Alcohol addiction is a preventable disease that requires treatment from trained professionals to help individuals toward health and wellness. This disease can cause adverse health complications and detrimental effects on the lives of the individuals and the people involved in their lives. Prevention of alcohol addiction has a higher rate of success when education starts at an early stage in life. Addiction is not a sign of weakness or poor self-control but is a result of the environment and influences in the life of the individual.
Prolonged alcohol addiction can lead to serious health problems in the short run and long run. These problems can result in minor to major injuries and can end in death. The risk of accidents increases during intoxication from an alteration to brain function and a loss of the ability to make rational decisions. Individuals under the influence of alcohol lose their inhibitions, making them more prone to dangerous stunts and decisions. They develop a false of security and belief that they are in complete control of their bodies, capable of performing the same tasks when sober. Intoxication causes a dampened sensation of pain sensation and may not realize that they have sustained injuries. Alcohol can cause someone to act out violently more easily, leading to an increased likelihood of altercations. The alteration to brain chemistry is caused by the release of dopamine resulting in an additive euphoric feeling. Long-term use of alcohol leads to multiple internal health complications. Prolonged alcohol use leads to liver disease and cirrhosis, damage to the heart and lungs, and brain damage. Alcohol abuse causes damage to the liver through the constant filtration of alcohol out of the bloodstream. Brain function from alcohol can lead to paranoia from altered brain chemistry. The ability to create memories can become compromised with excessive drinking. Heart rate and body temperature regulation. withdrawal from alcohol can be an arduous experience include hallucinations, loss of coordination, and violent actions. When the effects of dopamine fade, there can be a period of depression. Over time, there is a need for increased consumption of alcohol to achieve the same euphoric feeling because as tolerance increases, so does dependency. Alcohol releases dopamine that gives the user a euphoric feeling.
An effect of alcohol addiction is a lowered ability to make rational decisions when drinking alcohol becomes excessive. These unfortunate decisions can lead to major problems including death. This may make someone get behind the wheel of a car and cause an accident involving innocent bystanders. Increased health risks can occur if the person engages in unprotected sexual acts, leading to the contraction of diseases and unplanned pregnancies. Alcohol is a gateway drug, which can lead to experimentation with other drugs to experience the same initial euphoric feelings. Long-term alcohol addiction can lead to reduced productivity, failure to thrive, and depression. The support of addiction can lead to the loss of relationships, employment, and causes a strain on society. This can lead to drug-related crimes to support the habit. Eventually, this can lead to loss of property, homelessness, and the inability to be a contributing member of society.
Addiction can put a strain on the relationships with family and friends. Children are the most prevalent victims of alcohol addiction in the household because the trauma of a parent suffering from addiction can have long-term effects on children. These have a higher chance of being neglected and suffer from physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse. The trauma and hostile living environment from a parent’s addiction to alcohol can create delays in learning and development leading to long-term mental and emotional disorders. Teenagers that develop addictions can also disrupt home life. They tend to act out causing strained relationships
with parents and guardians. Teenagers have not developed the maturity to cope with the side effects of alcohol withdrawal and the side effects of alcohol addiction. Eventually, the addiction to alcohol leads to poor school performance, a higher risk of high school dropouts, and running away from home. They experience peer pressure from friends and become more likely to engage in reckless behavior, theft, and experimentation with harder drugs. Drug use can begin as a rebellion against parents and a source of freedom of perceived adulthood. Addiction develops when the escape and euphoric feeling provided by alcohol and other drugs becomes the mechanism for these individuals to deal with the harsh realities of growing up.
Some identifiable symptoms of addiction are increased isolation, mood swings, lethargy, random injuries, and paranoia. Alcohol addiction is a chemical dependency on the euphoric feeling of dopamine release, the psychological dependence of escaping from reality, and the emotional dependence of memory lapses. Even after rehabilitation and treatment have occurred, the brain has undergone chemical and physical changes. The risk of relapse is always a possibility for those on the road toward recovery. When I was growing up, there was the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Program. The design of this program was to educate teens about the dangers of drugs to prevent drug abuse and addiction. Some of these types of programs target children that have increased risk, and other programs are designed for youths that have begun to abuse drugs.
In conclusion, alcohol addiction is a disease with identifiable symptoms. Alcohol becomes an escape and coping mechanism for people. Over time, alcohol addiction creates health problems from emotional, psychological, and physical damage for the individual. Alcohol addiction can have adverse effects on friends and family. These relationships suffer when helping the individual with alcohol addiction. The trauma that is created from the alcohol addiction can create hostile living situations, loss of increased stress from feelings of failure. Individuals with alcohol addiction feeling that their lives are falling apart and use alcohol to escape these feelings. People lose trust and respect over time. People need to receive professional help to recover and continue along the path of recovery. The creation of a strong support system of friends and family is the best way to support someone that is recovering from alcohol addiction.