What Alcohol Does to You: The Many Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the most abused substances in the world today, and may are not aware of the harmful effects of alcohol. If not used properly, it can become quite an addiction for many people. About 20,000 deaths a year are associated with alcohol and there are plenty of countries in the world that have banned alcohol all together. If that is not reason enough to not drink alcohol, there are other reasons why you should just say no to alcohol for good.

The short and long-term effects of alcohol

Almost everyone knows that alcohol is not good for the body, but many people go ahead and drink anyway. Just like eating junk food or drinking soda, they shrug off the possible negative effects and hope for the best.  With alcohol, it is important to be aware of not only the short-term effects, but also the long-term effects on the mental and physical body.

  • Short term effect

The things that occur short term are going to depend on how much you drink in one period of time. Let’s take one evening for example. If you drink one or two beers, you will most likely not be affected too much, as the amount of alcohol in your blood will not be too high. The more you drink, however, the more impact the alcohol has on your body.

Alcohol has an effect on your brain and the more you drink in one evening, the more evident it will become that you are becoming intoxicated. You will become dizzy, your reaction times will slow, you will lose your inhibitions, slur your words, not see straight, and lose your ability to think clearly.  For those who drink entirely too much, blackouts can occur. This means that you will have no recollection of what you did the next day. You will “black out.”

Drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short time can be very dangerous.  Many people have done incredibly stupid and dangerous things while intoxicated, from having unprotected sex, hitchhiking, doing daring stunts that cause injury, get into a brawl, drive drunk, and experience encounters with the law.

  • Long term effects

Over time any harmful food or drink can have a negative effect on the body. Alcohol is no exception. Drinking long term can affect your physical health and even cause an early death.  Here are some of the long term effects of drinking alcohol:

  • Ulcers
  • High blood pressure
  • Decreased libido
  • Brain damage
  • Live damage
  • Stroke
  • Digestion issues
  • Heart disease

Along with physical problems associated with drinking alcohol long term, many people experience problems in other areas of their lives, including relationship and job losses, trouble with the law, and experience emotional or mental health problems such as depression or bipolar disorder.

Health problems

Alcohol has been known to cause great health problems for those who abuse it. Health experts state that excessive use can cause brain damage, cancer, fertility problems, high blood pressure, liver damage, stomach ulcers and weight gain. On average, 20,000 people die from abusing alcohol per year. A simple “no” mentality can prevent you from experiencing these serious health problems you could face from the harmful effects of alcohol.

Alcoholism stunts your emotional growth

Alcoholism can take a toll on many different levels, but one level that a lot of people never really think about it the emotional level.  Do you realize that emotions are supposed to grow over time? For example, when you are a child, your emotional maturity is young, as you are young.  When you are sad, you cry. When you are angry, you scream.  But as you grow older, given a healthy environment, your emotions are supposed to develop and mature.   This is ideal, as grown adults don’t really want to go around with zero emotional control, as it can lead to all sorts of trouble.

Talk to the substance abuse professionals at an alcohol rehab center and they’ll tell you about the effects of alcohol. They’ll tell you that when you start drinking, your emotional growth slows.  Sometimes it stops completely, but you might not realize it right away.

For example, let’s say you started drinking when you were 14.  At that age, your emotions were not completely mature, so when you begin using alcohol, your emotional growth slows or stops.  Now let’s fast forward ten years to when you’re 24.  You and your boyfriend get into an argument and he is trying to resolve the matter in a calm and collected way and you go emotionally crazy on him. You lose it. Your ability to handle the conflict in a mature matter is limited most likely because for the past ten years drinking you have stunted your emotional growth.

This tends to happen more often when alcoholics are drinking to numb inner pain.  That pain could have come from when they were a small child or growing up as a teen, but one thing they know for sure: when they drink, the pain gets numbed temporarily and they like that.  The problem is that they are hurting themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Drinking costs lots of money

In today’s world, the cost of living is always at a steady rise. The more money you make, the more money you have to pay. If the cost of living is so expensive, how can people afford alcohol? Of course, there are the people who save their money, so they can have a drink at the end of the week, but there are also the people who use numerous credit cards just to feed their addiction.

Can you imagine how much money you would have at the end of the month if the money you used on alcoholic beverages were used for something more productive? You should hold your money and work to a higher standard than just wasting it on a product that can eventually make you sick or kill you.

Accidents and deaths

The effects of alcohol can even be deadly. Have you ever considered how many people are killed in drinking and

driving accidents per year? About 10,000 innocent people are killed every year simply because one person had too much to drink and decided to drive. Can you imagine telling the 10,000 families that their loved one has been killed because of a drinking and driving accident? Of course, alcohol is not the only factor in a death by drinking and driving; people make the decisions to drive even though they know they are past their limit. Think of how many lives could save by simply saying “no” to alcohol.

Crime

The effects of alcohol are a huge reason behind so many crimes today. Since alcohol impairs your judgment and makes it harder to determine right and wrong, crime is more likely to happen between drunk people. Burglary, assault, car theft, and even murder are more likely to happen if alcohol is involved. If you were to ever run out of alcohol and had no more money to buy another drink, you may be tempted to steal a car and money in order to get more.

Do you drink too much alcohol?

Many people wonder if they drink too much and the answer varies from person to person.  There really is no health advantage to drinking alcohol, so you can’t really justify your drinks.  Leisure or social drinking is generally thought of to be alright, but when it goes beyond that problems can occur.  If you’re drinking a six pack every day or drinking to numb your pain, you may have a problem and ought to consider the long-term effects this could have on your physical and mental health.

For those that have an addictive nature, it may be difficult to just have a drink here and there. Addicts tend to not be able to stop after a few, but always need one more.  If you have tried to stop drinking and cannot seem to keep the alcohol away, it is likely that you are an alcoholic. Most people who really take an honest look at their lives will know in their heart whether they are alcoholics or not.  They may mentally try to deny it, but deep in their hearts they know that they are dependent upon alcohol.

The importance of abstaining and getting help

If you’re suffering from negative effects of alcohol, or are an alcoholic, it is time to reach out for help. It is time to put the drink down, stop running from your inner pain, and do whatever it takes to get the help you need. A great place to start is an alcohol rehab center, as there you will be able to go through detox and take a short season of your life to focus on resolving the issues that you’ve been stuffing for years and years. You will be able to get some professional counseling, so you can tackle that inner pain. You can begin to get clear in your mind, contend with negative emotions like anger and depression, and find some hope for a bright future without alcohol.

Alcohol rehabs are there for you to help you combat the effects of alcohol. They provide a safe environment for you to let go of all that you’ve been harboring deep inside.  The fear, loneliness, guilt, shame, and so on.  Many alcoholics have found a new, beautiful life on the other side and you can too.  Don’t be afraid or ashamed to admit that you are an alcoholic and in need of some help.  Give us a call today and let us help you find the right treatment center for you.