Consumption of alcohol is not bad per say but you know the saying “too much of something is not good” yup! The same thing applies to the drinking alcohol. So if you are a heavy drinker tone it down or stop drinking before it leads to alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
Many people often make the mistake of thinking that alcohol abuse and alcoholism is the same thing. However, this is incorrect, and while alcohol abuse and alcoholism may have some notable similarities, there are significant differences between these two drinking problems.
Alcohol abuse is a self-inflicted form of abuse caused by excessive drinking of alcohol which might be triggered as a result of failure to fulfill responsibilities at school, work or home. On the other hand, Alcoholism is a chronic disease caused by uncontrollable control of alcoholic beverages that lead to addiction and deterioration in social and health function.
Effects of Alcohol Abuse
The effects of alcohol abuse are both physical and psychological. The consequences are devastating and not only affect the drinker but those around them as well. With as little as one or two drinks one can experience the physical effects of alcohol abuse.
Short-term physical effects of alcohol abuse can be hangovers, nausea, headaches, and fatigue.
Loss of appetite; inadequate absorption of nutrients will lead to malnutrition, as well as taking non-beneficial calories from alcohol consumption.
Muscle control loss; poor coordination and impaired judgment needed to do basic things like walking or driving a car safely and may result in the drinker having an accident.
As a person consumes more and more alcohol, changes in the person’s behavior begin to be noticeable. Alcohol abuse leads to reduced inhibitions which can put a person at higher risk for actions which under normal circumstances they will not participate in, such as continued drinking, sexual activity, or illegal drug use.
Blackouts and Memory Loss; since alcohol decreases the brain’s control mechanisms, as blood alcohol levels increases, at some point the drinker might experience a blackout. Thus, periods of time and certain situations and events may not be remembered afterward.
Stupor; at a blood alcohol level of 0.40, a person can hardly function, acting seriously dazed, and disoriented.
Coma; oh! This is a serious one caused by excessive blood alcohol level of 0.50 and above. This can be life-threatening. And at this level or higher, the risk of respiratory paralysis and death become very much a possibility.
Other long-term effects of alcohol abuse include damage to the brain, high blood pressure, insomnia, nerve damage, pancreatic and liver failure, bleeding in the esophagus, erectile dysfunction in men, depression and increased cancer risks.
That said if you or your loved one drinks alcohol and displays most of these signs then it is time to get serious help because it will lead to alcoholism and worst case scenario death.