Alcohol Dependency Essay Research Paper Alcohol DependencyDependence

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Alcohol Dependency Essay, Research Paper Alcohol Dependency Dependence is defined as a cluster of three or more existing criteria according to the DSM-IV for alcohol dependency over a period of 12 months. According to Riley, substance abuse is commonly referred to as an addiction. These terms are often used interchangeably. Dependency occurs over time and is usually taken in excessive quantities causing harm to the individual (Riley, 1998). There is no known cause for alcohol dependency. However, there are contributing factors to the etiology of alcohol dependence. These factors are age, gender, cultural differences, depression, and schizoid personality traits. The DSM-IV states, “low educational level, unemployment, and lower socioeconomic status are associated with

dependency, although it is often difficult to separate cause from effect” (DSM-IV, 1994, p. 201). Alcohol is more common in males than females with a 5:1 ratio. The reason for the high ratio is because females have a tendency to drink later on in life due to the increase of stressors. There is a link between familial history increasing the risk for alcohol dependency, as well as, a genetic predisposition (DSM-IV, 1994). Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia accompany alcohol dependency along with suicidal ideation. According to the DSM-IV the prognosis for individuals with alcohol dependency is promising. “Follow up studies indicate that highly functioning individuals show a higher than 65 percent 1 year abstinence rate following rehabilitation. Twenty percent or

greater of individuals with alcohol dependency achieve sobriety without current treatment” (DSM-IV, 1994, p. 202-3). Most individuals demonstrate self control and are able to actively participate regularly in daily activities. Individuals with alcohol dependency slowly increase their social and vocational roles with the aid of treatment (Reed, 1991). The enzyme acetaldehyde accumulates in the blood with any consumption of alcohol. Most treatments involve the use of Disulfiram, also known as Antabuse. It is an inhibitor of the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase which with a single drink causes a toxic reaction. This drug should not be administered until 24 hours after the individual’s last drink. Several side affects could occur if one ingests alcohol while being treated with

Antabuse. Physicians should caution patients of affects. According to Kaplan and Sadock, this drug can increase psychotic symptoms in some patients with schizophrenia in the absence of alcohol. The drug Naltrexone aids in decreasing one’s craving for alcohol. The recommended dosage for this drug is one dose daily. Its primary goal is to promote abstinence by preventing relapses and decrease alcohol consumption in individuals (Kaplan & Sadock, 1998). Anti-anxiety agents and antidepressants have been used as treatments for those symptoms associated with alcohol. However, there is rising attention to the use of psycho active drugs in order to control alcohol cravings (Kaplan & Sadock, 1998). Alcohol related disorders, such as, alcohol dependency can be accompanied by a

number of other disorders: mood disorder, anxiety disorder, sexual dysfunction and sleep disorder which are all alcohol induced. According to Kaplan and Sadock, Lithium has shown to reduce mood cycles in manic-depression as well as an individual’s desire to consume alcohol. Research is still underway to confirm the link between the two. The reduction of alcohol cravings is also being researched and validated with the use of serotonin specific re-uptake inhibitors or Tranzone (Desyrel) (Kaplan & Sadock, 1998). Precautions should be taken when working with an individual with alcohol dependency. The foremost important precaution, however, is to observe drinking behavior for relapses. Looking into the environment, whether it be at the individual’s work or home should be