Should alcohol be a feared substance?

Alcohol can be found anywhere these days; from your local liquor store, to a large supermarket, to the quiet corner shop on your street. Many people do not see alcohol as any sort of threat and like to include it in their lives. People argue that there’s no harm in alcohol because drinking a few beers can help make you more sociable, relaxed, and confident. So what’s the issue?

The issue comes in the stats. Research estimates a whopping 86 percent of Americans will drink at some point in their lives and 70 percent drink at least once per year. While that may come as no surprise, there is no other addictive drug with the same kinds of statistics. Having an alcohol addiction problem is serious and can cause major long term damage to your body.

The effects alcohol can have on your body

There are many dangerous effects alcohol can have on your body. These effects range from the short term brain impairments from being intoxicated, to the serious long term conditions alcohol can cause. Believe it or not, alcoholism kills five times more people each year than all other drugs combined. More than 100,000 deaths are attributed to drinking every year. These deaths are often drawn out and very painful since alcohol slowly degrades the body by eroding critical health systems. The damage it causes is often irreversible; most commonly alcohol is attributed to:

  • Fatty Liver Disease – This condition causes a buildup of extra fat in the liver, making it harder for the organ to process and do its job correctly.
  •  Alcoholic Cirrhosis – With this condition, the liver becomes so damaged that it scars. These wounds inhibit the function of the liver and are the last stage of the chronic liver disease.
  • Alcohol Hepatitis – This refers to high swelling of the liver, which in turn causes damage. Alcohol hepatitis affects as many as 35 percent of heavy drinkers and can be mild to severe. In the latter, it can cause life-threatening complications or death.

These are only some of the issues brought on by alcoholism. The effects of alcoholism are real and very dangerous. It is not an addiction that should be taken lighter than a drug addictions just because this substance is legal. If you feel a loved one or friend is having issues with alcohol, you should contact a drug and alcohol rehab center right away. It is not worth the risk in hoping the individual will stop on their own, alcohol takes no mercy.

Why alcoholism is so dangerous

Alcohol addiction is so dangerous as it can be easily masked in society and blend in with normal habits and behaviors. As an example, most college students will go out on the weekend and party, some blacking out and waking up the next morning not knowing where they are. Binge drinking is a regular occurrence in our society and is an accepted behavioral trait. However, when does the weekend begin to turn into a few nights a week of ‘casual drinking’. That’s an interesting term people like to describe drinking,almost as if to say because it was done casually it won’t have any detrimental effects on the body. Rules and regulations on alcohol are so lax that getting away with putting it in your system every night is too easy. People can sit at home every night and drink their issues away without a worry; it is a legal habit to have and that’s why it is so prevalent. The only thing we can do to stop it is try to educate ourselves and friends when drinking is getting out of hand.

Signs of alcohol addiction

There are a few signs you are able to pick up on if you think someone is having issues with alcohol. If they are staying in by themselves to drink more nights than usual, if they stop doing things they enjoy to stay in and drink, if they are blacking out more than one time a week for a consecutive periods, if they are lying about the amount they are drinking or if their sleep or eating habits seem irregular. All these are signs that an alcohol addiction may be present in their lives. 

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