The Relationship between Alcohol Dependence And Drug Dependence

The signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence is barbiturate intoxication,as are the signs and symptoms of absti­nence of these drugs.In addition, barbiturates will suppress the effects of alcohol withdrawal, and alcohol will suppress, at least partially, the symptoms of barbiturate with­drawal.

Drug dependence of the alcohol-type may be said to exist when the consump­tion of alcohol by individuals exceeds the limits that are valid in their culture, if they consume alcohol at times that are deemed inappropriate within that culture, or if their intake of alcohol be­comes so great as to injure their health or impair their social relationships.

Since the use of alcoholic beverages is a relatively normal part of the cul­tures of many countries, dependence on alcohol is usually apparent as an exag­geration of culturally accepted drinking patterns.

The manifestations of dependence vary accordingly, depending on how the particular society views the use of alco­hol.Psychological dependence on alcohol occurs in all degrees. In the mildest grade, alcohol is missed or desired if not available at meals or at social func­tions.A moderate degree of psychological dependence exists when the individual feels compelled to drink in order to work or to participate socially and takes steps to ensure a supply of alcohol for these purposes.

The Role Of Alcohol Dependence In Medicine You Must Know

 

Strong dependence is present when amounts are consumed that far exceed the cultural norm, drinking takes place in situations that culturally do not call for it and the person is obsessed with maintaining a supply of alcohol, even to the extent of drinking unusual or poi­sonous mixtures.Tolerance to alcohol does develop. During continuous drinking, there is a slight but definite increase in the amount of ingested alcohol required to maintain a given blood level.In addition, some physiological adap­tation occurs so that the alcoholic ap­pears less intoxicated and is less im­paired in performance tests at a given concentration of blood alcohol than is a non-alcoholic.

Characteristics

The characteristics of drug dependence of the alcohol-type are:

  • Psychological dependence, varying in degree from mild to intense.
  • The development of a definite physi­cal dependence that can, however, generally be detected only after the consumption of amounts consider­ably above the usual socially accept­able levels.

Following the reduction of intake be­low a critical level, characteristic with­drawal symptoms occur that can be largely suppressed by the administration of a barbiturate-like agent.

  • The development of tolerance that is irregular and incomplete, so that there is a considerable persistence of disturbances in behavior dependent on the drug effects of the alcohol.
  • A frequent consequence of alcohol­ism is physical illness, particularly of the liver.

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