Most alcoholics don't even know they have a problem. So what are the signs of alcoholism and when should you, as a family member, start worrying that you might have a problem? 

An alcoholic is someone who has a problem with his drinking. Either he is troubled by it, or someone else bears the brunt. Nobody is pleased with his drinking including himself.

Joining us to answer these questions is Dr. Sadaqat Ai. He is graduate from Dow Medical College, Karachi and is a recognized Addiction Psychiatrist with a background of training at "HAZELDEN" and Vital smarts USA. He is the project director of Willing Ways, Pakistan a state of the art facility for the alcoholism treatment. 

Q: 1 Dr. Sadaqat, what's the difference between somebody who is an alcoholic and someone who just likes a drink or two? 
A: Well, an alcoholic is someone who has a problem with his drinking. Either he is troubled it, or someone else bears the brunt. There are some specific criteria that we use to deter-mine alcoholism. We have a CAGE questionnaire. If some-one has made unsuccessful attempts to Cut Down, that It-leans there's an issue about his drinking. The second (me is Annoyance. Actually this ranges from irritability to rage. One should be pleased alter drinking after all that is why one drinks. Instead, we see him changing in front of our very eyes. He goes from cranky and irritable to rude, obnoxious or aggressive. He becomes louderand nothing seems right to him. The more he drinks the worse he grows. The third criterion is Guilt, which is saying, I think, I shouldn't be doing this. 

It is not a mind-set that is prone to alcoholism. It is a "body-set" which is vulnerable. Drinking requires a pro drinking milieu; whilst alcoholism requires a conducive genetic makeup.

The use of alcohol in the mornings. There is a rule of thumb: If somebody points a finger at your drinking, its alcoholism.

Q: 2 But someone who likes to take a drink at dinner, a glass of wine, that's not a problem, is it? 
A: It's not a problem, if it's not a problem. If it doesn't disturb his social and occupational functioning, if it doesn't disturb his health, it's not a problem. If it makes him more of a gentleman, then it is not a problem; rather it is a solution. 

Q: 3 Dr. Sadaqat, could alcohol make you more of a gentle-man??? 
A: It is supposed to make one more of a gentleman and it does if one's body processes it in a normal fashion. It is supposed to make one sociable, relaxed, creative and confident. People don't drink alcohol to slur their speech, stagger their gate, throw up, repeat themselves over and over again or feel annoyed. They don't become drunk or pass out by design. People becomealcoholic by default. What's more, alcohol-ism does not happen to every-body who drinks. Only 10% will ultimately cross that invisibleat risk. 

Q:4 Is it a mind-set which is prone to alcoholism? 
A: No! The mind set may be prone to drinking only: but it is a “body-set” requires a pro drinking environment: whilst alcoholism requires a conducive genetic makeup. Drinking is a matter of body, the seat of drinking is in the mind, the seat of alcoholism in the body.

Q: 5 what is the Disease model of Alcoholism?
A: The disease model basically says that alcoholism is a bio-psycho-social and spiritual disease. It starts in the biology

When he is a little tipsy and is kind of okay in the morning, but still harbours a little toxin, he is suffering from micro-alcoholism. This is very risky if he works in a sensitive profession.

and "encroaches" on the psychology, sociology and spirituality, in that order. It is a primary, chronic and progressive illness; if untreated, it is Fatal. A person is not held responsible for his alcoholic just as a person is not held responsible [or diabetes and hypertension just because he made unhealthy choices leading to this dangerous duo. However, like a diabetic and it hypertensive patient, he is responsible for his recovery from this deadly disease. Of course, he needs empowerment and support From the Family to seek help. His flesh is Willinconcerned others tomotivate him towards recovery. 

Q: 6 Could you tell us more about the disease part?
A: Of course… Alcohol once taken produces tranquility and is normally broken down to carbon dioxide and water. Both are harmless end products and are eliminated from the body as such. In alcoholism, the metabolism becomes erratic and an intermediate toxic substance accumulates, and hence the Word "intoxicated". This toxic substance is called acetaldehyde and it is quite similar to chloroform. This toxin makes the person numb and knocks him down when produced in abundance. The alcoholic may pass out and his body has to do lot of restorative 

In alcoholism a chloroform like toxin, aldehyde accumulates in the blood; hence the term intoxicated. Presence of this substance in blood opens a whole lot of Pandora’s box.

work. This cleansing process takes many hours and when he regains consciousness, he is hung over because of the residual toxin.