Think Alcohol Addiction Isn’t Harmful? Think Again
Alcohol is widely accepted in American society. It is rampant, but many people still don’t comprehend just how bad it is. Alcohol causes more harm than many illegal drugs. Additionally, it has a variety of long-term health effects. It is extremely detrimental to people mentally and physically and destroys families and lives.
Alcohol Addiction’s Effect on the Psyche and Personal Relationships
Alcohol completely causes a person to lose everything they have. Mentally, it causes anxiety and depression, which makes it incredibly difficult to stop drinking once it, becomes a habit. As a result, a drinker becomes unable to function in their normal daily routine. The only thing they have left to turn to is alcohol until that begins to inevitably backfire on the person as well.
An alcoholic will begin to feel as though they are worthless and in order to feel better they will keep drinking. As a result, they may lose their job, get in trouble financially and legally, and have issues in their personal life. Like with any drug, alcohol can bring a person right down to their knees.
Alcohol addiction causes drinkers to lie and live a double life even around the people they love most. No one besides the drinker truly knows how much the alcoholic is drinking, because much of it is done in secrecy. Even if an alcoholic isn’t actually alone, they are likely to be hiding bottles of alcohol throughout their house or on them so they can sneak off and take a drink whenever they feel the alcohol in their blood running out.
Alcohol causes more accidents than anything else. This includes vehicle crashes, falls, drowning and other accidental death. In 2014, according to the CDC nearly 10,000 people died in traffic accidents caused by drinking. This accounted for about ⅓ off all traffic deaths.
Harmful Physical Effects of Drinking
Alcohol has a tremendously harmful effect on the body. It reaches everything, from the brain to the heart, liver, and skin. Extensive alcohol abuse can cause diseases that lead to death. The amount of alcohol a person can drink varies from person to person and can even change from day to day based on what a person ate, etc. Here are some of the ways it can negatively affect a person:
- The Brain. Alcohol clearly impairs people when it is ingested, but it has long-term effects as well. It can permanently damage parts of the brain that control balance, memory, and emotions. This leads to anxiety and depression, insomnia, and even seizures.
- The Heart. Alcohol weakens the heart muscle extensively, contributing to a bigger chance of having a heart attack, irregular heartbeat, and heart failure.
- Internal Organs: Everyone knows that alcohol affects the liver, which is an incredibly important organ of the body. Extensive drinking can cause irreversible effects that can lead to hepatitis and cancer. It can also damage the pancreas and cause irreversible damage. Pancreatic cancer can be a result, which is an incredibly difficult cancer to treat.
- Cancer. Drinking causes all kinds of cancer in the body. It weakens a person’s entire system and can make a person more prone to many diseases.
- The Digestive System. Alcohol can cause stomach ulcers, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting. Also, the excessive calories in alcohol make a person eat less, resulting in malnutrition and deprivation of key vitamins like vitamin B.
If a person finds that they are drinking alcohol in excess, it is incredibly important to get treatment. Alcohol is just as difficult as any drug addiction to treat. It is also just as harmful as many drugs and shouldn’t be taken lightly. In rehab, some drug users think alcoholism is not as serious, which is completely wrong. If this happens to an alcoholic, they should absolutely not listen and proceed to move forward with treatment. No one has the right to tell you that you don’t need treatment.
When quitting alcohol, a person will go through a period of detox that lasts anywhere from a couple of days to a week or more. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe, so it is important to make sure that there is medical supervision. At the very least, a detoxing alcoholic should never be left alone.
The most serious form of alcohol withdrawal is called Delirium Tremens (DTs), which cause tremors, hallucinations, and can even cause seizures. This is considered a medical emergency and needs to be treated promptly.
Relapse is always a possibility during recovery, but alcohol especially so because it is everywhere. In some states, you can even get alcohol in gas stations and convenience stores. It is literally everywhere. Having a medically supervised detox is an important first step so that a professional can make sure a person doesn’t relapse during this time of discomfort.
As a person builds up more sober time, it is important to always make sure recovery comes first. Once a person is an alcoholic, they always will be. Knowing that you simply cannot pick up a single drink is a monumental step towards avoiding relapse.