The Physical Effects of Alcohol Explained
Alcoholism is a disease that affects millions of people worldwide. To better understand the physical effects of alcohol, it is vital to know how alcoholism starts and progresses.
Alcohol can cause mental and physical addiction. Sometimes, there are fatal consequences as a result of consuming alcohol. Alcohol affects some aspects of a person’s life, including finances, legal, relationships, and personal life.
A dependence upon alcohol should always be taken seriously.
Early Stages of Alcoholism
Consuming alcohol is common in the United States. Most people have had at least one alcoholic beverage in their life. Some will drink moderately. Others may binge drink or begin to drink alcoholically. Heavy drinking does not always indicate alcoholism however. A person also does not need to down half a bottle of scotch or more every night to be an alcoholic.
Alcohol impacts a person’s judgment quickly. For some people, just one alcoholic beverage can affect their ability to make healthy decisions. Almost everyone who has an alcohol use disorder diagnosis began their drinking safely.
How Does Alcoholism Start?
What can cause someone to become an alcoholic? The shift from normal drinking to alcoholism generally happens when someone changes why or how they consume alcohol. For example, someone might go from drinking with their friends to drinking to relieve pain. When the change occurs, there is usually an increase in cravings. From there, the person will likely start drinking more and more.
It has as much to do with their relationship with alcohol as it does behavior. A true alcoholic will not put down the drink in the face of consequences. Many people drink to excess in college for example. Someone who binge drinks in college may be exhibiting an alcohol use disorder at the time, but if that person is able to simply quit on their own or cut back substantially and drink only lightly after that, then that person isn’t typically what you’d call and alcoholic.
Many people don’t get the effects they are looking for when drinking alcohol, so they turn to harder liquor or increase their alcohol intake. A lot of people that struggle with alcohol abuse slowly increase the amount they drink. When someone drinks a lot of alcohol, especially for a longer time, they will likely start experiencing the physical effects of alcohol use.
Immediate Effects from Abusing Alcohol
Alcohol can consume a person’s life. It can lead to severe health issues. Some of the health issues will take longer to develop. However, other effects can happen right after someone starts drinking.
Some immediate effects from abusing alcohol include:
- Getting into an accident or having an injury
- Having an arrest for reckless or irresponsible behavior
- Higher chance of engaging in risky sexual behaviors
- Relationship damage
- Severe dehydration
- Damage to fetus
- Alcohol poisoning
These are just some immediate effects of abusing alcohol. Some long-term effects could occur with alcoholism, as well.
Long-Term Physical Effects of Alcohol Abuse
If someone keeps abusing alcohol for longer, they will start experiencing more severe health effects. In addition to the effects above, long-term abuse of alcohol can lead to:
- High risk of neurological issues
- Increased risk of having a stroke
- Digestion issues
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of developing mental health issues
- Liver cirrhosis
- Alcoholic hepatitis
- Brain damage
These are just a few of the many long-term physical effects that could occur from alcohol abuse. If you or someone you know has alcohol addiction, don’t wait. Getting treatment now could help to prevent some or all of these long-term effects.
Other Issues Caused by Alcohol Abuse
The immediate and long-term effects above can happen to anyone.
There are some other issues caused by alcohol abuse, as well. Some of these issues may include:
- Higher risk of getting anemia
- Immune system function issues
- Higher risk of getting pancreatitis
The only way for someone to fight against these health problems is to quit drinking. The best way to overcome alcoholism is to get professional rehab help. The rehab team members can help you work through obstacles, triggers, personal issues, and much more. They can help you manage any health issues you already have, as well.
Most people who succeed in an alcohol addiction program don’t miss their drinking days. They may have cravings and triggers, but they realize their life is better in recovery than drinking. It may take some time before you feel like this. However, once you start getting treatment, you can find more meaning in life when you are sober.
Get Help for the Physical Effects of Alcohol
Millions of Americans are living with alcoholism or an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). A lot of the people who have an alcohol addiction experience immediate physical effects of alcohol use. The people who continue drinking for years may start experiencing the long-term effects, as well. Alcohol addiction comes with serious psychological effects as well.
Even if you don’t have any of the long-term physical effects of alcohol yet, it is still best to get treatment now. Many of the physical effects of alcohol which occur later are irreversible. Other than these effects of alcohol there are the consequences of behavior while drinking. Driving while intoxicated, fights, destroyed relationships, high-risk sexual behaviors. The results can be tragic. But they don’t need to be. You can also take back control over your life with the right kind of help.
Contact us at Harmony Treatment and Wellness today. We can answer your questions and explain how our alcohol treatment program can help.