October 1, 2018 at 11:59 am · kailashmantry · 0 comments
October 1, 2018
There are varied consequences and types of Alcohol addiction. I have categorized them, groups, Short-term and Long-Term Consequences. Let us discuss both of them.
A. Short term ill effects of alcoholism:
When a person consumes alcohol for the first time he feels happy and stresses relieved. When the alcohol mixes with the blood it affects the brain and so people feel relaxed. But this may lead to certain problems. Let us discuss a few short-term effects of alcohol.
1. Sleeplessness or fatigue
Having a sound sleep is very significant in order to maintain the physical and mental health of our body. Loss of sleep is one of the main side effects of alcoholism. An alcoholic will never get a sound sleep and will always feel tired Throughout the day the person will look wimpy and dull. Lack of sound sleep might lead to many health issues. A drunkard will feel sleepless due to the urge of alcohol. He will be fatigued throughout the day due to lack of sleep. Some people also experience stomach ache or throat ache which will hinder sleep.
An alcoholic will always feel dehydrated he will always want to have more drinks to keep himself hydrated. Dehydration will cause due to excessive vomiting or sweating after having alcohol. He will find his throat dry and will want to have more drinks. This might also lead to weakness due to loss of glucose from the body. Immediate medical attention is needed to a person who is dehydrated due to alcoholism. If he doesn’t receive medical attention there is a possibility of grave consequences.
3. Slow response:
An alcoholic will not understand what others want to communicate with him. Hence he/she will respond slowly to whatever is being communicated. He will always be under the impact of alcohol. Mostly he will not understand what people want to communicate with him. Due to such behavior, most of the alcoholics lose their jobs or do not receive promotions. Their response to the questions of family members will also be very slow. This leads to tensions in family life as well.
4. Imbalanced life
Such a person will never be able to maintain work and family balance. He/she will never be good in either of the parts. They are so engrossed in drinking that they will never be able to balance their life on any front. These people are also not able to balance their physical and mental health. They will lead a disturbed and dull life with no spark of hope in it. In maximum cases, the person is himself responsible for leading such an imbalanced life. Until this person is an alcohol addict, he will never be able to lead a balanced life.
5. Slurred speech:
Due to over drinking people lose the ability to speak clearly. They will have a slurred speech. Where they will either speak fast and miss certain words or they will deny whatever they have spoken in their drunkenness. Alcohol makes the tongue feel heavy due to which people under its influence will have a problem in speaking with clarity.
6. Weak perceptive skills:
A drunkard will always perceive things from his/her viewpoint and will never consider other’s perceptions. Their physical sensations based on perceptions are never clear. They will never perceive things positively. They will rarely understand what someone wants to convey to them. Alcohol interferes with the coordination of the brain with other parts of the body making the perceptive skills weak.
7. Blurred vision:
Whenever a person consumes too much alcohol his vision becomes blurred. This happens due to loss of muscle control in eyes. It affects the coordination of the eyes and brain leading to poor or blurred vision. The eye muscle of a drunkard becomes very weak. He/she is unable to see clearly what is going on around him. This happens because the alcohol affects the eyes.
8.Imbalanced emotional situation:
Alcohol will always affect the emotional situation of the person. He/she finds himself/herself in a state of confusion. The behavior of the person will be weird in the social scene. Sometimes he may laugh, cry or sing loudly even in public. He will not be able to control his emotions. He might even abuse others when he is drunk. He will blame others for his problems openly. The worst part of these reactions is that he will not even remember what he has said or behaved.
9. Frequent urination:
Excessive alcohol consumption will produce an urge to urinate. This happens generally due to increasing pressure on the liver, kidney and hormonal changes. Excessive alcohol obstructs the release of a hormone in your body from the pituitary gland. This hormone moves from the kidney which filters the blood to remove toxins and water. Alcohol blocks the release of this hormone which makes the kidney leaky and stops absorbing water.
10.Lowered body temperature:
These people have a low body temperature wherein they will always feel tired and fatigued. They will never accept their mistake. Low body temperature is a result of dehydration. The body temperature of an alcoholic will be below the average temperature of a normal person’s body.
B.) Long-term effects of alcoholism:
There are various long-term effects of alcoholism. I have categorized the long-term effects of alcohol under various subtopics.
1.Effects on health:
A person who consumes alcohol for a long period is sure to face some damage to the brain. Continuous use of alcohol might damage the brain cells and it may lead to serious consequences. It also affects the cerebellum which controls the working of our body. This may result in an inability to perform regular activities. As the brain is unable to coordinate with the other parts of the body. It might also lead to tumors in the brain.
