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The Causes and Consequences of a Person who Cannot Stop Drinking


An occasional drink or two can sometimes lead to drinking more often, and can also lead to the early signs of an alcohol problem. For someone who cannot stop drinking, the continued intake of alcohol progresses to the display of the symptoms of alcohol abuse. If not treated, the person may then become alcohol-dependent.

Although the exact reasons why some people just cannot stop drinking are not fully established, there is growing evidence that points to genetic and biological predispositions for this disease. However, this research is still controversial. Most alcoholics would volunteer a variety of factors that contribute to the development of an alcohol problem. They claim that the substance is a remedy to help them to forget about physical and emotional pain, abuse, stress or peer pressure.

Dependence on alcohol gradually occurs as more of it is taken. At some point in time during alcohol abuse, the balance of some chemicals in the brain, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which inhibits impulsiveness, and glutamate which excites the nervous system, are altered. It also raises the levels of dopamine in the brain, which is associated with the pleasurable aspects of drinking alcohol. As these alterations occur, it causes the body to crave for the substance in order to restore good feelings or to avoid negative feelings.

Personal problems are not the only issues that a person who cannot stop drinking faces. Dependency on alcohol also leads to financial problems, as alcoholics prioritize alcohol and alcoholic substances more than other necessities. It leads to social problems, since an alcoholic tends to give up important social, occupational or recreational activities. And more importantly, it leads to serious health problems that damage the liver, nervous system, heart and brain.



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FEATURED ARTICLES
August 13,2009

Symptoms
Alcohol problem symptoms are of varying degrees. Family members usually can tell if a loved one is having drinking problems from its early signs. If the person continues drinking, he or she may develop signs of alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
Effects
The effects of alcohol problems depend on the severity of a person's alcohol use. Alcoholism may take its toll on a person's physical, mental and social health, and may even result in death.
Help
The alcohol problem in America is more serious than most of us realize. Based on a recent study, millions of Americans were found to be using alcohol and drugs to gain comfort and temporarily escape their stressful conditions. While alcohol is not the sole "pain-killer" in the US today, it remains the most accessible and legal means of escape.