Learn about alcoholism

Alcohol Addiction – Do you drink more than intended? Or spend a lot of time drinking or recovering from hangovers? Several alcoholics believe that once they are sober for a week or a few months, that their life is addiction free.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Relapse is part of the recovery process. Addiction is a chronic disease; evidence shows that roughly 90% of people with alcoholism will relapse within four years after completing treatment according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

In America, 30 percent of the population have had an alcohol use disorder. It is no secret that America has a drinking problem. There are several symptoms, complications, treatments, and ways to prevent addiction. Drugs affect everyone differently; some people may be genetically predisposed to addictive behavior while others use alcohol as an umbrella to escape reality.

There is a particular class of alcoholism known as high-functioning alcoholism. People who are high-functioning alcoholics are capable of keeping their addiction undercover– from interfering in their professional and personal lives. High-functioning alcoholics seldom realize they have a problem until they face severe alcohol-related consequences, such as driving under the influence. The threat of high-functioning alcoholism is that it can continue for years without a person ever admitting they have a problem. When someone loses control of their drinking habits, the dwindling spiral may end in illness, incarceration, tearing apart families, or death.

The pleasurable effects of alcohol are undeniable. When someone begins drinking, they will feel a sense of comfort, appear over-confident, happy, and more sociable than usual. What is so addictive about alcohol, is that it makes it easy to forget about the adverse effects: slowed reflexes, reduced coordination, warped thinking, poor judgment, impaired memory, and reduced motor functions.

It is critical to understand the impact alcohol has on your health and the damage it can potentially do. Aside from the obvious, alcohol corresponds to increasing anxiety, depression, societal withdrawal, violent behavior, unprotected sex, an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, suicide, injury, domestic violence. As if that’s not enough, alcohol does tremendous harm to your entire body, and not just destroying your brain and liver. Ultimately, each part of the body is affected negatively by excessive drinking.

It also has a broad range of side effects, from slurred speech, loss of coordination, and psychological deterioration, but it mainly takes a toll on your central nervous system– your brain.

The significant amount of damage alcohol causes to the brain is obscure. Those “nights you don’t remember” is a form of transient amnesia that can turn into a disease called Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. This chronic illness is a memory-impairing, vision-and-speech-affecting, seizure-causing disorder. You won’t be able to form new memories. You’ll mumble involuntarily. Your eyes will twitch constantly. If not taken seriously, those nights you can’t remember will turn into a life not remembered.

Binge drinking can also be very critical on the heart. It can cause cardiomyopathy, which is the stretching and drooping of your heart’s muscles. It creates myocarditis, which is inflammation of heart muscles, and it also causes arrhythmia, which is an irregular heartbeat.

Alcohol is not your friend. While your mind may think its effects are fun, your body does not. Blackouts are not a phenomenon; it is imperative to understand what a blackout does to your brain. Alcohol poisoning is widespread. If you or someone you care for is addicted to alcohol, please, seek immediate professional help.