Most of the alcoholics forget what they did or spoke while they were under the influence of alcohol. They will remember all the sad events and will also remember all the defeats and loses of their life when they drink alcohol. But will never remember all this when they come out of the influence of alcohol. Though you are awake the brain will sieve huge information. This will stop the brain to keep long-term memories. It affects the temporal cortex of the brain which makes and keeps new memories.
The Heart is easily affected by excessive alcohol use. Since the brain doesn’t function well the heart may lose its control over the blood pumping process. This might lead to cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure etc. It may also subsequently lead to a heart failure. A person’s heart is affected by emotional pressure on the mind. This emotional pressure will make the heart vulnerable.
Alcohol affects the liver. It may interrupt the working of the liver. This may lead to the liver being damaged for the whole life. It produces tiny blood vessels in the liver. Alcohol can damage our intestine which leads to the release of bacteria into the liver. It is difficult for the liver to break down alcohol resulting in the chemical reaction that can damage the liver forever. Excessive drinking can make the liver swell or fat. This happens when the liver turns glucose into fat.
Alcoholism may lead to various forms of cancers like the cancer of the mouth, liver, throat, esophageal, breast, etc. This is one of the worst effects of alcoholism. Drinking alcohol regularly can increase the risk of cancer around seven times.
Alcoholism damages the nervous system of the human body. This, in turn, might lead to many disorders in one’s health. Prolonged alcoholism injures the nerves of the body and the person is unable to control his movements. Loss of control of your body parts can lead to clumsiness and numbness. Sometimes nerve damage can lead to ulcers and tumors. It can also make one paralyzed forever.
Excessive drinking makes the person overweight. Alcohol contains heavy calories. But people are mostly unaware of the calories in alcohol. People only think of the calories in food and not in drinks hence they consume alcohol to a great extent. It is found that there are 150 calories in a glass of beer which is the most consumed alcoholic drink. It is almost the same as the calories in added sugars.
Research has proved that alcohol or alcohol abuse addiction can lower the fertility in both women and men. Excessive alcohol reduces the testosterone level and sperm quality and quantity in men. It can make the men impotent. On the other hand, alcohol consumption can make the women less fertile. It can affect their ovaries and lead to complications in conceiving.
2. Social effects:
Excessive alcohol drinking might cause many social problems. This might, in turn, lead to a huge effect on the life of an individual.
People who are under the influence of alcohol will get involved in activities like rash driving and will trouble others also with it. They might commit accidents and kill other people. In this process, they might also get themselves seriously injured. These incidents will leave a long-lasting impact on the physical and mental health of the person. The emotional effect of this incident will also be devastating since the harm caused to other will give the accused a long lasting guilt. This will lead to an impact on brain and heart.
This problem is prevalent in most of the Indian households where the husband is a drunkard. Most of the times when the wife restricts the husband from consuming alcohol or if she denies to give him money to drink alcohol, the husband becomes so violent that he hits the wife severely. Over a period of time, it has become a norm to hit the wives whenever the husband is drunk or in tension. Domestic violence is the worst thing to disturb the family life of an individual. Such a person will never be respected by his children, wife, and others around him.
Child harassment and ignorance:
Drunkard father doesn’t have time for his child since he is deeply engrossed in his alcoholism. He will sometimes hit the child for silly reasons or will neglect the child to a great extent. This neglect and harassment have a long-lasting effect on the child. Children of an alcoholic will never have a soft corner or any emotional attachment to their alcoholic parents. They will feel left out and lonely, the other children will face depression. These children might never be successful in their professional or personal lives. An alcoholic person may also kill the child to get rid of him/her.
Many alcoholics harass the women sexually. Specifically the women in their office, neighborhood, locality, family, etc. Sometimes they go the extent of sexually assaulting their own children. This leads to a long-lasting effect on the life of one who is sexually harassed. In this case, the culprit will not even realize the seriousness of his action on the life of the victim, since he is under the influence of alcohol. But the victim might face lifelong trauma due to sexual harassment.
Humiliation due to Early pregnancy:
Youth, under the influence of alcohol, might get involved in unprotected sex. This might result in untimely pregnancy. Most of the families abort such kind of pregnancies to avoid humiliation if found at the right time. If they find this kind of pregnancy very late, they might desert the child born after this kind of pregnancy. In such a situation the life of the newborn child is ruined. This child will never get the expected love of his/her parents and will lead most of his life as an orphan.
