Alcohol abuse is defined as any use that causes negative consequences to the user. This encompasses health effects, such as bad hangovers and alcohol-induced accidents, as well as social effects.
Alcohol is a neurotoxin, and it affects both the body and the brain. Meanwhile, an alcohol addiction may lead to feelings of self-hate and hopelessness. The damage associated with prolonged and excessive alcohol consumption can be significant, too. If a person consumes high volumes of alcohol over an extended period of time, his or her body and mind will deteriorate. The end result of an alcohol addiction: long-lasting physical, mental, psychological damage
Symptoms of Alcoholism:
A person can often diagnose an alcohol addiction on his or her own. Also, there are various symptoms associated with alcohol addiction, and these symptoms include:
Inability to See the Problem: An alcohol addiction is oblivious to his or her alcohol abuse – despite the fact that his or her addiction is causing severe harm.
Tolerance: An individual builds up his or her tolerance to alcoholic beverages over time. As a result, this individual is better equipped than ever before to combat the side effects of alcohol use.
Physical Issues: Sweating, fatigue, and shaking are among the side effects that an alcoholic experiences after the effects of alcohol subside.
Inability to Stop: An alcohol addict may be unable to stop consuming alcohol – even if he or she feels the urge to stop drinking.
Alcohol Is Top of Mind: An alcoholic constantly thinks about consuming alcohol and looks for reasons to drink.
Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse:
Although many people drink to feel buzzed, the ramifications of alcohol abuse can persist long past the initial period of intoxication. Short-term side effects of alcohol abuse can include:
- Trouble breathing
- Impaired judgment
- Distorted vision and hearing
Long-term effects of alcohol abuse are more serious and can include irreversible damage that could lead to death. Some of the common long-term effects of alcoholism include:
- Permanent brain damage
- Anxiety disorders
- Neurological impairment
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Hand tremors
- Compromised immune system
- High blood pressure
- Sexual problems
- Nerve damage
- Vitamin B1 deficiency
- Unintentional injuries such as car crashes, falls, burns, and drowning
- Intentional injuries such as firearm injuries, sexual assault, and domestic violence
- Alcohol poisoning
- Cancer of the mouth and throat
Treatment for Alcoholism
The first step of recovery is alcohol detox, or cleansing the body from all physical traces of alcohol. Those who have used alcohol heavily over a prolonged period have developed a dependence on it, meaning their body doesn’t quite function normally without it. The detox period is crucial as well as dangerous — alcohol is one of the few drugs with withdrawal symptoms that can be fatal. For this reason, it is imperative to have medical supervision during detox.
If someone you care about is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, there are resources available to help you find the best treatment and support in Health Republic.