In the United States, alcohol is legal for people over a certain age. However, that doesn’t make it safe. Just as with other substances, there are health risks and other dangers when using them.
When talking about alcohol, the frequency and amount someone drinks is important. There are many ways to describe how people consume alcohol. Some people are able to drink in moderation. However, there are also those who binge drink, get blackout drunk and consume large amounts of alcohol over time.
If you or someone you know is consuming too much alcohol and needs help to stop, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Southeast Addiction TN. We have various addiction treatments that can help you to get sober and into a healthier, substance-free lifestyle.
Defining Heavy Alcohol Use
What is heavy alcohol use? This is a drinking pattern that is harmful for the person’s well-being and overall health. It happens when a male has 4 or more alcoholic beverages every day or over 14 drinks in a week. If a female has 3 ore more alcoholic beverages every day or more than 7 drinks in a week, they are a heavy alcohol user.
If you or someone you know is a heavy drinker, you shouldn’t wait for things to get worse or just expect the pattern to cease over time. There are treatments that can help you to get control over your drinking starting today.
Remember, the longer or the more you drink alcohol, the worse side effects you are likely to have.
Effects of Alcohol Use
There are numerous short and long term effects of alcohol. Learning more about these effects can help you and others to see just how damaging this substance can be.
Short Term Effects of Heavy Alcohol Use
Even if you only abuse alcohol for a short while, you will still be at risk of experiencing some negative effects. Some of these effects might include:
- Unintentional injuries – judgment, visual functions, alertness, muscle coordination, and attention may be impaired leading to a higher risk of accidents and/or injuries
- Hangovers – these are unpleasant but can include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, sweating, dizziness, increased thirst, fatigue, muscle pain, rise in blood pressure, and sensitivity to light and sound
- Electrolyte imbalances and/or dehydration – the effect alcohol has on the kidneys can cause these imbalances that even in mild cases can lead to low energy, increased thirst, headaches, increased urination, and dehydration
- Slow brain functioning – alcohol does negatively impact the brain and this can lead to issues with memory, judgment, speech, balance, concentration, communication, and other impairments
If you or someone you know has already experienced any number of these short term effects of alcohol, don’t hesitate to reach out for help to stop drinking today. You don’t have to wait until you hit rock bottom or for any of the long term effects of alcohol to occur. You can get treatment before things get worse.
Long Term Effects of Heavy Alcohol Use
Just as with the short term effects, alcohol is going to impact a person’s body and brain. There are numerous organs and systems in the body that will be affected by long term alcohol use and/or abuse. There are also many neurons and cells in the brain that can be impacted by alcohol abuse, too.
In regard to the brain, alcohol can lead to the following issues:
- Other mental health disorders
- Changes in personality, sleeping habits, mood
- Learning impairments
- Memory loss
- Attention issues
- Decreased cognitive functions
- Muscle coordination issues
If you have already experienced some of these issues, they may be able to be reversed if you start getting sober today. Even if some issues can’t be fixed, there are treatments that may be able to help you.
In regard to how alcohol affects the body, there are many other health issues that may occur such as:
- Heart issues such as strokes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and/or heart failure or heart attacks
- Liver issues such as fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and alcoholic hepatitis
- Pancreas issues such as inflammation and digestion problems
- Stomach issues such as stomach lining damage, irritation to the stomach, bleeding, gastritis, ulcers, and gut leakage
- Skin issues such as dandruff, inflammation, hives, rosacea (skin blushing), and psoriasis
If you are dealing with any of these issues on your body, there may be ways to treat them. It all starts with detoxing from alcohol to cleanse your body and start the healing process. If you want help to get the recovery process started, please reach out to our Southeast Addiction TN Center today.
Alcohol is Often More Dangerous Than Other Substances
So many people believe that because alcohol isn’t illegal, it must be safe. That is not true. Alcohol is a harmful drug and it affects nearly every part of a person’s body. It affects cells, organs, DNA and much more. It increases the risk for cancer, dementia, heart disease and many other disorders and diseases.
Research shows that when comparing alcohol to other drugs, alcohol is one of the most harmful substances. In fact, studies have shown that about 1 person dies from a drunk driving accident every hour. That isn’t even accounting for other alcohol-related deaths such as chronic health problems, other accidents and overdosing.
Get Help for Alcohol Addiction Today
Do you or someone that you care about struggle with alcohol abuse? Maybe, you already know that you have an addiction or you just know that alcohol is destroying your life piece by piece. You are not alone. There is help available and our treatment team can help you to get sober and reduce the risk of any further damage being done to your body, finances, relationships or life in general.
It may help to know that about ⅓ of those who go into an alcohol addiction treatment program see great progress in their life in 1 year or a little less. Other people may need continued treatment to make more progress. However, there is one thing for sure, the sooner you cut alcohol out of your life, the sooner you can develop a healthy, substance-free, happy lifestyle.
Are you ready to get sober and into recovery? If so, contact us today here at Southeast Addiction TN Center to get help for alcohol abuse and/or addiction right away.