Most of the people who are alcohol addicts will harm their jobs themselves. Their performance will be worst at their workplaces because of which they are mostly fired from their jobs. Some of them who have a settled family business will ruin the long earned business as a result of alcoholism. Rest of the alcoholics do not get a job anywhere because they have an unstable life and are unable to clear the job interview. Hence they are forced to lead a life in extreme poverty. At times these alcoholics are also found begging on streets in spite of being from a good family background.
Most of the alcoholics will never be stable in their relationships with their wives. They will go for divorce and lead a lonely life. Some of them even marry many times and undergo multiple divorces. Alcoholism affects the married lives of many individuals. They will abuse their spouse or beat them under the impact of alcohol. Nobody wants to lead disturbed married life. Everyone wants peace and love in his or her marriage. Hence people get divorced from their alcoholic spouse.
Alcoholics will never have a stable family life. Most of them will have violent families who will always behave rudely to this person. This person will never feel relieved when his family is around. He/she will always consider it a torture to spend time with his/her family. Since he/she is surrounded by tensions in a family. Family members will always taunt and comment on the alcoholics in their family. Most of the elders in the family feel that constant scolding will bring about change in the alcoholic abused person in their family. But they do not understand that this will only worsen the situation.
3. Financial problems:
These people will always face financial problems in their lives. They will never be happy with their jobs. Hence quitting the old job and joining a new one is not new in their lives. They will never have a stable financial status. These people will always be fond of borrowing money from others to fulfill their alcohol needs. They will take a huge amount of money from relatives, friends, colleagues, etc. This will spoil their relations with their loved ones. The loan will also become a burden on their children. Financial problems might also force them to beg on streets. These problems are a result of their own activities.
4. Criminal activities:
In order to fulfill their urge of drinking, they will get involved in criminal activities like robbing, housebreaking, murder, violence, rape, etc. Drinking to a great extent will lower their performance in everything. The urge to drink is so strong that it might motivate the person to do criminal activities though he has no criminal history. Some of them can harass the family and friends due to their criminal activities. They bring shame not only to themselves but to their loved ones also. It spoils the reputation of their families. Most of the families will desert such individuals who are addicted to alcohol. Nobody will like to have a criminal in his or her family. It also has a long-lasting effect on the children of the family.
WAYS TO GET RID OF THE PROBLEM OF ALCOHOLISM:
Alcoholism is not just an addiction, it is also a disease. There is a huge debate going on in the current scenario wherein they consider alcoholism a disease. It is not totally impossible to overcome this problem. ‘So, how to stop alcohol addiction/how to reduce addiction of alcohol?’ or ‘how to control alcohol addiction?’ is the main question that arises. Alcohol addiction information can be found easily through google, but it requires a lot of research and analysis; So let us focus on certain solutions that we know of, to the problem of alcoholism:
1. Family support:
Family plays a crucial role in everyone’s life and an alcoholic is no exception. Sometimes the continuous taunts and torture that comes from family become the reason for turning towards alcoholism. It is crucial for the family to understand that they are the biggest support system that an alcoholic can have. The family needs to be considerate towards the alcoholic and they need to help the addicted person by being kind and sympathetic towards him. When an alcohol addict knows that he/she is supported by his family, it motivates him to leave alcoholism. At times it is difficult for the family to support the alcoholic person. But it is not impossible. When parents and siblings help the addict to come out of it, they will surely be motivated. Family can find alternatives to alcohol for their beloved person who is addicted to alcohol. Moreover, when the person is in the first stage of alcoholism, it is the duty of family especially the parents to demotivate the person to consume alcohol.
2. Give time:
An alcoholic needs attention. Let it be wife, parents or children, they should spend some quality time with the alcoholic addict in their family. This will remove the feeling of being neglected and will boost his confidence that he can do anything in his life if he wishes to do so. Take addict in your family on a vacation to some remote place where he is unable to resort to drinking. Time is the most precious gift one can give to anyone. When a family member or friend spends some quality time with the alcohol addict person, they will never feel left out and alone. In today’s busy world where everyone is busy in the rat race, it is quite difficult to spend time with such people. But if the family and friends want to help the person to come out of this problem, they have to make time for such people.
3. Give real-life examples:
Instead of scolding and abusing the addict in your family take him to meet people whose lives were ruined because of alcoholism. This will make him realize the need to stop drinking and lead a normal life. You can also take him to the hospital where he will find people like him suffering from serious diseases due to alcoholism. It is extremely important for a person to learn from the real-life examples, otherwise, it is not easy to improve him. Seeing these people suffer, an alcoholic will understand the side effects of alcoholism. There are huge chances that after seeing people suffering, an addict might try to stop himself from drinking. Real people, real situations and real sufferings will make a big difference to the life of an alcoholic.
