Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol may alleviate some discomfort for alcohol addicts, but one must understand that alcoholism comes with its share of both long term and short term side effects, both physical and psychological. Some of these ill-effects are not even diagnosable till they have reached their extreme proportions. We have many good reasons to believe that long-term alcoholism is not only bad for the individuals, but also for the society at large.
To make matters worse, the most fatal side effects of alcoholism surface when the individual is actually trying to abstain. These side effects are medically termed as “withdrawal symptoms” and often prevent the individual from abstinence. Trembling, formation of sweat beads on the forehead, heart pounding, and an uncontrollable urge to drink are some of the side effects that you may face while trying to quit drinking.
When the individual has been consuming alcohol for a very long time, his/her body gets accustomed to the taste of alcohol, which may cause alcohol withdrawal symptoms. In order to feel “normal”, the individual may feel that they need regular alcohol intake. Think of it like cutting down on food suddenly- the human body is bound to react. In a similar fashion, the body reacts to sudden alcohol withdrawal by craving the taste of alcohol. The presence of such withdrawal symptoms is exactly what makes alcoholism extremely dangerous.
Another side effect of alcoholism that makes it so difficult to counter is the fact that the individual tends to need “more” over a period of time in order to feel good. For instance, if 200 ml of hard liquor once caused desired effects, the quantity will most likely be doubled in a couple of years’ time to increase the positive effects. This is a vicious circle, which keeps going on until your vital organs fail.
Apart from health hazards, alcoholism brings about financial and psychological hazards as well. Beyond a certain point in time, it becomes economically difficult for a patient to cater to his/her needs for alcohol, which puts added mental stress on the patient. Alcoholism also leads to violent behavior and decreasing ability to function properly in social situations. In the US itself, more than 50% cases of suicide, homicide, and rape are linked to alcohol consumption. In fact, alcohol is the most widely used date-rape drug in the world.
There are a number of alcohol rehab centers that help the individual get rid of their uncontrollable desire for alcohol. Adequate professional help is available to cater to both the physical and psychological side effects of alcoholism and patients also join organizations and alcoholism groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to learn from the experiences of other patients. While alcoholism is a difficult condition to acknowledge, we urge our readers to be cognizant of the dangers of alcohol abuse and take corrective measures today!