The Global Burden of Alcoholism

What starts to be a curiosity can lead to a bad habit that can be very hard to break. Most drug addicts become what they are because of peer pressure and the promise of feeling “free” and “happy”. This “free” and “happy”, once experienced, especially by those people who are stressed and problematic, becomes a fantasy world that they would like to come back to over and over again. Unfortunately, once you increase your intake of drugs, the more you become dependent on it, the more you would want more of it. Furthermore, enjoying this fantasy world prevents addicts from realizing that they have a problem and that they are declining fast.

A few statistical facts about alcoholismalcoholism

– The WHO estimated that alcohol consumption had accounted for about 5.9% of all global deaths in the year 2012. The majority of the victims were men.

– Alcohol consumption accounts for about 5.1% of the disease burden, primarily in the form of liver cirrhosis, heart disease, and cancer.

– Alcohol misuse is the fifth reason for premature deaths and disabilities worldwide.

Effects of alcoholism

Dependence on alcohol has many effects on an individual. Socially, it may strain relationship with your family and friends. Your behavior can change for the worse, making you a cause of lots of problems and misunderstandings. Physically, too much alcohol consumption will have harmful effects on your body and lead to the decline of your health. Financially, being dependent on alcohol often lead men to spend much of their income on it and neglect other necessary expenses.


There are a few general ways to treat alcoholism, and not all of them are applicable to every individual. However, best results usually come out of a combination of those ways.

Detoxification: This measure suits more for those who are at the early stages of alcoholism. Remember, that you should do this with the proper medical aid. Sudden withdrawal from alcohol can have adverse effects on your body that may be unbearable and quite harmful. Seizures and hallucinations are just a few of them.

Medication: Like in the case of any drug addiction, the first step to treating alcohol dependence is withdrawal with medical assistance. Medications like Disulfiram, Naltrexone, and Acamprosate are generally prescribed to deal with any side effects as well as to diminish any cravings.

Behavioral therapy: Most drug addicts need the support and intervention of family and friends to make them seek treatment. This should not focus just on medicated ways, but also on behavioral therapy to ensure a permanent effect. Long-term drug abuse can cause harm to the victim’s personality, which requires proper psychological treatment.

Counseling is also a part of the treatment plan to help patients have a better understanding of how to prevent a relapse. Most of the time, patients are required to stay inside a facility so that their daily activities and behavioral therapy are monitored. Once they pass the assessment, they can be released and only required to attend regular counseling.