It is estimated that about three-quarters of the population drink alcohol. Of this number, about 10% will find that their alcohol consumption leads to serious problems involving their health, work, finances, and relationships with family and friends.

When a person uses alcohol despite apparent harm to their health and well-being, it is called alcohol abuse (or dependence), or alcoholism.

Men are five times more likely than women to develop alcoholism.

However, the incidence of alcoholism among women has increased in the past 30 years.

Causes of Alcoholism In Men

Alcoholism is a medical condition. While the exact cause of alcoholism is unknown, research has shown increasing evidence that susceptibility to it may be inherited and the risk of developing this medical condition rises significantly in families with relatives (in particular, parents and siblings) who are dependent on alcohol.

Additional risk factors include having a psychiatric condition such as schizophrenia, depression, or anxiety disorders. Poverty, social isolation, and shyness may also be risk factors.

In addition, how one's body processes alcohol can affect the risk of developing a dependence on alcohol. Research has shown that people who need comparatively more alcohol to achieve an effect are more likely to become alcohol dependent.

All drugs (and alcohol is a drug) affect a "reward mechanism" in the brain. If a person feels good each time he or she uses a drug, it tends to make them want to use the drug again.

This common feature could explain why people abuse alcohol, including drugs. As with most drugs, if you use them regularly, your body tends to require increasing amounts of the substance to achieve the same effect.

This is called tolerance, and it may be the final factor that contributes to the development of drug and/or alcohol dependence.

Symptoms and Complications of Alcoholism In Men

Alcohol is poisonous to many types of human cells. In small quantities it can suppress their activity. In large doses, it can kill them. While most drugs that act on the brain stimulate production of brain hormones like serotonin and dopamine, alcohol actually reduces levels of these chemicals while increasing levels of some others.

It's a depressant in that it has the opposite chemical effect to a prescribed
antidepressant. Nevertheless, since it also depresses activity in the part of the brain that restrains and inhibits our behavior, most people find the effect pleasant while quantities are taken in moderation.

At higher doses, it quickly becomes apparent that alcohol is in fact toxic. The main symptoms are vomiting, behavioral changes, and major impairment of the central nervous system followed by dehydration and sever headaches. At high doses, alcohol can be fatal by shutting down breathing or stopping the heart.

Even non-lethal doses can kill. Aspiration pneumonia is a condition that occurs when people, sleeping off a very heavy night's drinking, suffocate when their own vomit is inhaled into their lungs. There is a gag reflex that should automatically prevent this, but it can malfunction when the nervous system is depressed.

Anyone who drinks alcohol after going a long time without food can have an attack of hypoglycemia, a sudden shortage of blood sugar, causing nervous symptoms like a stupor (a state of unconsciousness) or abnormal behavior and, in severe cases, coma or convulsions.

If your stomach is empty enough, you could end up in the hospital with hypoglycemia despite being under the legal driving limit. This is especially dangerous if you have diabetes and are already taking insulin to lower your blood sugar.

Diagnosing Alcoholism In Men

Most men will know deep down whether they are controlling their drinking or their drinking is controlling them. If you sometimes feel guilty about the amount you drink, there's a good chance you may have a problem.

Other warning signs of alcohol dependence include:

  • Getting annoyed when others suggest you drink less
  • Drinking even when you know it could have bad consequences (i.e., at work)
  • Having a drink in the morning to prepare you for your day
  • Regularly drinking more than you planned at social occasions
  • Hiding alcohol at home or at work
  • Drinking alone or in secret
  • Losing interest in activities and hobbies you used to enjoy

If you think you or someone you love may be at risk for alcohol dependence, now is the time to seek help and start living a life that is happy, joyous and free!

To read more and get a FREE REPORT, click LINK below:

Author's Bio: 

Robert Jakobsen is the founder of the RECOVERY NETWORK. A website dedicated to helping people recover from drug and alcohol addictions. Mr. Jakobsen has battled drug and alcohol addiction for 25-years and today he lives in recovery...happy, joyous and free, one day at a time.

He has written (5) ebooks on recovery and has created a 12-Step VIDEO recovery program.