4. Role of friends:
Friends play a very important role in a person’s life. They influence a person to a great extent. It is necessary that the family of the alcohol addict takes help from the friends of that person. These people can help him his find his way out of the problem. Friends can play the role of a game changer in the lives of an alcoholic addict. They will never give up on trying to help their friend who is caught in the web of alcoholism. In real life when a person becomes too much addicted to alcohol, people distance themselves from such a person. But friends should not leave their alcohol addict friend. They should understand that their friend needs them. In many cases, an alcoholic will listen more to their friends as compared to their family.
5. Motivate them to do things that they like:
One of the main reason for a person to become an alcohol addict is an unsuccessful career. People do not succeed in their respective careers because most of the times it is not their area of interest. Many alcoholics are great performers, artists, etc. It is the duty of the family members and friends to motivate the alcohol addict to take up the tasks of developing an interest in an alcoholic to work hard on the areas of his interest or his hobbies. When someone is interested in dance, music, acting or social work, he/she pays complete attention to these activities and forgets alcoholism completely. They can even select one of these hobbies as their careers. When they work hard to achieve this, they will be happy and will never resort to drinking. Family and friends have a huge responsibility of convincing such a person to select their area of interest to have their career.
6. Keep them involved:
When a person resorts to drinking, his mind is bent only towards drinking. The best way to help such a person is by keeping them involved in the things that they enjoy doing or give them some work within their range of capacity. It is also important to monitor the work that they are doing. Since an alcohol addict can cheat you to fulfill his/her urge of drinking. They should be kept involved in household chores, hobbies, official work, etc. When they are busy working, they will forget the very reason for turning to alcohol. This, in turn, will help them to stop drinking alcohol.
7. Don’t give stress:
Most of the alcohol addicts face insult and humiliation from the society. This makes them feel stressed out always. It is very important to understand the need to keep them unstressed. When an alcohol addict is stressed he/she will surely resort to drinking alcohol. Such a person will not be able to cope with the stress if given to him/her. If they are given little also stress, they might also quit whatever task was assigned to them or they might get involved in anti-social activities. Such a person should be sent to a counselor who might show them the way to handle stress.
8. Keep them Happy:
It is the duty of the family and friends to keep the drunkard happy by behaving politely with him/her. When we behave politely with such a person. His/her confidence increases and he/she will be motivated to leave the habit of consuming alcohol. We should motivate the alcoholic to take up the tasks that he enjoys doing. If a person gets proper love and care from his family and friends which makes him happy, he will stop drinking alcohol.
9. Appreciate them:
Words of appreciation are important for everyone and for an alcoholic also. When their efforts are appreciated, they feel good and are motivated to take up the task with more enthusiasm. They will do their work with extra zeal after being appreciated for the task they have performed. Even if the work is not up to the mark. It is our duty to make them aware of their mistake politely. They should never be insulted for being mediocre. These alcoholics feel good to be appreciated and motivated. This can motivate them to leave the bad habit of drinking.
10.Willingness to get rid of alcohol:
This is the most important part of getting rid of alcoholism. Unless and until a person has the willpower and the commitment to get rid of alcohol habit nobody can help him/ her. For this, the family needs to motivate the person and create the will to get rid of alcohol addiction habit. You need to be willing to find out, how to recover from alcohol addiction. In spite of being physically depended on alcohol, a person can decide for himself or herself to get rid of this habit. It is very difficult for a person to decide this. That person cannot be forced to change. The individual needs to choose to change. It has to be done willingly. This willingness can come only when the person understands the impact of alcoholism on his life.
11. Different treatment for different Individuals:
Every drunkard has a different reason to resort to drinking. Hence different types of plans need to be adopted by different people in order to get completely rid of this habit of drinking alcohol. We need to find and check the health problem that individual has with proper help from a medical professional. A physical health examination should be made compulsory for the person who is extremely addicted to alcohol. There should be a customized treatment plan for different persons according to their needs. The medical professional will find out which part of the patient’s body is highly affected whether is kidney, liver or heart. Accordingly, the treatment plan has to be adopted. Mental health is equally important. While the person is treated for his physical ailments, we need to get his counseling done by a trained counselor. When the person is mentally cured, it will cure him physically also. The body will respond positively when the mind is positive.
Detoxification is one of the most important steps to get rid of alcohol. We need to seek the help of a trained medical professional. This involves ridding the body of harmful substance and bring it back to normal. If we do not seek the help of a medical professional, this process can be extremely dangerous. It can have many side effects like heart attack, seizures, etc. Hence this process needs proper guidance and supervision. It is not easy to detox the body without the help from the doctor. Detox will help the body to overcome other side effects on the physical health of an alcoholic. When the body has shed all the toxins, the parts of the body affected due to alcohol will respond to the medications done. If detoxification is not done the body will not respond positively to medications.
