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Alcohol Addiction: Causes, Signs and Effects

Alcohol Addiction: Causes, Signs and Effects

Posted On : August 9, 2019

Alcohol and substance abuse is a major lifestyle and behavioural problem that is constantly on the rise and shows no signs of abating. People addicted to alcohol often experience negative consequences due to their drinking habit, such as underperformance in their professional life, difficulty in holding on to a steady job, and/or inability to handle their daily responsibilities. Some of the other warning signs to watch out for include frequent short-term memory loss or temporary blackouts, irritability and mood swings, becoming isolated from the society and a
change in appearance for the worse.

Causes of Alcohol Addiction

There are different reasons why people increasingly resort to drinking alcohol. Being an addictive substance, alcohol manipulates the part of the brain that perceives pleasure and a sense of reward. Over time, with repeated and excessive consumption, the brain chemically hardwires itself to crave alcohol.

Alcoholism is often a distraction from the realities of life, or some especially unpleasant incidents, for example; depression or anxiety. Although initially, it may seem like the alcohol is allaying the effects of such incidents, in the long run, it will definitely exacerbate the power of such illnesses or unpleasant memories, resulting in a situation more hopeless than before.

Family history is also a dominant factor at play. If there is a family history of binge drinking and alcohol abuse, chances are high that a person has the genes that make him/her genetically more predisposed towards alcohol.

Effects of Alcohol Addiction

Consuming alcohol in excess quantities can wreak havoc with our physical, mental and psychological well-being. Some of the notable effects include:

High blood pressure
• Deterioration in immunity
• Brain damage, memory loss and problems incomprehension
• Increased risk of diseases like cancer
• Problems in conceiving and giving birth
• Ulcers
• Amnesia
• Blurred vision
• Delayed motor reactions and staggered gait
• Issues in emotional response

Along with these short-term, visible side effects, there are serious consequences in the long run too. If left unaddressed and untreated, alcohol addiction can result in:

• Complications in the liver
• Cardiovascular diseases
• Ulcers
• Pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer
• Nerve damage

Treatment for alcohol addiction

A key part of alcohol addiction recovery is to get treatment in the first place. Counselling and therapy can help motivate people to opt for rehabilitation session, which can help the person overcome the underlying cause of alcohol addiction.

Vocational training, engaging in useful and productive work or nice little hobby can also help the person rediscover his/her purpose in life. Counselling by family and friends can help the person connect with the community and rebuild relationships.

Above all, the most important step that a person can take to come out of this downward spiral is to shed a sense of denial. Acknowledging your problems and trying to find ways to resolve them, while undoubtedly tough, is the right way and the best measure against turrning to drugs or alcohol for solace.

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