Alcohol is usually considered harmless and legal; however, this does not mean it is safer than illegal drugs. Abusing alcohol can lead to dependence or even addiction. Heavy consumption of alcohol has a lot of undesirable effects on the physical and mental health as well as the lifestyle of a person. Indeed, studies show that heavy drinkers have a shorter lifespan than those not addicted to alcohol.
If you believe you or a loved one has developed an addiction to alcohol, consider seeing Dr. Ashwin Reddy to get help in addressing the problem. Also, it helps to be aware of signs that accompany alcoholism.
Common Signs of Alcoholism
When your blood has a high concentration of alcohol, you may experience symptoms such as slurred speech, difficulty focusing, inability to control bodily movements, and risky behavior. In extreme cases, you may struggle breathing, become comatose, or even die. If you are an alcoholic, you may strongly desire or crave to drink, cannot control your cravings, become more tolerant of alcohol, and cannot get through daily activities without drinking.
Those who abuse alcohol may be in denial about their issue. However, you can recognize alcohol abuse in others. Those who abuse this substance may drink frequently and experience issues with their relationships because of their habit. But, they may downplay it or lie about how much they have consumed.
Who Can Become Addicted to Alcohol?
Alcohol addiction can occur because of psychological or social factors. A person may consume alcohol to calm down while in social settings. Others drink to cope with psychological problems or daily stress. Also, alcohol addiction may run in families, although genetics does not guarantee an issue with alcohol.
Abusing alcohol is more common at some point in life. College students, males, and those who have to endure serious life events or trauma may turn to alcohol to help them cope. People who suffer from depression, boredom, emotional stress, and loneliness may also abuse alcohol and possibly depend on it. Alcohol tolerance levels can increase gradually, resulting in alcoholism.
Complications of Alcoholism
Those addicted to alcohol may continuously drink even if they suffer from health issues related to alcohol consumption. Sometimes, loved ones notice an issue before the alcoholic person does. However, the latter must acknowledge their issue to ensure a successful treatment.
Alcohol abuse can have both short-term and long-term impacts like sexual dysfunction, alcohol poisoning, and liver damage. Also, alcoholism can result in brain damage, increased risk of heart disease, and cirrhosis. Unfortunately, when a person dependent on alcohol tries to quit, they can suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, irritability, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.
Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
Treatment for alcoholism concentrates on helping a person learn how to control their problem. The majority of those who recover from alcoholism need to abstain from the substance since consuming it in moderation is too tricky for them. Usually, abstinence is the only way to manage their problem. Treatment for alcohol addiction usually includes therapy, managing stress, and learning coping skills.