Alcohol addiction, often referred to as alcoholism or alcohol use disorder is a chronic condition. It can spurt from a minor consumption of alcohol and last for a lifetime if left untreated. Alcoholism is also considered a mental health disorder as the user loses their ability to control alcohol intake.
Read ahead to learn more about alcohol addiction and its side effects.
Defining Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol is more commonly considered an ordinary drink. It is also legal in nearly every part of the world. This social acceptance of the substance is what leads a large number of people to get hooked on it. However, it is still a dangerous substance and has severe side effects.
Alcohol addiction is seen to cause multiple mental and physical health consequences. Thus, it is always better to address the condition at the earliest.
History of Alcohol Abuse
For many years, Americans have been struggling with this deadly condition called alcoholism. Initially, it was considered a failure of character to be addicted to alcohol. However, in the year 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous declared alcoholics as valid patients.
By 1944, alcoholism was found to be the fourth-largest health concern in our country. The issue still hasn’t subsided. Many of us still struggle to get over our alcohol addiction.
How Does Alcohol Cause Addiction?
Alcohol has a high potential to cause dependency, and eventually an addiction. The substance works by interacting with the neurotransmitters and hormones in the user’s brain. As alcohol enters the bloodstream, it signals the brain to produce a large amount of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA and a hormone called dopamine. It is the hormone responsible to deliver a pleasurable feeling.
Thus, when these effects surface, the user feels extremely happy, and energetic. But with repeated use of alcohol, the brain loses its natural ability to produce the mentioned chemicals in the brain. This leads to repeated consumption of alcohol. As a result, alcohol intake increases and turns into an addiction.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse often goes unnoticed in its initial phase. However, there are some signs to be sure of the condition:
- Weight gain
- Temporary unconsciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Emotional changes
- Slurred speech
Side Effects of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction has more side effects than one can imagine. Some of those effects are:
- Physical and mental health issues
- Relationship issues
- Occupational and financial problems
- Social isolation
- Increased risk for accidents
- Reduced quality of life
These and many other side effects can make your life miserable. Thus, it is always advised to seek help on time.