Alcohol abuse is one of the primary causes of avoidable deaths in the US. According to statistics, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana, and New Mexico are the states with the most alcohol-related deaths. Many people in the US often find themselves in situations where they’re dependent on alcohol to function normally. If you are at this stage, it’s essential to understand that the risks of alcohol abuse ruin millions of lives every year. This way, you’ll seek prompt medical intervention at a rehab center.
Jump to Section
The Causes of Alcohol Abuse
The causes of alcohol use disorders are complex. However, those who get addicted to alcohol often develop the habit after excessive drinking over long periods. Alcohol changes the chemical reactions in the brain, and you’ll have to drink more to experience pleasure. This can result in tolerance and addiction.
At a rehab center, therapists will work alongside you to address your specific triggers. There are several types of treatment programs available in these facilities, such as:
- Dual-diagnosis therapy program
- Individual therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy program
- Family therapy program
What Are the Risks of Alcohol Abuse?
Alcohol abuse comes with a lot of risks, and everyone should avoid the factors that can lead to alcohol use disorders. Although scientists and researchers are still working on establishing the primary cause of this mental illness, several factors contribute to the condition, such as living with addicts and stress.
If you’re not already addicted, avoid experimenting as alcohol abuse has many risks, as discussed here.
Gastrointestinal Issues and Ulcers
Chronic drinking can lead to the digestive system developing issues like gastritis (stomach lining inflammation), heartburn, ulcers, and acid reflux.
Alcohol begins to produce its toxic effects as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract. Internal bleeding may occur due to damage to the system and enlargement of the veins. Over time, the condition often deteriorates into chronic liver disease.
Damage to Brain Cells, Vitamin Deficiency, and Malnutrition
Excessive use of alcohol causes a slow reaction, challenges in walking, incoherent speech, memory loss, and blurred vision. The substance alters a person’s neurotransmitters and receptors. As such, you’ll experience interference with cognitive behavior.
Also, there may be changes in your reactions, emotions, and moods due to the risks of alcohol abuse on the Central Nervous System (CNS).
Furthermore, alcohol use can lead to vitamin deficiency and malnutrition. Alcoholism gradually reaches a point where an addict prioritizes taking alcohol over other useful things like eating the right diet. As a result, malnutrition can occur due to a poor diet. The gastrointestinal problems mean that nutrients may not break down well.
Injuries and Accidents As Well As Cardiovascular Complications
Excessive alcohol drinking can lead to homicide, suicide, injuries sustained during falls, unnecessary violence, and car crashes. Some individuals get arrested for traffic offenses when they drive while intoxicated. Alcohol impairs your judgment and driving when drunk can make you cause accidents, some of which may involve fatalities.
Also, heavy drinking can increase blood pressure. When this happens, the body releases the hormone that causes blood vessel constriction. This occurrence has adverse effects on the body, including heart failure and high blood pressure. Also, those who engage in binge drinking have high chances of getting a stroke.
During recovery, there is a fluctuation of blood pressure and increased activation of platelets, which consequently leads to an ischemic stroke.
A Final Word
At the Northern Illinois Recovery Center, we have experienced therapists who use scientifically-proven treatment methods to manage the risks of alcohol abuse. If you’re in the addiction stage, talk to our team of mental health experts, help is readily available. Don’t wait for this epidemic to turn your life upside down. So contact us today at 855.786.1978 to schedule an appointment.
Licensed Physician and Surgeon
Dr. Beth Dunlap, a board-certified addiction medicine and family medicine physician, and is the medical director at Northern Illinois Recovery Center. She is responsible for overseeing all the integrated medical services at both campuses. Beth completed medical school, residency, and fellowship at Northwestern University, where she continues to serve on the faculty as a member of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She has extensive experience in addiction medicine at all levels of care, and her clinical interests include integrated primary care and addiction medicine, harm reduction, and medication-assisted treatment.