Alcoholism is a very serious and prevalent addiction, but you are not alone in your search for recovery.
It is possible to break free from the strong grip of addiction, but you must be willing to take the first step: clearing your body and mind of all toxic substances and ending your physical dependence. This process is known as alcohol detox, and it is the start of a new beginning that can lead you to into a sober life.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States. About one in every 12 adults suffer from alcohol dependence or abuse and millions of other people actively engage in unhealthy alcohol consumption habits, such as binge drinking.
The type of alcohol found in beverages is called ethanol, which is produced during the fermentation process. There are many varieties of alcoholic beverages and the most commonly abused forms include beer, wine, and spirits.
When a person consumes alcohol, it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to all the organs of the body. When large amounts of alcohol are consumed, the drug depresses the central nervous system, leading to respiratory depression, inhibiting judgment, and causing drowsiness, among many other symptoms. Conversely, when lower doses are ingested, it can act as a stimulant, creating a sense of euphoria and reducing social inhibitions.
Chronic and heavy alcohol use can seriously affect the physical and mental health of a person.
Whether too much alcohol is consumed on a single occasion or over a long period of time, it negatively affects all parts of the body.
- Brain – Alcohol impairs judgment, concentration, and coordination. Long-term use can damage the brain, nerves, and interfere with the brain’s communication pathways, which may result in addiction.
- Heart – Heavy drinking can cause irregular heartbeat, stroke, and high blood pressure.
- Liver – Heavy drinkers may develop Steatosis (fatty liver), fibrosis, cirrhosis, or alcoholic hepatitis.
- Pancreas – Chronic and heavy alcohol use can cause acute or chronic pancreatitis (inflammation and damage to the pancreas).
- Immune system – Drinking too much can inhibit your body’s immune system, reducing its ability to fight off serious diseases, infections, and illnesses.
Chronic and heaving drinking can also increase your risk of developing cancer, including breast, throat, esophagus, mouth, throat, colon, rectal, and liver cancer.