What is Alcohol abuse ?
Alcohol abuse is the prelude to alcoholism. When drinking becomes addictive, either psychologically or physically then it is called Alcoholism.
Alcoholism is a disease. It is learned and often times is genetic. It is both physical and psychological. It causes adverse affects to both the mind and body of the addicted and to those that love them.
How and Why does one become Addicted to Alcohol ?
While doing my research for this topic, one question continually stuck with me. Is Alcoholism a disease of the body or of the soul. Sad people turn to the bottle as a way of escaping. People in emotional turmoil turn to the bottle as an escape. Shy people turn to the bottle to boost their confidence. But few alcoholics are happy, out going people.
Alcohol, gives a false sense of well being, by impairing our judgment. For a person that is not confident in themselves alcohol gives them confidence, if they make an err while under the influence they have something to blame the err on.
It starts as one drink, then another, before long the number of drinks is lost. Eventually the person does not even realize that their every night beer or after dinner drink has turned into several. or that their occasional drink has became a daily habit.
Alcoholism is defined as a disease. The body depends on the stimulation the alcohol provides. Without this stimulation the body reacts, causing adverse effects.
How many people does Alcohol hurt or kill ?
In 1990 25% of all hospital emergency admissions were alcoholic related now 8 years later almost 32% of all hospital emergency admissions are alcohol related.
42% of all traffic fatalities, involved alcohol, 35% of fatal falls and 43% of fatal burns had alcohol as a contributing factor. 65% of all adult drowning fatalities involved alcohol. 40% of industrial fatalities and 50% of industrial injuries have been cause while alcohol was involved.
Alcohol is the number 1 killer of our youth today.
What are the Health risks involved with Alcohol use ?
Of course Alcoholism is the number one health risk with Alcohol abuse. Others include, Depression and suicide. Because we often drink when we are feeling down and alcohol is a depressant we sink lower in disappear and hopelessness giving those who abuse alcohol an even greater risk of committing suicide.
Heart disease., Alcohol relaxes your bodies muscles, but not the heart, it causes the heart to beat faster, as a way of keeping the rest of the body going. Increased heart rate, causes High Blood pressure, which also puts you at risk of a stroke.
Liver Disease. There are three main liver diseases related to alcohol usage. These are, fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and alcoholic cirrhosis.
Fatty Liver Fatty liver is the most common and can be reversed. Alcohol causes the liver to become enlarged. It may cause jaundice, abdominal craps, and liver malfunction.
Alcoholic Hepatitis An acute illness often characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, jaundice, enlarged and tender liver, and an elevation of the white blood cell count. Sometimes alcoholic hepatitis may be present without symptoms. Once it develops, it progresses to cirrhosis if alcohol consumption continues.
Alcoholic Cirrhosis Permanent scar tissue, called cirrhosis, forms when liver cells are damaged by alcohol or drugs. Continued use of alcohol will cause additional scarring and serious health problems. Some people are more vulnerable than others to this disease, which occurs in 10% to 15% of people who consume large amounts of alcohol over a long period of time.
What are the effects of Alcohol ?
The Short term effects of Alcohol are, distorted vision, coordination and hearing, Altered perceptions and emotions. Impaired judgment. Bad Breath and hangovers.
The long term effects of continued Alcohol use are, loss of appetite, vitamin deficiencies, stomach ailments, skin problems, sexual impotence, liver damage, heart and central nervous system damage, and memory loss.
What is the effect on others ?
Alcohol effects everyone. In the family alcohol is one of the largest contributing factors to Domestic Violence. In the work place it is the leading cause of accidents and injuries. On the highways, it Kills and maims our loved ones daily.
I know personally how Alcohol affected my life. My Step-father is an alcoholic. I raised two little boys that lost their mother to Alcohol and drunk driving.
I have watched good caring people destroy their lives for that false sense of feeling free. Did you know that Alcohol related treatments and accidents cost each taxpayer more than $700.00 a year in medical expenses. Combine this with what it costs their immediate family. The numbers are staggering.
Ways of kicking the habit ?
Alcohol abuse and Alcoholism are treatable. The most effective way of ridding ones self is by the use of self help groups, such as Alcoholic Anonymous. But there are also other resources one can look into such as, Medical treatment, support groups and a self desire to lead a normal life free of outside stimulants. In most cases some form of training program is needed and or therapy.
Where can you find help
Toll Free Hotline Numbers 1-800-322-5525 Alcoholism Hotline
1-800-622-2255 National Council on Alcoholism
1-800-527-5344 American Council on Alcoholism