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Stop the Negative Physical and Emotional Effects of Alcohol
When you’re under the influence of alcohol, its impact seems fairly obvious. It can help reduce physical pain, calm your nerves, take the edge off emotional turmoil and leave you far more outgoing than you’d be on your own. Though these seem like positive points, those immediate effects of alcohol are short-lived and deceitful. Prolonging them means having another drink; thus, the vicious cycle begins.
While those helpful reactions linger intermittently on the surface, alcohol is actually taking a much deeper toll on your body. Symptoms develop slowly and may not be obvious for quite some time, but they eventually show themselves in full form. From physical signs to mental and emotional repercussions, the effects of alcohol are far-reaching and grow ever more negative as time passes.
The effects of alcohol on the liver: a chain reaction beginning in your liver
As one of the body’s first lines of defence, the liver acts as a filtration system. By eliminating toxins from the blood before they have a chance to spread, it prevents damage other organs. Your liver also has a hand in digestion, helping you break down fat and use it rather than allowing it to build up in all the wrong places. At the same time, it stores certain nutrients and distributes them when needed.
Alcohol happens to be one of those potentially harmful substances your liver filters out of your blood stream and away from other parts of your body. Though it’s designed to withstand small amounts, if you drink enough to overwhelm it, it’s unable to do its job properly. All those extra toxins begin to destroy your liver and can lead to fatty liver disease, hepatitis and cirrhosis among other conditions. While the effects of alcohol on the liver aren’t particularly harmful at first, they’ll become far more severe over time.
The effects of alcohol on the skin: your skin suffers
As mentioned, your liver sends nutrients to other organs until it stops working properly. As your largest organ and the only one visible on the outside, your skin will be the first to show signs of liver damage. When deprived of vitamins and minerals, skin begins to lose its youthful plumpness and elasticity. Fine lines and wrinkles show up, deepen and make you look much older than you actually are.
Excess amounts of alcohol cause discoloration as well, bringing about brown spots, redness and even tiny red spider veins on your nose and cheeks. To make matters worse, the effects of alcohol on the skin also include eczema, psoriasis and acne as well as numerous other conditions. On top of all that, alcohol leads to dehydration even in small amounts, so it’ll cause dry, scaly skin and puffiness at the very least.
On a side note, alcoholic drinks are filled with calories. A single shot of liquor contains an average of 105 calories with sweeter varieties of wine having about 165 per serving. One Pina Colada packs a punch of almost 500 calories. If you’re concerned with weight, a couple drinks can have as many calories as a well-rounded meal; keep in mind, if you liver is damaged, you can’t metabolise fat very well either.
The effects of alcohol on the brain: backlash on the brain
Alcohol hampers a number of brain functions like speech, coordination and memory to name a few. After having too many drinks, people tend to slur their words, fumble, stumble and fall, and the next morning, it’s all a blur. With occasional drinking, the effects wear off, but if it becomes a regular habit, the brain doesn’t bounce back quite as quickly or easily. In some cases, the effects of alcohol on the brain can be permanent.
In addition to those issues, alcohol can damage the medulla, the area of the brain in charge of some involuntary actions like breathing and maintaining normal body temperature. If your breathing is slowed by alcohol for extended periods of time, you’re placing yourself at greater risk of having a heart attack. Though alcohol leaves you a bit numb to cold, it actually lowers your internal body temperature, making you particularly vulnerable to hypothermia both internally and externally.
As alcohol relaxes you and calms your nerves, it’s slowing down your brain’s production of glutamate and ramping up the release of gamma-Aminobutyric acid. These chemicals give you energy and take it away respectively. When cheerfulness kicks in and emotional distress diminishes, it’s due to an alcohol-induced increase in dopamine, your body’s pleasure hormone.
Over time, your body becomes physically dependent on alcohol to regulate those three chemicals and can’t do so on its own. Without this addictive substance, you’ll find yourself succumbing to sleeplessness, anxiety and depression. Contrary to what many outsiders believe, it’s not a mind-over-matter scenario; it becomes a genuine need.
Passing along the harmful impacts
During pregnancy, alcohol is particularly dangerous and affects the mother as well as the developing baby. While interfering with the production of a number of hormones in the brain, it’s having a similar impact on the unborn child. Alcohol, as well as other substances, inhibit development during pregnancy and can have a wide range of negative repercussions on the most innocent of victims, such as
- Low birth weight
- Smaller-than-average size throughout his or her lifetime
- Learning disabilities
- Memory difficulties
- Heart, liver and kidney problems
- Physical and cognitive developmental delays or disorders
- Speech and language disorders
- Vision and hearing problems
- Behavioural issues
- Lack of coordination
- Physical birth defects
All these issues fall into a category known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. While some children outgrow some of them, many struggle with them for a lifetime. In many cases, the effects of alcohol during pregnancy lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.
In a nutshell
Beyond the effects of alcohol abuse on your mind and body, an addiction like this can negatively impact the lives of everyone you love. It alters your mindset, leaving you more likely to make poor decisions or succumb to depression and anxiety. You may find yourself lashing out at your friends and family members, become physically or verbally abusive or withdraw altogether.
Millions of lives are ended too soon at the hands of alcohol each year due to its health effects, suicide and driving under the influence as well as lost pregnancies. Initially, drinking away pain, sadness, loneliness and anxieties is a choice, but it becomes a very literal physical need. Its effects are reversible if you seek help early enough. Participating in detox and rehab programmes not only prevents future damage but helps you find ways of coping with hardships on your own rather than reverting to substance abuse.
“I so want help to release him from this horrid, horrid existence he lives…”
With the RIGHT HELP you or your loved one CAN move on to create a normal, happy life with REAL OPTIONS.
Timing matters. It’s important to get help
while a person is open to change
Timing matters. It’s important to get help while a person is open to change.
So ask any questions or reserve a place at ARC now. TODAY!
So ask any questions or reserve
a place at ARC now. TODAY!
With the RIGHT HELP you or your loved one CAN move on to create a full, normal life. A life with meaning, purpose, hope & happiness as real options.
To ask any question or get started today, call:
ARC clients make it!
“If I didn’t come here & do this treatment, I don’t think I’d be on this earth now.”
– John, free from alcohol & drugs for 3 years at time of review
Addiction Recovery Centre – ARC – Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center in Portsmouth
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