Hard Facts About Alcoholism
Alcoholism is not a symptom of a problem or an indication of emotional trouble. It is a chronic, progressive
Alcoholism can lead to death. It is able to create such a grip on the body, because of the chemical makeup of
It permeates nearly every type of cell contained in the human body; especially those of the nervous system.
The nervous system contains two distinct parts: the central (spinal cord and brain) and the peripheral (our
nerves and the electrical impulse system).
Alcohol is an addictive drug that induces the brain to crave it. These cravings can be very damaging to the body
as well as to the relationships of the person suffering from Alcoholism.
The first clue that alcoholism may be responsible for what is happening is that the person will experience
unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they try to abstain from drinking.
Another clue is that they will have very little ability to control how much they drink, the frequency of their
drinking or how long the bouts of drinking last; the cravings and addictive nature of the disease determines these
The alcohol controls the person to such a degree that they may be in denial of their drinking problem or they
may drink despite their awareness of the dangers that exist for them. Alcoholism has a direct affect on the
person's performance at work. They usually miss workdays due to hangovers and blackouts.
It is not unusual for Alcoholics to experience job loss due to absences, the inability to perform required
tasks, or coming to work drunk. Work is not the only area of their life affected by their disease.
They often are involved in alcohol related accidents involving machinery or vehicles. It also has a huge impact
on all their relationships.
Alcoholism has a direct affect on personal relationships, usually destroying them like a bowling ball knocking
down pins. It is difficult for others to recognize that what they are witnessing is a person with a disease. It is
much easier to be patient with a person with cancer or cerebral palsy as those are recognizable as diseases.
In the eyes of the majority of people, the person who suffers from Alcoholism is usually criticized and shamed
as a result of their drinking and resultant behavior. Over time, the alcohol controls the persons behavior, thought
processes and emotions.
Did You Know
Alcoholism effects men and women at different levels and over different amounts of
time but one thing that everyone who is an alcoholic has in common is that their bodies will be
negatively affected and damaged from the regular intake of alcohol. Alcoholism affects all of the
body systems including the brain.
There are short-term effects that last during the drinking phase but once the
person is in recovery, those effects go away. There are also long-term effects that are caused by
the alcoholism and are permanent damage to the drinker.
Some of the short-term effects of alcoholism are related to being drunk. These
include things such as weight loss, intoxication, drunk driving, poor decision-making, and
irresponsibility and reproductive disorders.
Once the alcoholic is sober, they may have to go through counseling in order to
learn better responsibility and decision-making tools but without the alcohol, the person is much
Of course being intoxicated goes away when the person stops drinking and they have
a tendency to gain weight because time that was spent drinking and not eating is replaced with at
least eating regular meals.
Alcohol alters the brain and inhibits its functioning. Interestingly, people will
feel like they are extra creative and will believe that they are "with it". However, alcohol is a
depressant and actually slows brain function.
Alcohol will actually inhibit creativity and productivity regardless of how it
makes the alcoholic feel. The regular use of alcohol will actually alter the reproductive cycle in
women and can cause infertility as well as other reproductive related problems.
The long-term or even permanent effects of alcoholism are more dangerous and
difficult if not impossible to recover from.
Alcoholism causes the human brain to literally shrink over time. This causes brain cells to die and can affect memory, sight,
smell, hearing, hormones, and the nervous system.
Alcoholism can also cause infertility in both men and women as well as permanent
birth defects in babies who are born to alcoholic mothers.
Cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer can result from excessive drinking as well
as cancers of the stomach and breast, too.
Their drug of choice has consumed the one doing the consuming. The end result will be that they will lose
everything; career, respect, loved ones, perhaps even their very life.
Being physically dependent on alcohol is not the only factor involved in being diagnosed with Alcoholism. Other
factors are: the person's culture, genetics, physiological and psychological elements.
A medical doctor who examines the patient, conducts necessary tests and evaluates the patients history makes
Once the patient has been diagnosed with Alcoholism, the doctor will establish a treatment plan that will
include follow-up appointments, treatment, and support.
Drinking steadily and consistently over time can cause a physical dependence on alcohol as
well as withdrawal symptoms when going without alcohol for very long.
Physical dependence will not lead to alcoholism by itself.
There must first be issues involved that cause the person to abuse alcohol and to abuse
alcohol in an effort to deal with painful emotions and/or experiences.
Many factors lead to alcoholism and alcohol abuse. These things are important to recognize
when the alcoholic goes through recovery and quits abusing alcohol.
Any factors that can be removed or solved need to be addressed as part of the alcoholism
Similar to other chronic diseases, the patient will require long-term care and a constant vigilance kept for
The patient will need to understand the disease and be willing to accept responsibility for getting proper
The prognosis good or bad has a lot to do with early intervention, proper treatment, acceptance and patience.