Achieving Sobriety from Alcohol Addiction
The global alcohol beverage industry exceeded one trillion dollars in 2014, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This monstrous global commodity has been depicted as harmless, fun and the epitomizes the excitement and danger of sex. As a consequence of its alluring reputation many people have started drinking earlier, consume more and find more quickly that they cannot stop.
Alcohol is known to be highly addictive and cause severe physical, mental and social problems. In fact, it causes more problems than any other substance. According to the Center for Disease Control, CDC, with a total of 88,000 fatalities a year, alcohol abuse is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Health Consequences of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse has devastating, and potentially deadly, effects on the user’s health. Alcoholic beverages contain the psychoactive drug ethanol, or ethyl alcohol. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, distributed throughout the body and is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, which causes the psychological effects of the substance.
Physical health complications caused by alcohol are varied and numerous. Alcohol is classified as a carcinogen, meaning that consumption of the drug potentially leads to developing cancer in a multitude of areas. One of the most serious physical ailments caused by alcohol is liver damage, which eventually results in liver failure, and then death. Jaundice, chronic pancreatitis, reproductive system issues and a wide range of other organs become irreparably damaged, which caused extreme handicap or death as the damage spreads.
Brain damage is another common and well-known consequence of alcohol consumption. “Wet-brain” is an old term for what is medically known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, or WKS. The disease is characterized by visual disturbances, impaired memory, dementia, unsteady gait and stance (ataxia), confusion, apathy, inability to concentrate, among many others. The devastating effects of alcohol on the brain range based on the person, length of use, severity of use and other factors. Long term alcohol abuse results in comprehensive and debilitating symptoms that may leave a person institutionalized or dead.
The consequences of alcohol abuse on a person’s mental health is equally devastating. Alcohol is a depressant and as such causes symptoms consistent with severe depression. Depressed mood, lethargy, anxiety and other mental health issues are a near certainty for anyone who is drinking to excess. Anyone with a preexisting mental health issues is advised not to consume alcohol at all given its disruptive effect on neural processes.
Alcohol causes people to do and say things that they most likely would not if they were sober. Because of this loosening effect on behavior, alcohol tends to destroy relationships and instigate legal problems. In many cases, people incarcerated where under the influence of alcohol when they committed the crime. DUI offenses are becoming seemingly commonplace, however they should not be taken lightly given the increasing number of fatalities.
Alcoholism is a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled drinking and an obsession for the liquid drug. Those affected by alcohol addiction continue to consume alcohol even in the face of serious or fatal consequences.
Alcoholism, also known as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is defined in a medical context by any two of the following conditions: excessive consumption over a long period of time, difficulty decreasing amount consumed, excessive amount of time spent getting and consuming alcohol, strong desire to use, use of alcohol causes a failure to fulfill duties and responsibilities, social problems resulting from alcohol use, health problems secondary to alcohol consumption, risky behaviors associated with alcohol, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms upon stopping use.
Alcohol withdrawal can be deadly and exceptionally uncomfortable. Anyone who has developed a dependence on alcohol and who wants to stop drinking should consult with a medical professional before quitting.
Freedom is Just Around the Corner
Alcohol abuse devastates millions of people in the United States today. Far too many people are dying as a direct result of stigma and misconception. If you find yourself obsessing about your next drink, cannot stop once you have started, or struggle to control your drinking in anyway, get help. Millions of people have been where you are and have found a solution to stop the pain. Do not waste another precious moment of your life stuck in the abusive grip of alcohol. Reach out, help is available.