Alcohol imposes serious health complications to your body physically, physiologically, and mentally. Alcohol makes an impact on major organs in the human body including the nervous system. Alcohol abuse can lead to liver damage, kidney failure, lung infections, and puts a person at an increased risk of several types of cancer.
Alcohol and the brain
Alcohol alters normal brain function. The brain controls how we move, talk, walk, and think. Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication passageways, and affects the way the brain works. Alcohol makes the brain’s neurotransmitters release more dopamine and cause the pleasurable feelings. The euphoria is short-term and sometimes a person drinks more to reach the same level of pleasure. The brain builds up a tolerance to the amounts of alcohol consumed and becomes dependent on alcohol to function.
When the brain is impaired, coordination and critical thinking are affected. Fatal accidents occur when a person who is under the influence of alcohol, operates a motor vehicle or other heavy equipment. Alcohol impairs judgment and slows reactive responses. Speech becomes slurred and balance is impacted. Alcohol interferes with memory and results in blackouts.
According to D.W. Goodwin for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (1995), “Blackouts represent episodes of amnesia, during which subjects are capable of participating even in salient, emotionally charged events—as well as more mundane events—that they later cannot remember.” The occurrence of blackouts is a powerful indicator of alcoholism.
Alcohol and the risks of cancer
Excessive alcohol use can lead to several types of cancer in different areas of the body. The NIH National Cancer Institute (2018) indicates that some alcohol-related cancers include:
- Head and neck cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Liver cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
Alcohol causes cirrhosis of the liver and if you do not stop drinking, it can lead to liver failure, which is fatal. Alcohol is toxic to your body and makes an impact on the stomach, heart, intestines, nervous system, and bones.
How alcohol affects mental health
Some people drink alcohol to cope with stress. Alcohol is a depressant and can elevate symptoms of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and emotional distress. Sometimes people have an underlying mental health disorder, which must be treated simultaneously with alcohol abuse or addiction as a dual diagnosis.
The effects of alcohol on the human body are dangerous and deadly. Alcohol puts a strain on relationships with loved ones and can lead to low productivity, disruptive sleep patterns, and job loss.
If you or a loved one suffers from alcohol addiction, get help today. Addiction is isolating, but you are not alone. Treatment is available and can be tailored to your unique needs. Take the first step toward restoring your health and living a fulfilling life in sobriety.
Cypress Lakes Lodge specializes in addiction treatment and is located in a serene, remote, lush-green, oxygen enriched environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy and offers yoga and meditation for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204