Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, periodically escalating disease characterized by:
- Increased tolerance of alcoholic beverages – over time, more and more doses of alcohol are required to achieve intoxication.
- Development of a hangover syndrome. This condition develops after a person abruptly stops or significantly decreases the amount of alcohol consumed. Hangover can manifest as insomnia, anxiety, depressed mood, restlessness, sweating, tremors, headache, sensitivity to light, sound, and smell; in severe cases, it may lead to a psychosis with hallucinations, delusions, and disorientation. All of the above symptoms disappear after taking another dose of alcohol, thus forming a vicious circle.
- Loss of control over the amount or frequency of drinking.
- Multiple unsuccessful attempts to limit alcohol consumption.
- A considerable amount of time is spent on purchasing, actually using, and recovering after use.
- The emergence of problems with the law, in personal life, and professional activity due to drunkenness.
- Continuing to drink despite full understanding of the negative consequences of alcoholism.
- Feelings of guilt and regret caused by alcohol consumption.
- Irritation caused by condemnation of alcohol consumption by others.
Alcohol consumption causes a significant, all-round deterioration of physical and mental health.