What Are the Causes
and Effects of Alcoholism?
According to scientists, people with a history of alcoholism
in their families are at an increased risk to develop an alcohol problem. The drinking can either begin or become more severe depending on the individual’s environment or whether they suffered a
traumatic event. Contributing factors may include lifestyle values, culture, family, friends, and pressure from peers.
Alcoholism is not only unhealthy, it is destructive to a
person’s physical and mental state and can lead to legal problems. Approximately half of all crimes are alcohol-related, with the more serious incidents involving unintentional deaths, homicides, and
suicides. Alcoholism has been linked to cases of brain damage, liver diseases, cancer, and heart disease. The life expectancy of an alcoholic can be decreased by as much as 15 years should they opt
not to seek help.
- Excessive alcohol consumption eradicates brain cells, potentially causing brain damage.
- Alcohol can have a devastating impact on the function of the central nervous system, reducing one’s ability to retrieve, combine, or sort out information.
- Moderate drinking can impact cognitive faculties while larger amounts can impede the flow of oxygen to the brain, which causes a blackout during severe
- Alcohol addiction can cause inflammation in the stomach, esophagus, and mouth, increasing the risk of developing cancer in these areas. The risk is greater for
those who smoke.
- Irregular heartbeats may present in people who engage in splurge drinking, while abusers are at a higher risk for high blood pressure, heart damage and heart
- Alcohol use may damage vision, diminish sexual function, reduce circulation, and lead to water retention and malnutrition.
- Other alcohol-related problems include skin and pancreatic disorders, weakened muscles and bones, and decreased immunity.
When someone drinks alcohol, much of it is processed in the
liver. The liver has a limited capacity for breaking down alcohol, and it can become overtaxed. This situation may lead to liver disorders, and eventually, the organ may not function properly.
Liver damage presents in three stages. During the first
stage, the liver becomes enlarged as a result of abdominal fatty tissues penetrating the cells within the organ. The second stage comes in the form of hepatitis in the liver, which causes
inflammation, swelling, and the eventual death of cells. The last stage is cirrhosis of the liver, a condition in which scar tissues develop and interfere with blood circulation within the liver.
Don’t Wait. Call
The reasons to choose sobriety over a life of alcohol
dependency are many. The addiction cycle is very destructive to the individual who is struggling with alcoholism, and the hardships often extend to the people who are closest to the individual.
Those who do not seek treatment for their alcoholism risk