It's no secret that alcohol is used as a coping mechanism by many people. Whether it's to numb an emotion or deal with a past traumatic event, alcohol can be used to deal with somebody's problems. However, what many people don't know is that alcohol can be very harmful and lead to alcoholism. In this blog post, we will discuss the signs of alcoholism, what is an alcoholic, and the effects of alcohol on the brain.
Signs of Alcoholism
The first and most obvious sign of alcoholism is an inability to control alcohol consumption. Signs that someone has lost control over their drinking include: forgetting what happened while they were drunk, waking up after having blackouts, or being unable to stop once they start drinking.
Another sign of alcoholism is drinking in order to feel normal.
People who are addicted to alcohol will often drink even when they don't have any problems or issues that need to be dealt with. They will continue to drink until the feeling of being drunk sets in and then they will stop.
In addition, another sign of alcoholism is when someone drinks alone or in secret. Signs include not wanting anyone to know about their drinking habits, hiding alcohol where it cannot be seen by others (like under the sink), and being uncomfortable if someone asks them how much they have had that day.
Someone may also have a sense of guilt surrounding alcohol consumption. People who are addicted to alcohol will often feel guilty about drinking and try to hide their habits from family members or friends.
Signs include feeling ashamed of themselves for being drunk all the time, avoiding social situations where they might have alcohol available (such as parties), making excuses not to join in activities because they don't want anyone else there with them while they drink.
Then unfortunately there is craving alcohol. Signs include constantly thinking about drinking and having cravings even when they aren't thirsty or aren't in the mood for it!
Alcoholism is a serious mental illness that affects millions of people each year in the United States alone. People with this condition are unable to stop drinking despite negative consequences such as DUI charges, financial troubles from drinking too much money away at bars or restaurants, or losing their job because they can't work while intoxicated regularly.
Alcohols Effects on the Brain
There are many factors that go into the effects of alcohol on the brain. The amount consumed, for how long, age, gender, genetics, family history, and general health all play a part in how alcohol will affect someone.
However, there are some key points that remain consistent.
Alcohol can initially have a stimulating effect as it blocks inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain. This can lead to feelings of euphoria and increased confidence. However, as alcohol continues to be absorbed it starts to depress the central nervous system. This can lead to slurred speech, poor balance and coordination, and a lack of inhibition.
As alcoholism sets in, the drinker becomes increasingly tolerant to the effects of alcohol.
This means they need more and more alcohol to achieve the desired effects, which can lead to dangerous behaviors like drinking and driving or blacking out.
Alcoholism also causes changes in the brain’s structure and function. The drinker may start to lose control over their emotions and actions and may act impulsively. They may also suffer from impaired memory and decision-making skills. Long-term effects of alcoholism include difficulty with learning and processing information, decreased verbal abilities, depression, anxiety disorders, and seizures.
The effects of alcohol on the brain are far-reaching, but they can be reversed once you stop drinking. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, it’s important to reach out for help right away at an inpatient rehab facility. There is no shame in getting help, and it’s the best step you can take to reclaim your life.
Effects of Alcohol on the Body
Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down the central nervous system. Effects of alcohol on the body include:
Brain - drinking too much alcohol can affect nerve cells and may lead to memory problems or co-ordination difficulties;
Heart - alcohol can increase the risk of high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and stroke;
Liver - excessive drinking over time can lead to a build-up of fat in the liver which may cause inflammation or permanent damage; and
Pancreas - too much alcohol causes inflammation and prevents effective digestion. This condition is known as
Digestive system - drinking too much alcohol can lead to gastritis, which is an inflammation of the stomach lining.
Immune system - excessive long term drinking may increase risk of infections due to the damage done to your body’s natural defense mechanisms; and
Liver – regular heavy drinking over time leads to fatty liver, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), and liver cancer.
Breast, throat, mouth and esophagus cancers. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed.
Skin – excessive drinking dehydrates skin cells making it look dry and wrinkly.
Kidneys - heavy drinkers may develop kidney disease or kidney failure
Alcohol can also lead to weight gain as it is high in calories. A standard drink such as a glass of wine or a pint of beer contains around 150 calories, while a cocktail can contain up to 250 calories. If you regularly drink more than the recommended limits, you’re more likely to be overweight.
Please note that these figures are for guidance only and may differ between countries/regions.
How Long Does it Safely take to Detox from Alcohol?
Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be quite severe and, in some cases, even deadly. It is important to seek professional help if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Nausea and vomiting
Shakiness or tremors
Anxiety or agitation
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can begin as soon as six hours after you stop drinking, and they may last for weeks or even months. It is important to seek professional help if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, as they can be dangerous and life-threatening.
Detoxing from alcohol can be a safe and healthy process, but it is important to do so under the supervision of a professional. In most cases, detoxing from alcohol should take place in a hospital or other residential treatment setting. The length of the detox process will vary depending on your individual situation, but it is typically best to stay under a physician’s care until all symptoms have subsided. ............................................................................