Alcoholism is all too common in our country today. Millions of individuals and families are affected by this disease, yet some people still don’t know – or don’t admit – they have a drinking problem. If you or someone you love is unwilling to admit to needing help for an alcohol use disorder, let us tell you about the dangers of this disease and the long-lasting repercussions.
Alcoholism can be tricky to diagnose because it occurs on a continuum. What starts as alcohol abuse can quickly turn into alcohol dependence, and finally alcohol addiction or alcoholism. Some people can drink a lot of alcohol and do it frequently, and still be able to quit when they want, while others get hooked quickly. Regardless of where a person falls on the alcohol use disorder scale, most people who are dependent on alcohol and who abuse the substance by binge drinking, drinking and driving, and drinking to numb feelings could benefit from alcohol rehab. It’s never too early to get help, because alcohol abuse itself is dangerous and it leads to some seriously risky behavior.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 17 million people have an alcohol use disorder, meaning they have trouble controlling their drinking, and continue their pattern of drinking despite negative consequences on their health and life. Below are some dangers of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
First of all, excess alcohol takes a toll on the person’s body. It depresses the immune system, making the person more susceptible to illness. It impairs brain function, causing blackouts, trouble with concentration, and memory lapses. Alcoholism increases the person’s risk for serious issues such as liver disease, pancreatitis, heart disease, sleep disorders, depression, and some forms of cancer.
The impairment that occurs when a person drinks puts them at further risk for injury through accidents or falls. A person who drinks and drives obviously puts themselves in danger of injury, and also at risk for injuring or killing others. Burns, falls, drownings, and homicides also increase among those who drink heavily.
Alcoholism makes people do things they wouldn’t otherwise do; it lowers their inhibitions and impairs judgment. A typical law-abiding citizen who becomes dependent on alcohol can get into trouble for driving while under the influence, domestic violence, disorderly conduct, and a host of other charges that are the result of the poor decision making and impairment that happens with too much alcohol.
Alcohol costs money, and to support the habit, an alcoholic will need to use money that should be allocated for other uses. What should be spend on housing, phone, food, and gas is redirected to buy alcohol, putting the person and their family in financial trouble and at risk for bankruptcy, foreclosure, or eviction. Or, they may decide to steal or cheat to get more alcohol, or get involved with drug dealing or other shady activities. What is more, the alcoholic will have a difficult time keeping a job, as they have to take more and more sick days, their productivity decreases, or they get caught drinking at work.
Finally, alcoholism strains and ruins relationships. It is often called a family disease because loved ones suffer just as much as the alcoholic, only their struggle is mainly emotional and psychological. Spouses are left trying to maintain all the household responsibilities and often feel abandoned. Parents and siblings feel guilt and frustration that they can’t make the person stop. Children of alcoholics suffer with self-esteem issues, behavioral problems, trouble concentrating in school, trouble with relationships, and the increased likelihood that they too will have an alcohol use disorder one day.
Treatment for Alcoholism and Its Consequences
Do you or a loved one struggle with an alcohol use disorder, and are you afraid of what the disease is doing to your health, family, and life? The answer is addiction rehab, and while it cannot reverse all the consequences of alcoholism, it can definitely improve your situation.
Treatment for alcoholism first of all stops the attack on the body, and allows it to begin healing. Some health effects of alcoholism, like cancer, advanced liver failure, and severe heart disease are permanent. Others, like sleep disorders, depression, and some mental health issues can be reversed or at least managed with the right care.
When a person gets treatment for alcohol use disorder, other things in their life start falling back into place as well. Their legal trouble and financial issues can be resolved over time, and they can think about returning to work, paying off debt, and resuming their normal responsibilities. Most importantly, a person in recovery can work on their relationships with loved ones. With therapy, counseling, and the help of skilled rehab staff, families can learn to work through the issues surrounding alcoholism, and rebuild their lives together.
We can help you get into a treatment program that will put an end to your alcoholism. To find an alcohol rehab that is right for you, contact Sober Helpline at (888) 907-8039 today.