One of the ways people cool down their nerves or unwind after a long week is by taking an alcoholic drink. For some people, alcohol can offer them an escape from stress, especially when drinking with friends and people close to them. For others, they go on drinks socially to establish rapport with colleagues and build connections within their industry. While drinking occasionally can give you a thrill, binge drinking and dependence are another matter.
For one, alcohol is a toxic and psychoactive substance affecting how your brain works and functions. Essentially, too much consumption can cloud how you think and behave. Aside from its possible short and long-term effects on your physical health, it can also cause issues in personal relationships.
Furthermore, here are some of the ways alcohol can ruin your life and relationships!
1. It Can Lead To Alcohol Dependence And Addiction
Excessive drinking can lead to addiction. Aside from simply drinking daily, there may also be instances wherein you can’t get yourself to stop. And when you can’t control your cravings, it can lead to alcohol consumption beyond the recommended amounts. You may not realize this immediately, but it hits hard with time.
The first stage of addiction begins when you can’t manage your drinking habits or limit your intake. It’s what initiates the chemical dependency state of your body. That’s why you feel like you can’t function properly without some alcohol in your body.
Alcoholism or addiction can be classified as a mental health illness or Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). While it usually starts with problematic drinking, it can progress to abuse and an obsessive need to consume alcohol to satisfy cravings. And in some cases, alcoholism could also be linked to other mental illnesses, being an escape or coping mechanism for individuals with depression or anxiety.
However, alcohol dependence can significantly impact one’s life and well-being. Fortunately, it’s possible to treat this condition. If alcohol has taken a toll on your life, you can get assistance by visiting an addiction treatment center. You can also enroll in a recovery program to help you manage your cravings and make progress from this illness. You can check out various resources online or visit here for more insights on addiction, its treatment, and some common symptoms associated with alcoholism.
2. It Can Take A Toll On Your Physical Health
Another significant effect of alcohol is its overall health ramifications. While these effects may take time before the symptoms show openly, some short-term effects you may experience after taking alcohol are drowsiness and getting tired from hangovers. However, that’s not all. You may also suffer long-term consequences like:
- Weakened immune system
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty in sleep
- Loss of memory and concentration
Generally, your average body functioning could also deteriorate, as alcohol can damage your internal organs. To give you a brief idea, here are some complications arising from alcohol consumption:
- Acute pancreatitis: Heavy drinking can cause your pancreas to release toxic substances, which can lead to inflammation of the organ or pancreatitis. This can cause abdominal pain. And in some cases, it can lead to life-threatening complications, such as organ failure.
- Liver disease: If you continuously take alcohol, you may alter the detoxification process in your body. You subject your liver to a chronic inflammation that reduces its functionality. From inflammation, the liver gets severe scars that permanently damage it.
- Circulatory effects: If your alcohol consumption goes high, you risk affecting your circulatory organs, such as the lungs and heart. You may start having complications, such as high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat. After a while, your heart could fail, and you succumb to heart disease.
- Loss of bone density: Alcohol can impact how your body’s system absorbs calcium, which is necessary for bone development. This can result in your bone becoming thinner, putting you at risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures.
Health issues related to alcohol consumption are a huge concern since they can affect one’s welfare and overall quality of life in the long run. Developing complications can also be costly since, aside from medications, you may also need organ transplants.
3. It Can Create Financial Problems
Drinking alcohol is an expensive vice and an additional expense. And so, if you’ve become addicted to it, it can take a toll on your finances. Whether you’re buying liquor regularly and consuming it at home or going to commercial establishments to get your fill, this can exhaust your resources.
And in some cases, depending on your situation, you can get into debt to sustain the alcohol craving. This can create more trouble for you if you can’t manage your credit efficiently. There may also be instances wherein you may neglect other financial responsibilities to allot an extra budget for your alcohol needs. For example, if you’re a breadwinner, your drinking habits may not leave you with enough cash to pay utility bills, take your kids to school, or provide for the family’s needs.
Ultimately, the lack of control over your alcohol intake and cravings can deplete your finances and leave you financially unstable.
4. It Can Cause Conflicts
Alcoholism can also affect your relationships. For instance, your marriage life. You risk getting into falling-out if your spouse can’t cope with your drinking. Firstly, you’ll likely be unavailable to your partner, as there may be instances wherein your cravings for alcohol become a priority over being a devoted partner. This could mean that you’d rather binge on your drink than spend quality time with them and your family.
Secondly, since alcohol can cloud one’s mind and judgment, there may be cases wherein when a person is intoxicated, they become unrecognizable to their partner and loved ones. Essentially, the alcohol in your system can alter your personality and influence your behavior. And since it has already influenced your rational thinking, you’ll likely only think about what’s good for you. Even when your family or friends correct you and they mean well, you can be prompted to think they’re against you. And so, in your defense, you can get violent or engage in heated conflicts and arguments. All these things can put a strain on the relationship.
In addition, this can also cause a rift between family members. For instance, if you have kids, it can influence their perception of you. There could also be a shift in dynamic once you start neglecting your responsibility to them or forgetting important occasions that mean a lot to them. This may cause them to detach from you since they’ll feel neglected. And in the event of separation from your spouse due to alcohol abuse and dependence, divorce can be rough on children, especially young ones.
5. It Can Cause You To Neglect Responsibilities
Alcoholism can also be associated with irresponsible behavior. The lack of control over your cravings and alcohol dependence can affect how you perform your duties and responsibilities. For instance, your drinking sprees may result in less time with your family, little providence to their needs, and less financial contribution to the family spending.
On the other hand, you may also have trouble carrying out your normal activities. For instance, if you drink after work, you might end up oversleeping and, thus, show up late for work. There may also be cases wherein you’ll call in sick and spend the entire day sleeping or nursing a bad hangover. Before long, you’ll start having problems at work due to frequent absenteeism. Or even if you show up to work, your focus and motivation could be affected, leading to poor performance and low productivity. And in some cases, this behavior could also cost you the career you’re building for yourself.
Alcohol can also hinder you from attending to your responsibilities at home. Instead of having time for essentials like tidying up or maintaining your home, you may fall back on your household chores, resulting in a cluttered environment.
Ultimately, giving in to alcohol and letting it control you can impact how you live up to your obligations, may it be at home, with your family, or at work.
Alcohol can have adverse effects on your life. Aside from the impact on your physical health and well-being, it can also affect those around you—the repeated offenses or behavior committed while inebriated could put meaningful relations on the line. It could also jeopardize your work performance and result in losing your job. You could also risk being addicted or dependent on it, leading to financial issues.
But like any other problem, there’s a solution for alcohol-related issues. You can reach out and seek professional support to help you manage cravings and guide you toward recovery and sobriety. You can opt for group therapy and enroll in a treatment program.
And as you pursue this path of recovery, remember that sobriety isn’t always smooth sailing, especially if you’ve been dependent on alcohol for several years. It takes conscious effort and dedication to redesign your life without the bottle. The good thing is that it’s possible with determination, commitment, and evidence-based strategies.