is a disease that affects
roughly ten percent of the people in the US, those with ancestry from wet
climate areas of the world.
Since water is plentiful in these regions, there is no shortage of drinking water. The kidneys of people from these areas are adapted to this condition. Their kidneys process water rapidly. Through a process of natural selection, these efficient kidneys are the dominant type most natives from these regions are born with. Wet climate people's kidneys have short Loops of Henley.
Dry climate people's kidneys have long Loops of Henley. Their kidneys retain water, storing it for later use. That is why people from desert climates cannot drink much alcohol. The alcohol remains in their systems, and the kidneys do not process it out of their blood for long periods. If they drink too much and too fast, they essentially poison their body. They usually throw up or fall asleep.
The wet climate people can drink bigger quantities of alcohol and their kidneys process it out quickly. Once the alcohol is out of the system, they can drink again. This can occur within a few hours. These people have a few drinks then go to the restrooms. The alcohol is already processed and the bladder ejects it from the body. They come out practically sober again and can drink another round. The problem of addiction arises because the pattern of alcohol consumption is a process of repetition and habit formation.
Some of the prominent groups of people with this susceptibility are from Ireland, Scandinavia, American Indians, and Africans from equatorial rain forests.
Alcohol addiction is not a psychological disease, therefore it cannot be treated by psychiatric methods. It is not a moral shortcoming, therefore seeking help from a church or pastor can only be of help in advising the addict to seek help .
Telling an addict that alcoholism is related to character, emotional problems or difficulties with family members is totally wrong. And there is no such thing as an addictive personality.
Alcohol addiction is a medical condition, and can only be treated successfully by specialists who understand the nature of the disease and who are not dependent on the alcohol industry for research grants. The alcohol industry contributes generously to major universities for research concerning alcohol consumption and alcohol treatment in an effort to gain the goodwill of the drinking public. Five percent of the people drink fifty percent of the alcohol sold, so the alcohol industry must not only keep these people drinking, they must take care of them also.
Drinking in moderation is an empty phrase for the alcoholic. The individual who is addicted to alcohol needs only one drink. The need to drink more and more to maintain the high is automatic. It is a vicious circle.
The advanced condition of alcohol addiction feels like a fire in the stomach. The only thing that can put out the fire and quench the thirst is one more drink. The relief of the thirst is a transitory sensation. Soon the craving returns and the addict needs one more drink. The repetition of the process is itself what leads to addiction.
Therefore, the treatment for alcohol addiction must start with detoxification. It isn't possible for the addict to give up alcohol by one's own will power. No matter how badly someone wants to quit, if they decide they won't touch another drop they can't do it, because they'll start to shake so bad and go into cramps; they can literally die. This is not the case with other drugs. Alcohol addiction is the worst in this respect. The only way to treat alcohol addiction is to start with the detoxification of the patient in a hospital setting, where the addict is given sleeping pills and kept in a sleepy state for three days. Then the treatment can begin.
The best treatment is through counter conditioning. Aversion therapy also works, but is less popular among patients, since it's somewhat harsher.
The worst treatment is by giving the patient Antabuse. This drug can literally kill the addict if he or she should drink while this drug is in their blood stream.
My advice is for the alcohol addict to seek a hospital that can treat alcohol addiction medically, by starting with detoxification procedures and then a few weeks of counter conditioning treatment.
It's necessary to take drug addiction seriously and not rely only on the AA when the addict is susceptible to a profound level of addiction. As I said at the beginning of this article, ten percent of Americans are susceptible to become alcohol addicts. That's the statistic. For this minority addiction starts with the very first drink.