There are many reasons not to drink. However, addiction to alcohol is a reality for many people. Creating a bond with alcohol is often used as a coping mechanism. People use it as an escape, for relieving stress, and to fit in socially. But there are many reasons why someone should seek help if they are struggling with alcohol dependence.
Alcohol can affect anyone and everyone. The effects an individual will experience depend on a few different factors. How much you drink, your current health state, your age, and a few others all play a part. Learn about how alcohol affects your physical and mental health, your job and finances, and your friends and family.
Are you looking for more information about what to do if you are addicted to alcohol? Then Call us today at 626-602-2966. Our experts are here to help you get the treatment you need, and start living your healthiest life.
Want to learn more about reasons not to drink? Click a link below to get started on your path to a better life.
What we commonly call alcohol is a chemical that would more scientifically be called ethanol or ethyl alcohol. Ethanol and ethyl alcohol are chemicals that are found in alcoholic drinks. For example, these types of beverages can include:
- Liquor – also called distilled spirits
- Hard cider
- Malt liquor
When sugar and yeast begin their fermentation process, this is when alcohol is produced. Sometimes you can find alcohol in liquids not intended for drinking, such as:
- Household products – for example, vanilla extract
Alcohol is considered a drug. It is addictive, and technically toxic as well. Drinking small amounts can make a person feel happy and relaxed, but alcohol is classified as a depressant, meaning it slows down your brain and body functions. It also affects the way a person feels, thinks, and behaves.
In order to reduce the effects of alcohol, it is important to know your limits. You should always be aware of how much you are drinking. Being aware of how alcohol affects your body, and how much alcohol is safe for you to drink is also important. Let’s talk about what is considered a standard drink.
A Standard Drink
When it comes to a “standard drink” there are a few different things you should know. First, know that the standard changes with the type of alcohol you are drinking. Second, it also depends on the size of the drink you are consuming. Finally, it depends on the individual drinking as well. Everyone handles their alcohol differently. What might affect one person might not affect someone else. In the United States a standard drink usually has around 0.6 ounces of alcohol. Generally, you will be able to find this amount of pure alcohol in:
- 12 ounces of beer
- 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor
- 8-9 ounces of malt
- 5 ounces of wine
Knowing your limits is crucial. If you are unaware of your limits and go overboard it could have drastic effects on your health. While some of the effects only come from chronic overuse of alcohol, others can occur even after just one night of heavy drinking. Let’s move on to reasons not to drink in order to better your health.
If you require more information about alcohol, and addiction to alcohol, then call us today. Our specialists will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Do not wait to get help. Call us today.
Health Reasons Not to Drink Alcohol
When someone drinks heavily, even if it is just occasional, it has the potential to cause serious damage to that person’s health. It is important to understand how alcohol affects the body, as well as the many health reasons not to drink alcohol.
When alcohol enters the brain, it disrupts communication pathways, affecting the drinker’s mood and ability to think clearly. Over time it can cause physiological changes that further affect a person’s mood and behavior. It will also make it more difficult to make good decisions and move quickly or with coordination.
Drinking over a long period of time causes damage to the heart. The damage can also happen to someone who drinks too much on one occasion. The possible issues include:
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heart rate
- Risk of a stroke
- Cardiomyopathy – stretching and drooping of one’s heart muscles.
Drinking a heavy amount will eventually take its toll on a person’s liver. This leads to a wide variety of issues including:
- Liver inflammation
When exposed to alcohol, the pancreas produces toxins in response. Prolonged exposure to these toxins will eventually lead to pancreatitis, a life-threatening disease involving the inflammation and swelling of blood vessels inside the pancreas itself. This swelling prevents proper digestion.
There is a strong connection between alcohol addiction and cancer. It has been shown that the more a person drinks alcohol, the higher that person’s risk is for several different cancers. For example, about 3.5% of all cancer-related deaths in the United States are also alcohol-related. The following types of cancer are associated with heavy alcohol consumption:
- Head and neck cancer
- Esophageal cancer (found in the esophagus, the tube in the throat that carries swallowed food to the stomach)
- Liver cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer (found in the colon)
Drinking a lot causes damages to someone’s immune system. The immune system becomes weakened, and this makes the person more prone to contracting diseases including pneumonia and tuberculosis.
