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Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol withdrawal stages
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms
Most adults consume alcohol from time to time. Over 55% of Americans aged 26 or older consume alcohol in a given month. And 1 in 4 adults in the same age group engage in binge drinking, a survey shows.

But, when that drinking turns into an excessive alcohol addiction habit that poses a threat to the person’s health, and ability to work and impairs their judgment, that’s when drinking becomes a problem. Alcohol misuse is linked to countless health, financial, and social consequences.

Here is a more detailed overview of the adverse reactions from alcohol use and signs of alcohol abuse. Including some practical information that may help you shed some light on this highly prevalent habit.

Different Drinking Patterns

According to a 2019 national survey, 85.6% of people aged 18 or over, stated they consumed alcohol at some point in their lives. Exactly 69.5% stated drinking in the past year, while 54.9% stated drinking in the last month.
Since alcohol is so common, it’s difficult to differentiate between casual use and alcohol misuse. Some drinking patterns don’t pose a serious health risk. Others do, and they can have notable health consequences. The different drinking patterns include:
  • Moderate drinking: If you do enjoy a drink, it’s best to do so moderately. Moderate drinking is one standard drink a day for women and two for men.
  • Heavy drinking is accompanied by bigger health risks. Men who drink 4 or more drinks a day and women who drink 3 or more are classified as heavy drinkers.
  • Binge drinking is another alcohol drinking pattern that has a negative impact on the human body. For men, binge drinking is considered when the user is consuming 5 or more drinks in 2 hours. For women, it’s 4 or more drinks in the exact same timeframe.
Alcohol abusers don’t tend to be dependent on alcohol. Whereas alcohol dependence means that the user is in desperate need to use alcohol to get through the day. Developing alcohol dependence means that the person can’t put a stop to their drinking habit without experiencing a withdrawal.
So, they keep drinking to relieve mood swings, tremors, insomnia, and other symptoms. Alcohol abuse is characterized by excessive and extreme alcohol use. Even if this drinking habit is causing plenty of problems in the person’s life, like social, health, or legal issues, that person keeps drinking.

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Quick Alcohol Effects

To understand the alcohol side effects, it’s critical to know how soon the alcohol will reach the bloodstream. After the drink is swallowed, 80% of it travels through the small intestine and 20% through the stomach. Its effects can be felt in 5-10 min after consumption.
Alcohol often is at its peak in 30 to 90 minutes. These side effects will vary based on how much alcohol you’ve consumed. The higher the amount, the bigger the impact. The physical effects of low drinking include:
  • Poor coordination
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Impaired reflexes
Moderate drinking has a more profound impact, often resulting in:
  • Slurry speech
  • Need to urinate
  • Impaired vision
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Skin reactions (such as itchiness, red or flushed skin, or skin rash)

Heavy drinking is known for being very harmful and causing a notable physical impact and side effects. The larger the quantity, the more dangerous the impact. These alcohol side effects can include:

  • Losing consciousness
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty controlling bladder or bowels
  • Having trouble breathing
  • Coma
  • Death
If a person continues to drink heavily, they can be at high risk of experiencing alcohol poisoning (also known as alcohol overdose). Roughly 6 people lose their life a day across the United States due to alcohol poisoning. Most of these deaths are among 35- to 64-year-olds.
There is also a close link between alcohol abuse and infertility. Heavy drinking can force a man’s sex drive to plummet. It could also impair sperm quality and make it harder to conceive. Alcohol has a negative effect on women’s reproductive health as well.

Psychological Alcohol Effects

The psychological ramifications of alcohol misuse and abuse can be serious. But, their effect on the brain will vary based on the frequency and quantity of consumption. Including the person’s health state, age, and genetic background.
The psychological short-term side effects can include:
  • Problems with memory
  • Decreased inhibitions
  • Temporary stress relief
  • Trouble staying focused
The psychological long-term side effects can include:
  • Impaired brain development, memory, and learning capacity
  • Dependency
  • Impaired brain development, memory, and learning capacity
  • Increased anxiety and depression

Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

Although there isn’t an exact formula that can help you pinpoint if someone is addicted to alcohol, there are some warning signs that can help you spot the problem. For example, a person’s behavior can indicate alcohol abuse. Individuals  alcohol addiction typically display some of the following signs:

  • Drinking in secrecy or alone
  • Making drastic changes in appearance to fit with the rest of their drinking buddies
  • Feeling hungover even when they didn’t drink
  • Using excuses to grab a drink (such as “alcohol makes me feel normal” or “alcohol helps me deal with stress”)
  • Having short-term memory loss or temporary blackouts
  • Being irrational
  • Regular and drastic mood swings
  • Becoming distant or isolated from family members

If you recognize any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek expert help. With adequate alcohol treatment, users can keep the negative consequences of alcohol at bay. They can obtain the necessary tools and coping mechanisms to remain sober.

Long-Term Alcohol Side Effects

Excessive alcohol use can trigger profound health risks. Such as alcohol addiction, depression, overdose, and organ damage. Alcohol and liver damage are serious health risks. Alcohol alters the chemicals that remove and break down scar tissue. This means the organ has trouble functioning properly and can fail.

Drinking 2 or 3 alcoholic beverages a day can harm your liver. While binge drinking can trigger notable liver damage. If you or anyone in your family is struggling with alcohol abuse, talk to a specialist. Now that you know the symptoms of drinking too much alcohol, you can act and work on achieving sober living. With expert help, you can get back on track and give your body the rest it deserves.

Conclusion

Inpatient rehab is most suitable for patients with severe alcoholism or drug addiction. These alcohol rehab programs
provide medical supervision and regular therapies that help patients improve physical and mental health
and wellbeing.

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