People often drink alcohol to have fun and lighten up with their friends as a social activity. For many, it is a relaxer and helps reduce stress, but excessive or long-term alcohol consumption can cause health complications.
So if you’re among the few that have started working on quitting this drinking habit, you’ll come across plenty of reasons in this post to continue your path of quitting excessive drinking. It’s also worth noting that we’re not talking about ‘quitting alcohol’; instead, we’re pushing the notion to ‘quit excessive drinking.’
Undesirable habits like excessive alcohol consumption affect cognitive abilities, overall health, and social relationships. Alcohol contains addictive substances that individuals dealing with stress and depression indulge in to cope with their emotions. This reliance can lead addicts into a downward spiral compromising their overall health.
Is It Easy?
Quit the habit of drinking excessively?
It is not easy to do, especially for those who drink daily and just quit cold turkey. An ideal solution to quitting this habit is to join a rehab group where you can become a part of this process along with many others like you.
Consider visiting rehab centers like Delphi Health Group to make your intervention journey smoother and professionally monitored.
A study by World Health Organization (WHO) based on about 5,000 adults in England and Scotland – shows that quitting drinking has many benefits. It’s worth mentioning that people who had quit the habit for more than one year showed improvement in their quality of life and showed minimal signs of relapse.
Negative Effects of Alcohol
Before we go into the negative effects of alcohol, let’s first outline what a standard drink is and how much is too much alcohol?
A Standard Drink:
- Malt liquor (Eight ounces contains 7% alcohol)
- Wine (Five ounces contains 12% alcohol)
- Beer (Twelve ounces contains 5% alcohol)
- Gin, Rum, Vodka, Whiskey: 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor (1.5 ounces has 40% alcohol)
So how much is too much (binge drinking)?
Women: More than four drinks during a single occasion. Heavy drinkers consume eight or more drinks per week.
Men: More than five drinks during a single occasion. Heavy drinkers consume fifteen or more drinks per week.
Now that we’ve outlined the average threshold of drinkers let’s dive into some of the negative effects of drinking excessively.
Excessive drinking is the common cause of fatal accidents, drownings, and burns. It’s also common for people to feel sluggish due to their low motor reactions when they’re in a drunken state. Furthermore, individuals in that state may even be prone to violence, risky sexual behaviors, miscarriage, and stillbirth (in the case of pregnancy).
Long Term Risks
Excessive alcohol consumption may even lead to chronic diseases. This entails heart disease, strokes, liver disease, digestive issues, development of cancer, and these individuals are more likely to fall sick due to their low immunity.
Your liver helps break down and remove toxins from your body. Excessive alcohol usage can lead to pancreatitis, where the pancreas releases excessive digestive enzymes causing abdominal pain. Its long-term effects can cause serious complications. Hence, most people working on quitting the habit are asked to drink water and flush out toxins from the body.
Low Blood Sugar Levels
While we’re on the topic of the pancreas, excessive consumption of alcohol can also affect this organ’s regulation of insulin and glucose. Most heavy drinkers may face symptoms of hypoglycemia – where they feel low and depressed. This is because the liver stops functioning properly due to the high alcohol levels in the body.
Central Nervous System
Earlier in this article, we spoke of sluggish movement – one of the effects of excessive alcohol consumption. Similarly, alcohol also affects the communication between your brain and body, causing the affected to lose balance, have slurred speech, and even think clearly. It affects their ability to create long-term memories, make rational choices, and regulate their emotions.
Eventually, it may even lead to the condition of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, as the frontal lobe is damaged.
The Circulatory System
One of the common signs of chronic drinking can be detected by monitoring the heart and lunch function of the affected. The circulatory system can show signs of high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and artery blockages – ultimately increasing the chance of stroke and heart disease. Excessive drinking also affects the absorption rate of vitamins and minerals, leading to signs of fatigue and anemia.
Quitting alcohol: a process of becoming sober
The no hidden fact that alcohol impairs your judgment and dulls your senses. It affects you biologically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s a long, tedious process, but it’s a road to recovery from drinking excessively. The damage your body and mind have taken will take a toll eventually, but there are plenty of rehabs that can help with preventive care. You’ll be going through stages of treatment like detoxification, rehabilitation, and maintenance to complete your journey.
Addiction to excessive drinking is a very powerful and drastically dangerous condition. It can stem from peer pressure, curiosity, prescription drugs, or more. The US has the highest rate of addiction victims. The addiction industry is a $740 billion market. Even more alarming is that US citizens consume the most prescription drugs worldwide.
If you enjoyed reading this article and wish to add your two cents about excessive alcoholism, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section.