13. Physical cure:
The body is a framework that needs to be taken care of by everyone. In case of an alcoholic, it is important for us to understand that physical well being is extremely important. Alcohol disturbs the function of many organs of the body. A balanced diet suggested by a professional nutritionist must be implemented in order to take proper care of the body. Along with a balanced diet, the addict should also be motivated to adopt a regular exercise routine which includes yoga, walking, sports, Jim training, etc. This will help the person recover at a faster rate. Exercise is an extremely important part of the physical cure. Nobody can be completely cured without physical fitness.
14. Emotional cure:
Most of the alcohol addicts have given into alcohol because of some trauma in their lives. It is very significant to conduct some sessions with a counselor. This trained professional will first find the reason behind the addiction and will counsel him/her to overcome this bad habit. Sometimes this therapy can be an individual or a group therapy. They will explain to the person why he/she turned towards alcohol and help them to get rid of this bad habit. They explain how trivial the problem was and how negative was their approach was towards it. This will help the individual to understand and completely leave this addiction. An emotionally strong person can surely get rid of alcoholism.
15. Balance physical and emotional cure:
There should be a proper balance and coordination between the physical and emotional cure of an alcohol addict. If the alcohol addict is not able to get rid of his/her problems, it is because one of these needs was not paid attention to properly. When the body is treated it might not be successful if the mind is not prepared to receive that treatment. On the other hand when the mind is treated the body will not support the treatment. Hence many persons who are sent to the rehabilitation centers are unable to overcome the bad habit of alcoholism. Hence it is important to seek a balance between both physical and emotional cure. The doctors who are treating the person physically and mentally should always coordinate with each other. When these doctors cooperate with each other they will be able to make a pragmatic plan to treat the patient. Family and friends must also pay attention to these points before starting the medical treatment of the addict.
16. Spirituality is very important:
Spiritual leaders of every community can be a great help for the person affected by alcohol addiction. Most of the people resort to alcoholism due to some physical or emotional problem that had occurred in their lives. Most of the times spirituality can be a great help. They should be brought in the touch with such spiritual leaders who will guide and motivate them from getting rid of alcoholism. Spirituality based on their specific religion is the strongest means of helping a person affected by alcohol addiction. Many spiritual gurus also conduct some sessions or lectures to help the others. We should motivate them to participate in such programs which will be very helpful. 90% people believe in their religion and god. Spiritual leaders are considered to be messengers of God. When they advise someone to stop alcohol abuse. The person is sure to stop using alcohol.
17. Imparting knowledge:
Most of the people who are addicted to alcohol or their family members are unaware of the methods of getting rid of alcohol or its side effects. In this case before starting the treatment. The physical and mental health care professional should conduct regular sessions and lectures for the patient as well as his family or publish alcohol addiction articles that can help identify the cause and provide a solution. This will help the family and the patient to prepare themselves for the treatment.
18. Legal support:
Many times the alcohol addicts find themselves in a legal problem which later on leads to mental trauma. It is extremely important for the family and friends to help and guide them through these legal problems. Here help can be taken from the lawyers or any legal advisor. If the person is guilty he/she must be punished for sure. The family or friends of that person must be firm on letting the person be punished according to the law. But only after proper treatment from a medical professional when they have got rid of their alcoholism.
19. Lifelong support:
After the professional treatment for alcoholism is over a person needs proper care and attention. In this regard, the person should be given lifelong support even after the treatment. This means emotional, financial and physical support should be extended lifelong to an alcohol addict. Sometimes the person may feel left out and lonely even after the treatment. In other cases, he/she might become guilt-stricken. At such a time the family and friends must give mental support to the person in order to come out of that guilt. In other cases, an individual might face financial crisis. Here the family and friends can give some financial support and motivate him to take up a job for a living. Some people might feel weak after the treatment here they must be given proper love and attention by the family.
Sending an alcohol addict to rehab can be one solution but it is not the ultimate one or a very significant one. No doubt the rehab guidance will definitely bring change in the life of an addict but if he/she is not mentally prepared it will be very difficult to for him/her to accept the treatment. Hence it is necessary to prepare the person mentally and emotionally. Since many times the person feels humiliated to go to the rehabilitation center. Here the family and friends must first get the counseling done by a professional counselor and thereafter start with the treatment. If the person is not mentally and physically prepared for the treatment at the Rehab, they will never respond to the treatment.