The rising incidents of alcohol abuse are jeopardizing people’s health, career and well-being more than ever. The ominous consequences of alcohol abuse are not just limited to an individual alone, but it also puts the whole society at peril.
If you are choosing alcohol over everything else, you are not only risking your ability to support yourself, but you are also risking destroying relationships in your life. The fact is if taken in moderation, alcohol is not bad for you at all, however, if its consumption is more than your body can handle, it can lead to many debilitating conditions.
The Impacts of Alcohol Abuse within Your Life
According to reports, in the United States, over 20 million people nationwide suffer from drug and alcohol abuse issues. Underage drinking is also rising at an alarming rate. In fact, 11.04% of all alcohol is consumed by underage drinkers.
The effects of alcohol abuse
Although the effects of alcoholism may vary individual to individual, but usually they have the tendency to touch each and every aspect of one’s life. So, if you have the addiction of heavy drinking, it can affect you physically, mentally as well as from family and career points of view.
As soon as alcohol enters your bloodstream, it starts having a wide range of effects across your different body systems. The first thing that happens after the intake of alcohol is it slows down your breathing and heart rate; as a result, you experience feelings of drowsiness, mental confusion and intoxication.
In fact, this is the reason why you drink alcohol in the first place. In case of dependence, your body simply cannot resist alcohol and finds it hard to function without it. The short-term consequences of alcohol abuse include: accidental injuries due to driving under the influence (DUI), domestic violence, risky physical or sexual behavior, and alcohol poisoning.
The long-term effects of alcohol are more concerning. Alcohol interferes with the communication pathways in the brain, which causes mood swings, memory lapses, changes in behavior, loss of coordination and inability to think clearly.
The heavy abuse of alcohol leads to alterations in the brain’s chemical balance and structure, which affects both body and mind. As far as the impacts on physical health are concerned, alcohol addiction leads to liver disease, heart problems, cancer and anxiety.
There are numerous causes of alcoholism such as genetics, psychological and social factors. While genetics can increase the risk of being alcoholic, it doesn’t have to shape a person’s destiny. Issues in relationships can also cause alcohol abuse because they are associated with relational trauma; hence toxic relationships contribute to the addiction cycle as well.
How to address alcohol abuse
If you are having a serious drinking problem and are experiencing symptoms of alcohol dependence, you should immediately consult your doctor. In addition to that, the following tips and techniques will be extremely helpful for you:
Know the triggers
First of all you need to recognize various external or internal triggers that urge you to drink alcohol. So avoiding or ignoring them is the key to quitting alcohol and choosing a long-term pragmatism. Also getting involved in other activities will keep you distracted from the craving to drink. Besides, you need to put a lid on negative emotions such as frustration or anxiety.
Stay away from high-risk environment
Probably the best way to keep yourself from drinking is to stay away from drinking environment, also called as high-risk situations. Your family members can play a vital role here by assisting you in not letting you go outside or drinking alcohol at home.
Being around your loved ones will help you in fast recovery. Just avoid social gatherings where alcohol is served. In these circumstances, do not think twice if you decide to turn down any invitation. Avoid stopping by bars and stay connected to friends who don’t drink.
Communicate frequently and effectively to people who stand by you through thick and thin because they will always be supportive. Try to have a regular conversation with your spouse, partner, friends and family members in order to avoid triggers.
If you are going through rehab, you need to undertake frequent counseling from the experts who can effectively help you fight your cravings. Communication involves expressing your views calmly and clearly as well as listening to your family’s concerns.
Build support networks
Be in close proximity of people who have a positive influence on you as they are the ones who will help you build your confidence and self-esteem. Building a strong support network will go a long way in making necessary life changes required for maintaining a long-term dignity. The availability of a healthy social network is particularly vital during the early months of recovery.
Follow a healthy routine
Following a healthy routine is very important for you to give a new lease of life to yourself. Proper nutrition, as well as hydration, is the key to the healing process because they help restore both physical and mental health and improve the chance of recovery.
Apart from that, physical activity and exercise can prove highly effective ways in fighting alcoholism and getting back to life. You should focus on both cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Finally, part of your recovery process is about rediscovering hobbies and activities from one’s past and developing new interests. This will help you alleviate boredom and enjoy your life as it is.
Alcoholism is a detrimental habit that brings hazards not just at a personal level but personal and societal level as well. It gives a serious blow to family and relationships, which is why it needs to be curbed as earlier as possible before it’s too late.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
I believe that accepting not being a perfect person is the beginning of becoming one. Life continues to throw opportunities at us to learn from our mistakes in order to better ourselves. I have my own share of hardships and successes and I am happy that I am on a learning curve and improving myself.
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
Earlier I used to have intermittent bouts of anger and frustration with regards to my work and relationships, but gradually I started to overcome my insecurities and inhibitions. The fact that I know I have many weaknesses yet have the ability to make things better – is the biggest appreciation I have for myself.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
My individuality and my attitude are the keys to unlock my own true potential to achieve something bigger in life. I think this is my most rewarding and enduring achievement.
4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
I agree that we all have imperfections, but the most interesting aspect of this is there is a perfect world out there; that is even if we are imperfect, we know to align ourselves perfectly to make the world a perfect place. I am not the person that manages time effectively, do things correctly all the time so on and so forth. I am also not the person who stayed ahead of her classmates as well as colleagues, yet I always came up with solutions and answers that worked. So yes, this oddity is what defines me.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my individuality. I love my storytelling. I love my desire to touch people’s heart through my writing.