Understanding the impact of alcohol addiction

Understanding the impact of alcohol addiction-1

Table of Contents

Alcohol addiction and its potential impact on society is a hot topic worldwide. The rising number of alcohol addicts has become quite alarming. The influence of social media, popular media, and peer groups have been recently influencing the young population to engage in alcohol consumption, too.


The indiscreet use of alcohol by the younger generation has more significant implications for both society and the individual. As far as adults are concerned too, binge drinking and similar alcohol problems can only cause dooming impacts.


It is in this background of substance abuse, excessive alcohol use, etc., that we are about to discuss the potential impact of these social evils on an individual and the society they live in. Some insights in the discussion below are from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and different Centers for Disease Control. They have recently expressed their genuine concern over the rise in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder reported worldwide.


Alcohol Addiction, Alcohol Use Disorder, Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: The Unavoidable Impacts and Essential Solutions

Understanding how alcohol functions after reaching the human body is crucial for understanding its impacts, both positive and negative. When you drink alcohol, it moves to the drinker’s blood through the walls of the intestine and stomach. Along with blood, alcohol travels to all nooks and corners of the body, including the human brain.


Once alcohol reaches the brain, it affects the functioning of the brain and essentially slows it down. When the brain comes under the influence of alcohol, the entire body starts to get mixed signals from it, causing the body to act and behave weirdly, as if it is not very conscious. Until and unless the effect of alcohol wears down the brain, the drinker will not be thinking and behaving in their usual self.


When taken in moderation, alcohol gives a pleasure-inducing experience to the drinker. The drinker will feel a sense of lightness in thoughts and actions. They will immediately be free of stress. But the situation entirely changes when a drinker drinks too much alcohol.


Alcohol and drugs are addictive when used excessively. So, when consuming a high amount of alcohol, the risk of alcohol addiction rises in the drinker. They will gradually develop an alcohol dependence, and alcohol may start to control all their actions.


Once addicted to alcohol, the pattern of alcohol use will progressively worsen. The drinker will start to consume alcohol excessively, even to the level of alcohol intoxication. The high blood alcohol concentration leads to the passive functioning of brain cells. This condition caused by alcohol consumption can effectively lead to the risk of alcohol use disorder.


Impacts and Effects of Alcohol: How Alcohol Affects Human Beings and Their Surroundings?

Someone with an alcohol addiction needs to seek professional help before compromising their overall health and reputation. Because the complications of alcohol addiction can happen in various aspects.


Individuals with alcohol addiction will gradually develop a high tolerance to alcohol, leading to increased consumption of alcohol. The inability of a person with an addiction to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social reactions can make their public and personal life challenging. People preoccupied with alcohol can also cause changes in the brain and permanently alter their personality.


The costs of excessive alcohol consumption can be personal, professional, social, economic, and many more. Heavy alcohol use can turn the lives of people with an addiction upside down. For convenience, let’s categorize the various impacts of chronic alcohol misuse into the following categories and study.

Understanding the impact of alcohol addiction
Health Impacts of Alcohol Use Disorder

Health impacts are the most obvious in people referred to as alcohol addicts. What begins as a sense of well-being can worsen up to fetal alcohol syndrome. Addiction is a chronic condition, especially for people with vulnerable health. An indiscreet alcohol intake can mess up the entire health of a human being.


Some of the most common health problems associated with alcohol overdose are as follows.


Short-Term Health Issues of Problematic Alcohol Use
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impaired movement
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of body balance
  • Emotional instability
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Sleepiness
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Temporary memory loss
  • Alcohol poisoning
Long-Term Health Issues Caused by Alcohol Misuse
  • Risk of diabetes
  • Risk of weight gain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Risk of suicide
  • Sexual impotence
  • Cancers
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart issues
  • Liver damage
  • Fertility issues

Alcohol use among pregnant women can cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in the child. Health problems with alcohol also include all kinds of mental health and behavioral issues.


Economic Impacts of Alcohol Addiction

The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption can lead the drinker to a challenging financial situation. Alcohol addicts can be on a loop of buying alcohol and beverages continuously. This can cause them to spend a lot of money on something unnecessary.


Once addicted, the drinkers will have an unconscious urge to keep consuming a lot of alcohol. So, gradually, they will find themselves in a difficult position financially.


Social Impacts of Alcoholism

The social impacts of alcohol drinking are never-ending. A person with high alcohol content in the blood can lose all kinds of inhibitions. They may not respect the social order, rules, and regulations. This can lead them to engage in anti-social activities.


Every year, thousands are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers. Alcohol addicts have been widely reported to be part of different kinds of social crimes, including murder, rape, and many more.


Even if an alcoholic does not engage in any crimes, chances are there for them to act weird around their dear and near. They can embarrass their family at functions and other events, affecting their social relationships.


Individual Impacts of Alcohol Dependence

The individual impacts related to alcohol are primarily personal and professional. Sexual infidelities and emotional instability of alcoholics can often cost them their families. Difficulty in focusing and functioning normally can also mess up their professional relations.


There have been hundreds of reports of alcoholics losing jobs just because they couldn’t keep up with their work commitments. Likewise, the alcohol addiction of the partner is one of the most prominent reasons for divorce worldwide.


Treatment for Alcohol Health Problems, Signs and Symptoms: A Second Chance for People with Alcohol Use Disorder

It is possible to reduce alcohol consumption and avoid alcohol use disorder relapse, even in the most challenging alcohol addicts. However, people with an addiction should commit to the proper treatment of alcoholism.


According to the alcohol drug information service, there are different ways to treat alcohol abuse. Some of them are as follows.

  • Support group activities
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Clinical counseling
  • Medication
  • Abstinence
NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator: Identify the Signs of Alcohol Addiction, Symptoms of Alcohol Dependence, and the Right Treatment Solutions at the Earliest

NIAAA’s alcohol treatment navigator is a one-stop source for all the data and assistance needed for a recovery journey from alcohol. It is a data source that functions online. People can access the navigator and look for the services that they need to aid their recovery or abstinence. The navigator is helpful in such a way that people with an addiction will get the proper guidance to receive help.


Final Word

The hidden impacts of alcohol abuse are many. From the very obvious health impacts to not-so-discussed social impacts, alcohol addiction can destroy a civilized society. Along with limiting alcohol consumption ourselves, everyone should be aware enough about the help to extend to people with an addiction around. You can always suggest various organizations and initiatives like Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, and many more.


Liver cirrhosis is a deadly disease caused by high alcohol consumption. The alcohol content affects and destroys human liver cells, leading to heavy scarring on the liver. This condition is called liver cirrhosis.

It is not advisable to consume alcohol while taking medication. Alcohol can reduce the effect of the medication on the body. Alcohol can also increase the side effects of the medication.

Contributing Editor

Troy Wakelin – Co-Founder and Contributing Editor SoberCentre.com

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