Alcohol abuse is when consumption of alcohol reaches an unhealthy or dangerous level. This abuse can either be manifested in too frequent consumption or over consumption of alcohol. The effects of alcohol abuse on your health are vast. It can lead to addiction and alcohol dependence in which your physical body and mind require alcohol consumption to function without negative symptoms like headaches, stomachache, or shaking.When you are abusing alcohol, your physical and mental health are degraded and long-term abuse can lead to permanent organ damage. Alcohol addiction can also negative affect your family and social relationships.
Alcohol Abuse is Destructive to Your Physical Health
Your physical health is dramatically damaged by long-term alcohol abuse. Multiple organs in the body are damaged by alcohol abuse including the heart, liver, and pancreas. The liver is the primary organ most damaged by effects of alcohol abuse on your health. The liver detoxifies alcohol in your system, and it can fulfill this function properly with low and moderate levels of alcohol consumption. When the liver gets too much alcohol in it, the organ cannot process and detoxify it, so the built up alcohol poisons the cells in the liver. These cells chronically become inflamed causing hepatitis or inflammation of the liver. With chronic hepatitis, the cells develop fibrosis, which are tangled fibers that build up in the liver and decrease its function to process toxins in your body. Eventually, severe fibrosis leads to cirrhosis, which signifies extreme dysfunction in the liver. Chronic inflammation in the liver is significantly associated with an increased risk of liver cancer. The pancreas is also an organ that deals with processing substances in thebody. Alcohol use leads to pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas. In the heart, extended over use of alcohol leads to overstretching of the heart muscles called Cardiomyopathy, which decreases heart function and makes you more tired and unable to exert yourself physically.
Alcohol Abuse is Destruction to Your Mental Health and Social Relationships
Alcohol abuse leads to dramatic alterations in brain function and even in its appearance. Addiction has been studied for decades, and it is clear that substances like alcohol highjack the reward pathway in the brain. With excessive levels of alcohol consumption, the brain dramatically connects drinking with the mind’s most instinctual sense of a pleasure. As the addiction grows stronger, the reward pathway in the brain requires more and more alcohol to create the same effect, thus alcohol dependence becomes cemented in the physiology as a habit. The brains appearance changes as it is remodeled by overstimulation of the reward pathway. These changes in brain function affect your mood and your ability sustain and manage your relationships with your family, close friends and work associates. If you become addicted to alcohol, you have an increased risk of depression and suicide.
Professional Therapy and Rehabilitation Can Help You Stop Abusing Alcohol
Although there are lasting negative effects of alcohol abuse on your health, professional therapy and rehabilitation can help anybody addicted to alcohol to stop the overuse, allowing the body and mind to repair themselves. There are both residential centers and outpatient clinics dedicated to the treatment of those addicted to alcohol. These locations rely on licensed, experience professionals that use effective programs to help individuals break the cycle of addiction and begin positive habits.