Effects of Smoking and Alcohol

What is an Alcohol Abuse? 8 Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work. Alcohol abuse can lead to addiction and other serious health problems.

With over one billion people around the world drinking alcohol, it’s clear that the effects of alcohol abuse are far-reaching. Alcohol is a legal drug that can be consumed in a variety of ways, from beer and wine to spirits like whiskey and gin. However, it carries many risks, including addiction and accidental injury. Alcohol abuse has been linked to a host of problems, from cancer to heart disease.

What is an Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol abuse is the use of alcohol over a long period in excess. Find out the warning signs and the health consequences of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol abuse is a term used to describe excessive drinking that may lead to health, family, legal, or other problems. Learn all about the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse here.

Alcohol abuse differs from alcohol addiction, but they exist simultaneously. It is important to understand that alcohol abusers may not be addicted to alcohol, but when they consume it, it knows no boundaries. Alcohol abusers keep drinking alcohol continuously, regardless of the results. They may not indulge in alcohol consumption regularly and may not suffer from any symptoms when not around alcohol. But they have no limits when they drink; they are typically heavy drinkers and end up losing control of their actions because of excessive alcohol intake. Alcohol abusers may eventually become addicted to it too.

Having a couple of drinks per day is moderate drinking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the consumption of too much alcohol and not being able to limit consumption is alcohol abuse and recognized as a very dangerous disorder. It is the root cause of many social and emotional problems, and if not curbed, a path to alcohol addiction. Alcohol abuse is a disruptive and life-threatening problem and associated with problems like drunk-driving, vandalism, violent behavior, legal consequences, etc.

Everyone understands that all alcohol-related problems, including alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse, are dangerous, but despite the research and awareness about them, they are still commonly seen. Alcohol abuse is now being observed even among teenagers these days.

Effects of Alcohol Abuse

No one grows up wanting to deal with alcohol-related problems. But alcohol, sometimes, creepily sneaks into an individual’s life. For many people, alcohol is introduced by peer pressure, prompting, and poking to drink alcohol. In time, as they fall prey to this peer pressure, they lose the ability to control how and when they drink, and this type of alcohol abuse goes hand-in-hand with alcohol addiction.

For some, alcohol consumption may begin as a remedy for some mental illness. But soon, over time, the habit of frequent overconsumption of alcohol develops and their lives fall prey to alcohol abuse and addiction disorder. And for a few people, alcohol abuse and alcoholism result from psychological or social factors, where they might consume a little too much to calm down and loosen up on some social occasion or to forget or momentarily get rid of some stressful routine.

What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work. It can lead to addiction.

Alcohol abuse is a serious problem for many people. It is not only about the person drinking but also affects your family and community. Knowing the signs of alcohol abuse is important so you can get help quickly.

8 Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

8 common symptoms observed include:

  1. decreased involvement in extracurricular/physical activities
  2. loss of interest in work-life or school-life
  3. depression
  4. lack of interest in family or friends
  5. restlessness
  6. inability to say NO to alcohol
  7. erratic/violent behavior
  8. uncaring and outlaws type of attitude

There are some long-term symptoms too, which include chronic fatigue, liver failure, cirrhosis, insomnia, chronic anxiety, etc. Alcohol abuse can also result in brain damage, which may even cause impairments to one’s working memory or visual abilities. It also causes impairment in one’s critical thinking, one’s ability to reason in stressful situations is compromised and shows many other visible neurotoxic effects.

Treatment of Alcohol Abuse

The treatment for alcohol abuse focuses on helping one learn ways to control the disorder. Most people who recover from alcohol abuse must abstain from alcohol altogether because drinking moderately is too hard for them. Abstinence is often the only way to manage this disorder. The recovery revolves around making one realize the ill-effects of alcohol abuse and one’s self-motivated commitment towards curbing the habit. The recovery is a long process and includes therapy, learning new coping skills, and healthier ways to manage stress.

In countries like the USA, rehabilitation groups are made and regular rehab meetings are held where people become conscious of the ill-effects and realize the problem in order to abstain from alcohol on their own. There are no direct medicinal cures for this disorder and all depend on the individual’s will-power.

Prevention to Avoid Alcohol Abuse

Prevention is always better than cure and to prevent the problem of alcohol abuse we need to understand the reasons due to which people become alcohol abusers or addicts. It is found that alcohol abuse is more common at certain points of life. Males, college students, and people going through serious life events or trauma are more likely to become alcohol abusers; people who experience depression, loneliness, emotional stress or boredom deal with their problems with alcohol and thus become alcohol abusers and alcohol addicts.

Some measures already implemented are increased taxation of alcohol, strict regulation on alcohol advertising, and fewer liquor stores. These are not perfect solutions to curb the problem. With better education about the matter, and thus having families that don’t support alcohol consumption are definitely measures that can reduce the number of people suffering from the disorder of alcohol abuse. However, this problem seems today, definitely can’t be eradicated wholly.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

Like any other disorder, people suffering from alcohol abuse to face withdrawal symptoms when they don’t get alcohol for a while. Once they stop drinking, a part of their lifestyle seems to miss, the routine seems to have been broken. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • nausea
  • shaking, shivering and sweating simultaneously
  • irritability
  • anxiety

Sometimes when one acutely suffering from the disorder tries to abstain from alcohol, the withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and may lead to a medical emergency. Such symptoms include:

  • seizures
  • severe vomiting (sometimes containing blood)
  • hallucinations
  • fevers

If one has a long-term addiction to alcohol and alcohol abuse, a therapist or doctor must be consulted. In such cases, to quit alcohol, treatment should be carried out under proper guidance, and in a slow and step-wise manner.

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