According to national statistics, over 15 million adults in the U.S. struggle with alcoholism. And, while this particular substance is legal to consume and purchase, it accounts for the third leading cause of preventable death in our nation, killing about 88 thousand individuals yearly. With a society that seems to encourage partying and drinking, it’s common that individuals start consuming alcohol with no intention to develop dependence. However, with increased and long-term use, many find themselves developing an issue with this substance.
People drink because it loosens them up in social settings, makes them feel like they have confidence, and even works to reduce stress levels. While these short-term effects of alcohol use are apparent, there are others that may arise with time and increased drinking. These effects can include:
- Slowed heart rate
- Memory blackouts
- Slurred speech
- Distorted vision
- Impaired judgment
While many of these symptoms are only experienced during or shortly after consuming alcohol, there are a number of other effects long-term abuse of alcohol can lead to. Obviously, a physical dependence is one of these effects. After long-term abuse of alcohol, individuals can experience symptoms of dependence which include feeling sick without consuming alcohol, severe cravings to use alcohol, and having to increase consumption to experience desired effects.
The Dangers of Alcohol Dependence
Along with the various short-term effects and alcohol dependence frequent alcohol use can lead to, alcohol abuse can also lead to long-term effects. Many of these are dangerous and can even lead to death. Long-term effects of alcohol abuse may include:
- Mental health issues like depression and anxiety
- Brain damage
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Weakened immune system
- and more
Fortunately, as stated, there is hope for those struggling with a life of alcohol dependence. Treatment for alcoholism is available in many forms. It’s important that each individual choose a path to treatment that best suits their individual needs. However, it’s also important that those considering treatment for alcohol think about the dangers that an alcohol detox poses. With medical-assisted detox, those detoxing from alcohol before receiving treatment can rest assured that they’re in a safe environment. Plus, they can benefit from craving and withdrawal reduction medications only prescribable by physician.
If you’re looking to detox from alcohol and get started on a new life free from alcohol dependence, Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services can help. Contact us today to hear more about our alcohol detox and treatment opportunities.