10 days. Atypical Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome sometimes called “craving syndrome”, includes intense cravings for alcohol, insomnia, and other symptoms. Unlike the other two conditions, it does not require a person to stop drinking abruptly.

Instead, it refers to the continuous presence of symptoms even after a person has stopped drinking. People who experience AAWS are likely to continue drinking once they begin experiencing the symptoms.

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Other symptoms may include nausea, changes in appetite, sleep changes, headaches, nervousness and more. If you are suffering from the effects of alcohol abuse, regardless of your reasons to drink, you may want to contact a hotline, your GP, or a private addiction treatment provider to ask for guidance.

While it may seem like a scary endeavor, healing will bring you more benefits than staying under the influence. Moreover, it will help you heal your relationships with your loved ones and regain control over every aspect of your life.

Related: Top 8 Uses of Creative Therapy for Alcohol Addiction Rehabilitation

Last Verdict 

Alcohol consumption has really affected our lives as it causes high blood pressure, which increases our risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It also weakens heart muscles, which can affect the lungs, liver, brain, and other body systems, and also cause heart failure. 

It negatively impacts our society, including the loss of workplace productivity. Healthcare costs, crime and law enforcement, as well as motor vehicle crashes are also among the top alcohol-related expenses.

Alcohol addiction is a social issue in most nations Despite the permissive attitude of our society promoting the use of alcohol in a wide variety of ways.  It causes social stigma. Addictive alcohol abuse often arises from an acquired habit of drinking to reduce conflict and tension.