Alcohol is a legal substance however, the dangers surrounding alcohol are quite large. Since it is legal, alcohol is readily available at various locations at almost all hours. The legality surrounding alcohol makes many people ask, “what is wrong with alcohol?”. Alcohol consumption can not only lead to addiction but can also cause other disastrous health effects. Those who choose to consume alcohol, either socially or bingeing, need to be aware of the harm it can do to both their mind and body. Just because alcohol is legal, does not mean it is not without its risks.
The Short Term Effects
Even if a person is not abusing alcohol or consuming it regularly, they can still experience damaging short term effects. These effects could range from mild to severe. Several factors come into play when examining short term effects. A person may not have consumed any alcohol for a year, but then goes out and consumes heavily over a short time frame. This person may experience more damaging effects. However, it is important to note that every person’s body may react differently. Each drink that is consumed will raise a person’s blood alcohol content, making them intoxicated
A person may experience:
- flushing of the skin.
- loss of judgment.
- inability to concentrate.
- raised of blood pressure.
- nauseousness or vomiting.
- blacking out.
The Long Term Effects
Overconsumption and addiction to alcohol can have lasting, even permanent effects. Drinking too much can have serious consequences for a person’s mental and physical health. Developing an addiction to alcohol can alter your brain’s reward pathways. When something good happens, your brain releases dopamine and your brain gets the signal that it is a “good” thing to keep doing. When you experience a high from drugs or alcohol, your brain’s receptors are altered. The levels they reach are so high, that nothing the addict does will ever match it. Thus, the addiction forms. However, besides this consequence, there are other lasting long term effects.
- You may experience memory loss.
- Cancer may develop in your throat, breast, liver, or mouth.
- The gray matter in your brain may begin diminishing.
- You may suffer from a stroke.
Addiction to alcohol can cause permanent damage, but that does not mean that the symptoms cannot be managed. The Arizona Addiction Recovery Center specializes in helping patients return to the most fulfilling and normal life they can. The professionals help addicts with symptom management and life mapping.
Drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short amount of time can lead to a condition known as alcohol poisoning, which has the potential of being very dangerous. Alcohol poisoning can affect your reflexes, as well as your heart rate. This can cause the person experiencing alcohol positioning to die. If you think that someone has alcohol poisoning, get help immediately because it is a medical emergency. The symptoms are listed below.
- The person may start vomiting or be dry heaving.
- They may begin having seizures.
- You may notice that their breathing is slow, labored, or irregular.
- Their body temperature may be low and you may notice their skin turning pale.
Do not be afraid to get help if you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning. Do not let the person try to sleep off the poisoning because this is putting them at a greater risk of dying. If the person is unconscious, do not leave them alone and call emergency medical services.
Damage To The Liver
Your liver is a very powerful and important organ. It has one of the most essential jobs in your whole body; removing toxins. Unfortunately, this makes your liver very susceptible to alcohol. The liver will work overtime, trying to rid your body. Depending on how much you drink, you could do irreversible damage to your liver. Your body will begin depositing fat deposits in your liver, which is called fatty liver.
Most people who consume alcohol regularly do not display symptoms of fatty liver, so they are not aware that they have it. Fatty liver can eventually lead to the development of cirrhosis, which is irreversible. Cirrhosis occurs when the liver cells are so inflamed from the alcohol that they die and scar over. This can lead to a variety of other health problems, including liver failure.
Linked To Heart Attacks
Drinking alcohol excessively can also lead to an increased risk of experiencing a heart attack. This is because when you consume alcohol, your blood alcohol content is affected. This level of toxicity in the blood will directly affect your heart. To further complicate matters, alcohol makes your body deposit fat in your bloodstream. This can cause clogged arteries or high cholesterol. Heavy drinking and binge drinking both lead to a higher risk of heart-related complications.
Binge-drinking is when a person drinks a lot of alcohol in a short amount of time. This can force your blood pressure to rise drastically and increase your heart rate. This can trigger a heart attack.
Heavy drinking is when someone overconsumes regularly, which is deemed more dangerous than binge-drinking. Addicts suffer from heavy drinking. This can cause your heart muscles to weaken, arteries to harden, and your heart to enlarge. Your heart will have trouble pumping blood and will lead to a heart attack.
Alcohol And Pregnancy
Drinking while pregnant is legal. However, the consequences of doing so can be devastating. Once the baby has attached to the uterine lining, the body of the mother is providing the baby with all of its nourishment. Consumption during any stage of the pregnancy is not advised and can have damaging effects.
Drinking during these crucial stages of development can lead to the body terminating the pregnancy. Addiction can cause someone to drink while they are pregnant, leading to deformities during birth or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. FAS can lead to the child having facial deformities, learning disabilities, and other health or behavioral problems. If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant and are addicted to alcohol, the best course of action is to seek treatment.
If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction to alcohol, seek the help you deserve. Alcohol may be a legal substance however, it can have damaging effects on both the body and mind. Addiction to alcohol can happen to anyone. The professionals at The Arizona Addiction Recovery Center take pride in creating unique and personalized treatment plans for the individual.
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Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Arizona Addiction Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 888.512.1705.