Reactions to alcohol vary. Some people can control their urge to drink alcohol while others can’t, leading to alcohol addiction. Most people drink alcohol moderately for social reasons. Although you can moderate your alcohol intake, your reaction to alcohol depends on the body’s mental and health condition.
Excessive alcohol consumption either once or over a long time can lead to serious health effects and even death. It is important to get help for alcohol addiction as soon as possible to avoid the long-term effects.
Alcohol is a legal, controlled substance. It is a depressant because it causes drowsiness and sedation. Alcohol has various side effects on the user, such as lack of coordination and impaired judgment. Excessive consumption of alcohol may also lead to psychological and physical long-term or short-term effects. The effects of alcohol are influenced by factors like individuals’ medical history, their body’s tolerance to alcohol, and mixed with other drugs.
Alcohol addiction is known as alcoholism or alcohol use disorder (AUD). It is a condition where you feel compelled to abuse alcohol despite its effects. Moreover, you will experience withdrawal effects of alcohol when you stop drinking. People who are addicted can’t control their emotional, physical, and mental behaviors due to their alcohol dependence. Someone who abuses alcohol in large quantities or frequently risks developing alcohol use disorder. Research shows alcohol use disorder is a brain disease characterized by intense cravings and compulsion to abuse alcohol. It also affects personal relationships as well as general social lives. You can get treatment for alcohol addiction by seeing a medical professional and joining a rehabilitation center.
● Continued use of abuse alcohol despite negative impacts on your health and relationships.
● There is a need for a higher amount of alcohol over time to achieve similar intoxication levels.
● Engaging in risky behaviors when intoxicated, such as unprotected sex or drunk driving.
● Feeling guilty and ashamed of your drinking habits.
● Lying about drinking habits.
● Association of drinking to relax and feel better.
● Drinking more than you had planned to.
The use of alcohol over a long time can be fatal and irreversible in some cases.
1. Physical Health Effects of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction affects your brain. The brain is a delicate part of the body that affects how the general body functions. Alcohol abuse causes psychological dependence on the brain,
which means the brain needs alcohol to perform normal functions.
Drinking too much alcohol also puts one at risk of getting cardiovascular disease and other heart-related problems. Research shows alcohol wears down the stomach walls due to its high PH concentration increases the production of acid, which causes ulcers. In other parts of the body, alcohol addiction affects the liver, kidney, heart, pancreas, and immune system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also claims a higher risk of cancer due to alcohol abuse.
2. Reduced Quality of Life
Alcohol can prove to be an expensive luxury. Additionally, alcohol addicts find themselves in situations like heavy loans, lost job opportunities, increased medical and legal expenses, etc.
Heavy alcohol consumption is also related to social crimes, noise, road accidents. All these things easily contribute to the low quality of life of alcohol addicts and their families.
3. Violence at Home Between Partners
Alcohol is among the top causes of domestic violence, especially among men and partners who drink. Tight links have been found between alcohol consumption and domestic violence. Alcohol consumption affects cognitive and physical function, which causes the user to have reduced self-control. Therefore, couples may be unable to solve differences resulting in physical violence amicably. The violence does create a toxic environment at home for the partners to coexist in.
4. Financial Effects of Alcoholism
Poor financial discipline is where you fail to consider other priorities in your financial budget. You may find yourself in situations like huge loans, and they end up having financial strains. Apart from alcohol being expensive and the costs spent to acquire it, there is more cost associated with its abuse and addiction. Alcohol exposes its users to alcohol-related diseases, and the costs of medical treatment become a burden.
5. Family Life Is Affected
Heavy drinking could result in disagreements among partners. It could even lead to domestic violence among partners. Violence creates a bad environment for the children growing up and the partners included.
Addiction affects decision-making on critical family issues leading to failed family structure. Child abuse could also come along, and some parents may neglect their babies due to addiction. Moreover, children can develop these addiction problems or psychological tortures because of growing in such environments.
6. Effects of Alcohol Addiction on Work
An addict might lose their work due to the behaviors that come around with drinking. An alcoholic could miss work from time to time. It creates a bad working environment because
they will have gone against the work rules. Your salary can get a cut because of absenteeism. In extreme cases, they end up losing their jobs permanently.
7. Mental health
Alcohol is a depressant. Thus, it slows down your body and ends up changing the chemical composition of the brain. It alters normal functions and leads to mood swings, bad sleeping patterns, loss of memory. You can make negative decisions while drunk that you would not have made when sober. Alcohol also makes people engage in risky behavior like stealing, unprotected sex, or fighting. Alcoholics might also do self-harm due to mental depression and, in extreme cases, commit suicide.
Alcohol addiction also affects various aspects of our lives, including our health, work, relationships, legal issues, and even financial crisis. You are also at risk of fatalities from intoxication accidents or health consequences of heavy drinking. However, you can always seek medical attention for alcohol addiction. Alcohol addiction treatment offers patients tools that help them cope with withdrawal, such as intense cravings and maintaining sobriety.
Coastline Behavioral Health in Orange County offers alcohol addiction treatment for people in California. We provide various drug and alcohol addiction rehab programs, including drug and alcohol detox, inpatient drug and alcohol rehab, outpatient drug and alcohol rehab, executive drug and alcohol rehab, and mental health treatment. Contact us today at (714) 841-2260 to get personalized addiction and mental health treatment.