Daniel Jacob Radcliffe is an English actor and producer. He is known for playing the titular protagonist in the Harry Potter film series. Real-life challenges soon started affecting his career namely his addiction to alcohol. He mentioned that ‘drinking was unhealthy and damaging to anybody and my social life’ which led him to become ‘a recluse at 20’, in a 2012 interview published in shortlist magazine. Now despite being sober, Radcliffe admits it’s not easy to maintain sobriety at events where alcohol is served. He also said that one of the greatest lessons he’s learned is that he had to want a sober life for himself & he needed to stop himself. Stopping from alcohol has shown him a world of happiness that he didn’t think was possible.

Many people struggling to manage their alcohol intake or are used to an ongoing daily consumption ask,” What is alcoholism?” or say they are not alcoholics. Alcoholism is a disease characterized by the habitual intake of alcohol. A person with this condition does not know when or how often to drink or how to stop drinking. They spend a lot of time thinking about alcohol and they cannot control how much they consume, even when it can prove to be of serious problems to their lives. Alcoholism is a disease that produces both physical and psychological addiction. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that reduces anxiety, inhibition, and feelings of guilts. It lowers alertness and impairs perception, judgment and motor coordination. In high doses, it can cause loss of consciousness and even death. It also can damage the brain, liver, heart and other organs physically. The definition of alcoholism is the state of being addicted to alcohol. Mentally, alcoholism takes on a different and deeper meaning. The disease of alcoholism is one of the most prevalent diseases in the entire world.

Alcoholism is caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, biological and psychological factors. Alcoholism often runs in the family. This is partially due to genetic factors. Although genetics are involved in many causes of alcoholism, children of alcoholic parents do not necessarily become alcoholic, and even people with no family history also can develop alcoholism. Environmental factors may also affect drinking and the development of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. This includes influence of family and friends, cultural attitudes and practices. Some of the individuals, especially teenagers, can be greatly influenced by their peers and collage students sometimes participate in binge drinking parties, often pressured to do so by friends. Depression and anxiety disorders also increase people’s risk of developing alcohol problems. However, in some people, depression and anxiety can be caused by the alcohol dependence and go away after they withdraw from alcohol.

While it may seem easy to decide to stop drinking one moment and simply not drink ever again, in reality that approach isn’t effective. Once you’ve made the decision to change, the next step is establishing clear drinking goals. The more specific, realistic, and clear your goals, the better. When looking at the question of how to stop drinking, first set the goal to stop drinking and then prepare your environment to stop drinking. Remove temptations, like alcohol and anything that reminds you of alcohol, from the home and office. Do you want to stop drinking altogether or just cut back? If your goal is to reduce your drinking, decide which days you will drink alcohol and how many drinks you will allow yourself per day. Try to commit to at least two days each week when you won’t drink at all. When a person suddenly stops drinking, his nervous system experiences uncontrolled synapse firing which can result in anxiety, shaking, seizures, delirium tremens, hallucinations or even heart failure. Last but not least, learn from the past. Reflect on previous attempts to stop or reduce your drinking. What worked? What didn’t? What can you do differently this time to avoid pitfalls?

Alcohol addiction is a curse not only to the individual, but also to his/her family, society and nation. Hence, we should provide mental and social support to care givers, families of mild to severely alcohol-dependent persons and should create strong awareness towards healthy styles of living.

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