There aren’t many addictive substances you can walk into a store a purchase off a shelf, but alcohol is – and we’ve seen many people underestimate the danger of alcohol for that reason alone. At The Treatment Center, we help those who struggle with alcohol dependency with compassion and experience. Trust our team to help you overcome your battle against alcohol dependency.
Alcohol abuse involves people of all age groups, genders, and income levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcoholism (or binge drinking) currently kills about six Americans every day. The toll for alcohol poisoning deaths per year stands at about 2,200 people. These shocking numbers point to a need to spread awareness of the dangers of excessive drinking and alcohol poisoning.
Reasons for Alcohol Addiction
To understand the dangers of excessive drinking, one must first grasp why alcohol is such a common substance for addiction. Alcohol releases endorphins in the brain – the chemical responsible for making you feel happy. The part of the brain alcohol affects is the nucleus accumbens, or the area linked to addictive behavior and decision making. The pleasurable effects of drinking alcohol make the user want to engage in this practice again and again, connected to the reward circuit and affecting your ability to make conscious, controlled decisions.
Often, drinkers develop an alcohol tolerance and have to consume larger quantities of alcohol to achieve the same pleasurable effects. Soon, the person cannot feel normal without drinking alcohol. This is called an alcohol dependency. Alcohol withdrawals at this point may cause nausea, vomiting, tremors, anxiety, fever, confusion, seizures, and even death. The person cannot stop drinking alcohol without experiencing these terrible effects – and so he or she simply does not stop. Alcoholism is not a choice, but a condition that alters the mind, body, and brain. To defeat alcoholism, one must address the myriad consequences of this type of addiction.
What Is Alcohol Poisoning?
Alcohol poisoning describes the state wherein a person has consumed too much alcohol for the system to properly digest. Excessive drinking causes severe and even life-threatening impairment. “Too much alcohol” typically means in excess of the normal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08%, or the point of legal drunkenness for an adult. BAC levels double 0.08% or higher point to alcohol poisoning, leading to symptoms such as:
- Lack of Judgment
- Loss of Coordination
- Mental Impairment
- Muscle Cramps
- Pancreatic Pain
- Slurred Speech
These are short-term consequences of alcohol poisoning and point to the need to take a break and give your body time to heal. People struggling with binge drinking cannot or do not take this necessary break, resulting in long-term physical and mental health effects.
Alcohol Poisoning and the Body
Alcohol is not a substance that only temporarily damages the body. A person who consumes alcohol excessively for a long period of time faces the risk of permanent organ and brain damage, as well as certain cancers of the liver. Long-term alcohol poisoning can cause permanent cognitive problems such as memory loss and anxiety. Young people’s brains are particularly at risk for alcohol-related damages, as they are still developing. Consistent binge drinking can also cause heart and circulation problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Drinking weakens the heart muscles, which can then have negative effects on the lungs, liver, and other organs.
Those who drink alcohol heavily are more likely to suffer from lung infections, pneumonia, and collapsed lungs. They also run a high risk of liver issues, since the liver takes on the greatest responsibility for digesting alcohol. The liver can develop harmful fat deposits, becoming inflamed and causing alcoholic hepatitis. This condition can cause liver failure and death. Prolonged alcoholism can permanently damage the liver, leaving behind scar tissue (cirrhosis), and increasing the risk of liver cancer. Women are more susceptible than men to the effects of alcohol on the liver.
Alcohol poisoning can also affect the stomach, leading to internal bleeding, stomach ulcers, and stomach cancers. A person may experience painful gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach, making it difficult to absorb food. The intestine may also suffer, resulting in an inability to absorb vitamins and nutrients, as well as increased risk of colon cancer. The pancreas can become inflamed, leading to symptoms such as vomiting and weight loss. Pancreatitis can be fatal. Researchers also connect alcoholism with kidney problems, infertility, osteoporosis, weight gain, and skin issues.
A person struggling with binge drinking or alcoholism may also suffer mental health consequences along with physical symptoms. Alcohol affects the areas of your brain that control concentration, coordination, judgment, behavior, and emotion. Alcoholics are at greater risk of developing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and risk-taking behaviors. In turn, these conditions can lead to suicidal thoughts, disturbed sleep patterns, and high stress.
Excessive alcohol consumption can also take a toll on your financial stability. From spending your paychecks on alcohol to getting into legal trouble and losing your job, alcohol can be the precursor to many life-changing issues. Not to mention the increased risk of expensive and harmful accidents such as drunk-driving crashes and injurious slips and falls. Emergency room visits from alcohol poisoning or related injuries can lead to expensive medical bills, and ultimately financial ruin. Drinking without limitations can lead to all these issues and more.
Seek Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at The Treatment Center
The Treatment Center specializes in treatment, therapies, and rehabilitation programs for those struggling with alcohol addiction. If you or a loved one suffers from excessive or binge drinking, do not hesitate to reach out to our team for help when you need it. We are here for you in your time of need with strong, effective detox and long-term treatment methods. To find out about a custom rehab plan for your lifelong addiction recovery, please contact us today.
Alcohol Addiction Is Very Dangerous and, If Not Treated, Will Become More Problematic
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