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Alcohol is a substance which is a widely acceptable legal drug. It’s part of many cultures, and most people have a vague idea of what it is at an early age. Alcohol is included in social gatherings, celebrations and religious ceremonies. However, drinking too much overtime can have a detrimental effect on the body and life as a whole. Alcohol affects each person differently, and majority of people know the consequences of alcohol addiction. However, some are unable to control their intake and will develop an addiction.
In Thailand, Russia, Brazil, The U.K. and U.S.A, alcohol addictions are affecting millions. One glass of wine, cocktail or beer becomes two and then another and another. With regular use, drinking alcohol excessively can cause a number of aliments, some of which are fatal. By recognizing these potential ramifications, you will be able to make smart choices when it comes to drinking; more importantly be able to recognize whether or not alcohol abuse is affecting someone you know.
Alcohol is broken down by the liver and then spread throughout the rest of the body and brain. GABA neurotransmitters will initially produce sensations of relaxation, but with heavy alcohol consumption, the transmitters’ suppress these feelings. With prolonged use a tolerance builds and the same amount required to feel “good” will be more. While a tolerance is developing, other neurotransmitters, responsible for feelings of excitement, will be suppressed. To feel the excitement, this area of the brain will have to work extra hard compared to people who drink little to no alcohol.
Quitting alcohol without the help of a treatment center can be dangerous, even deadly. When an alcoholic does so, these neurotransmitters are immediately no longer suppressed. The brain becomes overexcited and the effects of alcohol withdrawal syndrome take hold. Fear, anxiety, agitation, anger, tremors, hot sweats, seizures, cardiac arrest and even death could occur.
In general, person who abuses alcohol could experience speech problems, impaired memory, inability to make decisions and even difficulty with movement. These are a result of frontal lobe shrinkage within the brain.
Without seeking the guidance of an alcohol rehab center, alcohol use can lead to permanent brain damage. The brain shrinks and cells that store information begin to break down. Wernicke-Korsakoff, a condition where an addict experiences extreme mental confusion and lack of coordination, can result.
Alcohol abuse can cause serious physical harm to the body. Unfortunately, often when these symptoms appear, the alcoholism will be in the late stages. Many of these complications are permanent or will take many years of alcohol addiction treatment and rehabilitation before normal function is restored. Waiting for physical effects to appear is not a good idea. Some serious effects of alcohol abuse include; swelling of the skin, gastrointestinal disorders, acute and chronic pancreatitis, liver damage and/or failure, cardiovascular and respiratory issues, muscular skeletal pain and brain damage.
The psychological effects of misusing alcohol are no less than the aforementioned physical effects. Short term effects which can worsen with alcohol abuse include an increase in agitation, anger and violence, mood swings, depression, self wallowing, anxiety and in extreme cases, suicide.
Many of the psychological effects also stem from hepatic encephalopathy. This is a type of damage to the liver in which toxins can no longer be removed from the blood. As a result, brain functioning is slowed. This can cause psychiatric conditions, sleeping disorders, panic disorders, delusions and detrimental cognitive effects.
A great deal of research suggests alcohol abuse is more common amongst people who have mental health issues (pre-diagnosed or undiagnosed aliments like depression, bipolar, PTSD and psychosis). This could be in relation to a large majority of addicts drinking to ease feelings which are difficult to cope with. Like self-medication, alcohol becomes the go to option to mask these unwanted feelings. Unfortunately, the disguise does not last long and more often than not, the mental health issue becomes greater.
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome, otherwise known as AWS, is a serious matter in which an alcoholic experiences a number of unpleasant symptoms stemming from their last drink (or lack of). An abuser may feel nauseous, shaking, tremors, cold sweats, high body temperature, high blood pressure, mild anxiety and fatigue. More intense symptoms could include hallucinations, seizures, heart failure, stroke, coma and death.
In the case of alcohol abuse or addiction, it is crucial to seek out help at a treatment center. Residential, private alcohol rehabs are the most effective way to treat an addiction. With 24/7 support, constant guidance and tailored programs, these facilities will help a person to overcome inner conflicts, outside issues and restore their body and mind.