How Alcoholism Affects the Body and the Brain
Alcohol is an unusual drug in the pantheon of abused substances. Perfectly legal, widely available, and enjoying the blessing of society at large, alcohol stands alone in many different ways. While others would undoubtedly question if you pulled out a line of cocaine at the local restaurant, no one would look twice if you opened a bottle of wine and poured out a generous glass.
The fact that alcohol is legal presents some unique challenges for alcoholics and their families, making it more challenging to get help and forcing people to take the situation seriously. No matter the challenges, it is vital to tackle a drinking problem head-on as alcohol’s long-term use can have devastating physical ramifications.
What Is Alcoholism?
The dictionary defines alcoholism as an addiction to the consumption of alcoholic beverages or the mental illness and resulting compulsive behavior that happens when alcohol is consumed. But no matter what the dictionary definition, the families and friends of alcoholics know all too well what alcoholism is and why it is so harmful.
If someone in your life has been drinking to excess, it is vital to get them into alcohol rehab as soon as possible. Alcohol rehab can be an effective way to treat problem drinkers, but the sooner the treatment begins, the better off the individual and their family will be. Alcohol dependency will not resolve on its own, and you cannot afford to wait when someone in your life is drinking to excess.
General Effects of Alcohol
The consumption of alcohol has several impacts on the alcoholic, their family members, friends, and society. Here are some of the general effects of alcoholism on the people who suffer from this all too common illness:
- Lack of coordination
- Loss of balance
- Increased risk of falls
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Risk of drunk driving accidents
- Dangers from alcohol overdose
- Blacking out
Effects of Alcoholism on the Body
Alcohol can profoundly impact the body, and the dangers from these toxic substances get worse as the amount consumed continues to go up. Once dependency sets in, alcoholics must drink even more to achieve the desired effect, all while their bodies are breaking down from the excessive consumption of alcohol. Here are just some of the toxic effects of alcoholism on the body:
- Death of brain cells
- Slurred speech
- Heart disease
- Increased risk of heart attack
- Loss of coordination
- Increased risk of injury
Effects of Alcoholism on the Brain
Alcoholism takes a heavy toll on the body as a whole, but it is especially dangerous for the brain. Alcohol is a potent neurotoxin that can kill brain cells and even cause long-term brain damage. Some of the most worrying effects of alcoholism on the brain include:
- Increased risk of mental illness
- Worsening of preexisting depression and anxiety
- Risk of seizures
- Memory problems
- Permanent cognitive impairment
Long Term Effects of Alcoholism
The excessive use of alcohol can have serious long-term consequences, especially when alcoholics fail to take advantage of available alcohol rehab options. If you or someone you care about continues to drink even after being diagnosed as an alcoholic, they could suffer the following long-term health problems including:
- Increased risk of mental illness
- Dementia like cognitive impairment
- Long-term brain damage
- Mood swings
- Depression and anxiety
- Heart attack and stroke
Alcohol Rehab at WhiteSands
If you or someone you care about is using alcohol to excess, you need to explore alcohol rehab options as soon as possible. Problems with alcohol will only worsen over time, and timely alcohol rehab could make all the difference in the world.
Alcohol may be viewed as a benign substance by some, but the reality is far different than this widespread misconception. Alcoholism is a serious and potentially deadly disease that demands professional treatment and quality alcohol rehab.
The first step on the road to a lifetime of successful sobriety is just a phone call away, and we encourage you to reach out to the staff at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today to explore all your alcohol rehab options. We are here to answer all your questions and give you the information you need to get started, so visit any of our Florida locations and take the first step toward your personal recovery.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.