When Drinking Becomes a Problem
People often confuse drinking alcohol with alcoholism, fueling a stigma that isn’t true. Drinking alcohol is not inherently bad, but drinking out of moderation can cause physical, behavioral, and emotional damage. Furthermore, certain groups of people should not drink alcohol at all, and doing so can cause serious health problems.
You shouldn’t drink alcohol if you are:
- Taking medication or suffer from a medical condition in which alcohol can worsen.
- A recovering alcoholic.
- Pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
What Can Indicate a Developing Problem?
Drinking alcohol affects everyone differently. However, changes in mood, behavior, and emotional reactions can indicate a developing problem.
Moreover, the signs that drinking is turning into a condition can be:
- Skipping out on social or family obligations to drink.
- Being unable to track alcohol consumption, despite their best efforts.
- Irrational changes in mood or behavior, such as aggression or irritation.
- An inability to stop drinking, even if they try.
These are signs that someone close to them could recognize; however, outside relationships, such as a coworker, could recognize variations or progressions in a worsening situation.
Short-Term Health Risks
In addition to the signs mentioned above, a developing alcohol condition’s symptoms can manifest through experiences. For instance, if you or someone you know is experiencing increased alcohol-related accidents such as:
- Injuries that are caused by drinking, such as burns, vehicle accidents, or falls.
- Miscarriage or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in pregnant women.
- Unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners after drinking.
- Hospitalization for alcohol poisoning.
These are indications that their drinking is getting out of their control, and they are likely unable to quit drinking on their own. If you or someone you know is experiencing more frequent alcohol-related accidents, consider reaching out to an addiction specialist for information about getting help.
Long-Term Health Risks
Over time, excessive drinking can eventually turn into an alcohol dependency or alcohol addiction. Addiction is a disease that reconstructs the brain by manipulating regular brain activity to hunt for more of the addicted substance. Alcoholism can affect your heart, liver, brain, and pancreas.
Alcohol weakens the immune system, making it easy for infections and bacteria to make and keep you sick. Other health complications can stem from excessive drinking, shutting down your body piece by piece.
Health complications that can occur are:
- Breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, or colon cancer
- Brain damage such as memory loss or dementia
- Mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety
Additionally, a chronic brain disorder called “Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome” is a common occurrence among alcoholics. This syndrome also referred to as “wet brain,” is a severe medical condition that requires intensive medical attention to treat. This condition impacts your brain functionality and can result in tremors, coma, memory loss, an inability to make new memories, and fatal.
Alcoholism can take so much away from you. Utilizing tools like a drink tracker can help you to avoid unnecessary complications before they happen. Being honest with yourself and practicing drinking responsibly can keep you out of harm’s way.