Home » Business, Health & Medicine, Human Resources, Lifestyle, Professional Services » Treatment Experts Discuss The Physical Dangers of Alcohol Abuse on the Body
Over time, use of alcohol to relax and de-stress actually programs the brain to perceive threats where none exist. What might start off as somewhat risky, uninhibited behavior that is due to being intoxicated can evolve into feelings of depression, isolation, and anxiety that may lead to suicide, self-harm and deliberate injury.
From the perspective of an active addict, there is a lot of planning and life-management that has to be done on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

It’s not easy to be fully involved with an addiction, and even more complicated to try to keep it from impacting work, family and an addict’s love life.  The reality is that addiction is a full time job.  Getting lost in the needs of the addiction allows the addict to separate from painful and traumatic emotional processes that cause feelings of worthlessness, depression and isolation.

Physically, alcoholics experience changes to their health that even doctors dedicated to its study don’t fully understand.  Beyond the damage to the liver, called cirrhosis, anemia can bring about symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, and lightheadedness.  Heart disease is also a known outcome of prolonged heavy drinking.  Extensive nerve damage can cause or worsen depression, and lead to alcoholic neuropathy.  But the distinct physical impacts are nothing compared to the mental and emotional health impacts.  Simply because alcohol acts on the brain so quickly, anyone who is prone to mental illness may suffer quickly from exacerbated depression and anxiety.  When someone starts drinking heavily in order to change the way they feel temporarily, they may be unaware of how risky this temporary feeling of escape can be.  

Over time, use of alcohol to relax and de-stress actually programs the brain to perceive threats where none exist.  What might start off as somewhat risky, uninhibited behavior that is due to being intoxicated can evolve into feelings of depression, isolation, and anxiety that may lead to suicide, self-harm and deliberate injury.  In a 2007 NHS Scotland study, 27% of men and 19% of women who attempted self-harm gave alcohol as a reason contributing to their decision to hurt themselves. There are obviously real physical and emotional dangers to heavy alcohol abuse that are in need of more research and more treatment.

 

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