Enjoying alcohol in moderation is not just “not bad” for you, but it may have health benefits that could prolong your life. It is when people use alcohol as an escape route for social, personal or career pressures that abuse or alcoholism can result. Abuse of alcohol, or consumption of more alcohol than the body can handle, can lead to liver damage and other debilitating conditions.
Symptoms of Excess Alcohol Intake
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Loss of bladder and bowel control.
- Blackouts, in which a drinker does not remember what happened while he or she was drinking.
- Temporary loss of consciousness.
- Coma and death.
- The side effects of alcohol include the hangover, in which headaches, nausea and vomiting continue after a drinker is no longer actually intoxicated or experiencing the alcohol high.
- Weight gain and high blood pressure can result from repeated overconsumption of alcohol, and long-term overconsumption of alcohol can raise the risk for:
- Liver damage.
- Depression of the immune system.
- Reduced sexual performance.
Health Problems As a Result of Alcohol:
Heavy drinkers have a greater risk of liver disease including hepatitis and cirrhosis, heart disease, kidney damage, sleep disorders, nutritional deficiency, depression, stroke, bleeding from the stomach, sexually transmitted infections from unsafe sex, and several types of cancer including breast cancer. Heavy drinkers may also have problems managing diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions.
The effects of alcohol on the brain can occur by both direct and indirect means. Thus, it is not really necessary that the alcohol actually reach the brain, though it does, for brain function to be modified.
Damage to the brain can occur through alcohol-induced deficiencies in nutrition, liver disease, and through alterations in the function of other bodily systems (e.g. immune, hormonal), which produce substances that end up in the blood and get transported to the brain.
Alcohol dependence is a physical disorder that requires medical treatment, as attempts to withdraw alcohol from a dependent patient will lead to unpleasant and even potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Medical treatment for alcohol dependence is known as detoxification, or detox, and it is followed by inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation treatment and therapy that helps patients avoid future alcohol abuse.
In a residential rehab center, intensive counseling and therapy that helps patients find positive ways of dealing with the stress and pressures that led them to abuse alcohol begins as soon as the acute detoxification process is over.
Residential treatment programs lasting from 30 days including detox to 90 days and beyond are available at rehab centers that are located in pleasant surroundings where patients can focus solely on recovery. Once the inpatient phase of treatment is complete, counselors at these centers encourage patients to continue treatment with outpatient addiction professionals as well as by joining self-help support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Drug abuse is a condition in which the individual continues to use drugs despite a clear understanding of the harm it is causing them and their families. Drug abuse is not drug addiction, which is typified by such things as developing a tolerance for drugs or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using drugs
- Crystal meth
- Percocet and others
Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction
Drug tends to be acidic, because of their chemical structures, can affect the body in different ways. In fact, some drugs can even change a person’s body and brain in ways that last long after the person has stopped taking drugs, maybe even permanently.
Depending on the drug, it can enter the human body in a number of ways, including injection, inhalation, and ingestion. The method of how it enters the body impacts on how the drug affects the person. For example: injection takes the drug directly into the blood stream, providing more immediate effects; while ingestion requires the drug to pass through the digestive system, delaying the effects.
The impact of drug abuse and dependence can be far-reaching, affecting almost every organ in the human body. Drug use can:
- Weaken the immune system, increasing susceptibility to infections.
- Cause cardiovascular conditions ranging from abnormal heart rate to heart attacks. Injected drugs can also lead to collapsed veins and infections of the blood vessels and heart valves.
- Cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
- Cause the liver to work harder than usual, possibly causing significant damage or liver failure.
- Cause seizures, stroke and widespread brain damage that can impact all aspects of daily life by causing problems with memory, attention and decision-making, including sustained mental confusion and permanent brain damage.
- Produce global body changes such as breast development in men, dramatic fluctuations in appetite and increases in body temperature, which may impact a variety of health conditions.
Effects Of Drug On Brain:
Although initial drug use may be voluntary, drugs have been shown to alter brain chemistry, which interferes with an individual’s ability to make decisions and can lead to compulsive craving, seeking and use. This then becomes a substance dependency.
All drugs of abuse; nicotine, cocaine, marijuana and others- effect the brain’s “reward” circuit, which is part of the limbic system.
Drugs hijack this “reward” system, causing unusually large amounts of dopamine to flood the system.
This flood of dopamine is what causes the “high” or euphoria associated with drug abuse.
- Behavioral Problems.
- Impaired Judgment.
- Loss of Self-Control.
Article By eDokitaTeam
- Drug Abuse.com, Eric Patterson, Effect of Alcohol, Symptoms of Excess Intake, Side effect and Withdrawal Treatment. 2016 http://drugabuse.com/library/the-effects-of-alcohol-use/
- Gateway Foundation; Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction.2016 http://recovergateway.org/substance-abuse-resources/drug-addiction-effects/
- Gateway Foundation; Effects of Alcohol and Addition. 2016 http://recovergateway.org/substance-abuse-resources/alcohol-addiction-effects/
- Drug Abuse.net, Drugs Overview and types. 2016 http://www.drugabuse.net/drug-abuse/