Alcohol is the most used substance in the world. Alcohol abuse can lead to many negative consequences such as a greater risk for accidents or injuries, poor decision making, increased use of other drugs or alcohol, and many others. What exactly are the main causes and effects of alcohol abuse?
There are many causes and effects of alcohol abuse. To better understand alcohol abuse and its effects, one must first understand what alcohol abuse is.
What is Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships, as well as the ability to work. Alcoholism is a chronic disease, which can lead to serious health consequences.
Furthermore, alcohol abuse can have many different symptoms. They are not always visible and depend on the person’s personality, age, as well as other factors. Symptoms of alcohol abuse may include:
- Drinking in dangerous situations
- Missing work or school because of drinking
- Having trouble sleeping without drinking
- Having blackouts or memory loss from drinking
- Needing to drink more alcohol to get drunker than before
- Losing interest in hobbies that don’t involve drinking
Leading Causes of Alcohol Abuse
There are many reasons people begin to abuse alcohol. Many use it as an escape from their current reality, as well as a tool to cope with anxiety, depression, and avoidance issues. Bad relationships, financial difficulties, work-life challenges, and worries are triggers for many to overindulge.
Short-term Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse is a major public health problem and has been for a long time. It is estimated that there are more than 100 million alcohol-dependent people in the world. The short-term effects of alcohol abuse can vary, depending on multiple factors, including:
- The person’s age
- Family history of alcoholism
- What they drink and how often they drink.
For example, if a person drinks one standard drink at a time and their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.02%, they will feel the effects of alcohol in fifteen minutes. If they drink two standard drinks in rapid succession, their BAC will be 0.04% within two hours and the person’s speech and physical coordination will already have been impaired.
While not everyone who consumes alcohol will abuse it, some may conceal it. Short-term social drinking is not necessarily indicative of alcohol abuse. Binge drinking however is a sign of a problem.
Some short-term effects of alcohol abuse include:
- Personality changes, being overly demonstrative, boisterous, careless
- Temperament issues, becoming uninhibited or belligerent
- Impaired decision making
These effects are short-term and wear off as the effects of the alcohol in the body diminish
Long-term Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse is a widespread problem in the world. It has been linked to many different diseases, but the long-term effects of alcohol abuse are not as well understood. However, studies have shown that alcohol abuse is associated with a number of brain impairments.
The first neurotransmitter to be discovered was dopamine. Its role in the human brain is to help focus attention, motivate action, and reward learning behavior. Altered dopamine levels can result in cognitive decline, apathy, depression, and dementia. However, the exact relationship between alcohol abuse and impaired dopamine is not fully understood.
The Dangers and Consequences of Alcohol Abuse
In conclusion, alcohol abuse is a serious problem in the United States. Causes and effects of alcohol abuse vary from person to person. Regardless of individual reasons, the causes and effects of alcohol abuse are serious. Alcohol abuse leads to many consequences that can affect a person’s well-being, health, and relationships. It is important to understand the effects of alcohol abuse in order to know how to avoid it.
The dangers and consequences of alcohol abuse include:
- Lack of self-control
- Increased risk of injury or death due to impaired judgment and coordination
- Increased risk of accidents, injuries, violence, and suicide as a result of impaired judgment and coordination
- Long term effects such as liver damage, cancer, malnutrition, cardiovascular disease, and mental illness
It is important to not only understand the signs of alcohol abuse, but the risks it can have on the mind and body. There are many resources available for help. You can find information about alcohol abuse on the CDC website or speak to your doctor. If you are struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction, help is available.
Harm Reduction Center is a private health care facility located in South Florida that offers all levels of outpatient treatment. We understand the effects of alcohol on the body. We are ready and able to help you with a comprehensive and compassionate treatment plan. Contact us today for more information and begin recovering from the causes and effects of alcohol abuse.