Chronic drinkers are more likely to contract diseases over those who do not drink too much. It can take up to 24-hours after getting drunk for a person’s body to be able to ward off infections, even if the person’s drinking is only occasional.
Mental Health Issues Related to Drinking
It has been reported that 37% of people who abuse alcohol also experience mental health issues. Heavy drinkers are four times more likely to have a mental illness than people in the general population.
While the term “depressant” refers to slowing down body functions rather than changing mood, alcohol does sometimes create negative moods nonetheless. These feelings of depression and anxiety can occur while you are intoxicated, but may also appear during the hangover stage or during withdrawal. Fights and arguments are a common issue for those struggling with depression and anxiety induced by alcohol.
There is also the fact that the presence of a mental health issue may lead to the abuse of alcohol. When someone with a mental issue starts using alcohol it is often for the same reasons as people without mental issues. They want to feel better, relax, have fun, relieve boredom, cope with stress, or fit in socially. Oftentimes, someone battling mental health issues will feel that alcohol reduces their anxiety and improves their mood — that it effectively functions as a medicine.
The feeling of relief is a major factor in why people will self-medicate with alcohol. Another reason someone with a mental health issue may start drinking is to avoid the negative side effects that come with taking their medications.
Sometimes there is no relation between drinking and mental illness. They just happen to hit at the same time. But although it may begin as a coincidence, they can still influence one another over time. And when mental illness and alcohol abuse collide, it is all but inevitable that both will get worse. Call us today before things get worse. Our experts are here, and are able to help you get on a healthier path.
Financial Risks Associated with Alcohol
When drinking heavily, the effects are not limited to the time actively drinking. Hangovers are very common the day after a heavy drinking session. Hangovers often are associated with:
Each year, billions of dollars’ worth of productivity is lost because of hangovers. People will miss work and have poor job performance due to their hangovers. Drinking at work, or going to work drunk, creates major problems in the workplace. For example, some of these may include:
- Creating an unsafe environment
- Loss of judgment and memory leading to poor job performance
- High risk of injuring yourself or someone else
- Increasing the amount of work for co-workers
When these problems occur in the workplace, it often leads to someone losing their job, and when a job is lost, finances become a major problem. And so the struggle continues to worsen.
In 2018, on average, millennials spent around $560 on alcohol. Every generation, except the oldest generation, spent around one percent of their income on alcohol.
The biggest financial risk associated with drinking is simply loss of money. Not only can buying it get expensive, but consuming it tends to lower your productivity. Those with serious drinking problems often end up putting so much money into booze that there is not enough to cover basic needs. Struggling financially is an unfortunate reality for a lot of those addicted to alcohol. However, it is never too late to ask for help.
Alcohol Affecting Relationships
Alcohol addiction affects everyone around you. It does not just affect the person with the addiction. When you are under the influence of alcohol your inhibitions are lowered. This can lead you to saying and doing things you normally wouldn’t. Controlling your emotions also becomes more difficult. For example, someone may react more strongly than normal to certain situations. This often leads to fights and arguments.
When it comes to friends and family, alcoholism can affect these relationships too. People who struggle with alcohol dependence often lose their jobs. And after losing their source of income, they end up asking friends and family for money. Asking for money, in turn, can put a lot of stress on an alcoholic’s relationships with others.
Alcohol addiction can also affect romantic relationships. When their partner is abusing alcohol, a non-drinker will often clean up the drinker’s mess, creating excuses and rationalizations for the drinker’s behavior. This type of enabling allows the alcoholic to avoid going to treatment. And they continue to keep drinking.
What Does This Mean for the Alcohol Dependent Individual?
Alcoholism often isolates the drinker from their friends and family. They find themselves alone and with no support system. This can be a major stressor for everyone involved. It is important that if you or someone you love is addicted to alcohol, you seek out proper treatment as soon as possible. Call us today, and we can help you get that treatment you need.
In conclusion, if you or someone you love is looking to get sober, then you have come to the right place. It does not matter how much you drink or how regularly you do it. If you are feeling dependent on alcohol and are ready to get help, then we are here to help you.
There are many reasons to stay sober. Someone else’s reason to get and stay sober may not be the same as yours. However, it is important that you find a reason and keep it in focus. Use it to drive your recovery. If you need help getting started, our professionals can find the right treatment for you and get you the help that you need. Do not hesitate and call today.
Written by Alison Barriere
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