The occasional use of alcoholic drinks is an acceptable norm in society but alcohol abuse is an entirely different thing. Thousands of people are battling alcohol abuse and the life-threatening effects of alcohol and the growing numbers of patients every year are proof of this pressing problem in the world. In Canada, people spend approximately $12.4 billion per year on alcohol according to statistics released by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Alcohol Abuse Facts and More
Alcohol is a drug, more particularly a depressant, which slows down the nervous system. There is a feeling of relaxation when you consume alcohol but it may also cloud your thinking and judgment as well as blocks you from making viable and sound decisions or efficiently do various tasks. There is some kind of a chain reaction as to the effects of alcohol in the brain, leading to early and total intoxication. In extreme cases of alcohol abuse, the brainstem totally stops functioning, having drastic effects on vital systems and reflexes of the body such as the lungs and heart.
Effects of Alcohol Up Close
There are several factors that influence the level of alcohol abuse and its impact on the body. How the abuse of alcohol affects you would depend on the amount you regularly consume, your age and gender, body size, mood, and how quickly you drink. Your past experiences with alcohol drinking, the medications you currently take along with the alcohol intake, and your overall health also determine the extent of alcohol abuse and the effects that you will experience.
Short-term alcohol abuse may lead to:
- Depression or negative mood states and suicidal tendencies
- Decreased or lack of inhibition
- Drowsiness and dizziness
- Memory loss or confusion
- Choking and vomiting
- Inability to make a clear judgment, decisions, and thinking
- Lack of coordination skills and slurred speech
- Delayed reaction times
- Irregular heartbeat or heart palpitation
- Coma, respiratory depression, or death
Long-term alcohol abuse may lead to:
- Increased suicidal risks and extreme cases of depression
- Increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and stroke
- High blood pressure and blood vessel disorders
- Menstrual irregularities
- Liver damage
- Stomach ulcers
- Brain damage including motor control problems, difficulties with coordination, and dementia
Addiction to Alcohol
Alcohol is addictive and many people are battling with alcohol dependence and the difficulty to stop despite their best efforts. Addiction to alcohol results in personal and financial problems and affects social interaction and relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. In most cases, alcohol abuse also results in physiological as well as emotional and mental health problems.
The effects of alcohol are health risks and life-threatening especially for those with long-term alcohol abuse problems. However, there are also treatments available in order to stop this destructive habit and bounce back to a healthy and alcohol-free lifestyle. There are programs that help patients deal with withdrawal symptoms and detoxification.