Alcoholism is a disease which supposes alcohol abuse by the quantity, the habit and the great physical and mental dependence. We distinguish: training alcoholism, alcoholic neuroses and, more rarely, intermittent and compulsive alcoholism.

Training alcoholism:

It is most often male, although it currently tends to increase in women.

It often begins in adolescence, is not accompanied by any feeling of guilt, nor, in general, by disorders of sexuality; socially well accepted, it is highly rationalized. It stops senescence either spontaneously, or by hepato-digestive intolerance or delirium. We often find alcoholic ancestors.

Alcoholic neuroses:

They lead to drug addiction, solitary and charged with guilt. They appear later and are accompanied by family conflicts, sexual and behavioral disorders. They can progress to psychotic states. We often find neurosis or psychosis in a parent.

Compulsive alcoholism

It responds to strong and uncontrollable impulses. He is intermittent and very guilty.

No particular family inheritance is at the origin of this disease. Very often, it is declared late, its evolution can tend towards alcoholic neurosis.

Depending on the type of alcoholic behavior, we find: a particular sensitivity of the nervous system favoring dependence, intolerance to frustration, with impulsive behaviors, depressive and anxious tendencies, little capacity for introspection, a weak paternal image or on the contrary overwhelming, an ambivalent mother sometimes rejecting, sometimes overprotective. Although these character traits are frequently found, they do not allow us to speak of "alcoholic personality".

The care is provided by the general practitioner with the support of specialized structures. All therapy must begin with patient awareness; if the patient is a dependent drinker, he will have to be helped to stop drinking completely. This requires regular contact and at times the prescription of tranquilizers or anti-depressants. It is necessary to verify that the patient does not substitute alcohol for another toxic, even medicated.

Detoxification cures are sometimes necessary but not sufficient. They must be accompanied and followed by psychotherapy.

The groups of former drinkers provide irreplaceable help to alcoholics and their families. They allow drinkers to recognize themselves as alcoholics, to lose their guilt, to regain their dignity and to restructure themselves by identifying themselves with former drinkers who have become abstinent. families, less isolated, will regain hope and experience support that will allow them to help the alcoholic patient.

Alcoholism is neither inevitable nor incurable. It is not the preserve of a social class. Prevention is educational. It must relate to the agent (alcohol), the drinker or future drinker and the social context.

Copyright : Par Frédéric Christol — Domaine public

Bibliography : Psychopathologie des Conduites Addictives : Alcoolisme et Toxicomanie de Isabelle Varescon 

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