The effects of alcohol vary whether the drinker is male or female, adult or adolescent, and the length of time that the drinker has been drinking. The effects can be long-term or short-term. They can range from something as simple as slurred speech all the way to something as severe as death. Alcohol can be responsible for injuries not only to the drinker but also to the people around them. It can cause cardiovascular problems, eye problems, near. ‘e system damage, and even birth defects.
It can also affect your brain, liver, and gastrointestinal system. “A person’s life is significantly at risk when regularly intoxicated” (Livingston). Some of the short-term effects of alcohol are slurred speech, drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, headaches, difficulty breathing, distorted vision and hearing, impaired judgment, decreased perception and coordination, unconsciousness, loss of red blood cells, and blackouts. With such severe short-term effects, one might wonder, why keep drinking?
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For those that do continue to drink, these are the long-term effects: increased on- the-job injuries, loss of productivity, increased family problems, alcohol poisoning, high blood pressure, stroke, heart related disease, liver disease, river damage, permanent brain damage, vitamin deficiency, unintentional injuries to one’s self or others, and intentional injuries like firearm injuries, sexual assault, and domestic violence. All of which are things to consider before allowing ones drinking to get out of hand. The long-term effects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism can be very devastating and even life threatening, negativity affecting virtually every organ system” (Medicine Net). Many adolescent drinkers have the “it won’t happen to me” attitude. Teens drink and party and ignore the health risks. Many teens may know the health asks involved with becoming an alcoholic and what long-term drinking can do to a person. What they don’t realize is that for those who are continuously drinking, even though they can’t tell at the the moment but their drinking can cause major health problems for them as they enter adulthood.
What many teens need to consider, but often ignore is that “the most serious effects of teens drinking is that it all leads to adult dependence” (Effects of Teenage Drinking). Not only does teen drinking lead to adult dependence but when an individual is a long-term drinker they kill many of their brain cells and the rain can be forever changed. Although alcoholism can cause many serious health issues, for women there area added health risks. It can cause premature menopause, it has been linked to an increase of breast cancer and increase calcium loss in menopausal women.
As if those health risks aren’t scary enough, for women alcoholism can increase their chance of heart disease, memory loss, and reproductive issues. Women who drink while pregnant can also pass the alcohol to their fetus, causing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. “These children grow up with facial abnormalities, growth retardation and brain damage that inhibits their ability to live normal lives” (Effects of Alcoholism on Families). However, men who abuse drinking can experience testicular atrophy, impotence, and reduced reproductive functions.
Besides the effects that alcoholism is having on their health, most drinkers don’t realize that their drinking problem is affecting those around them as well. Drinking affects relationships with spouses, children, and friends. Children that grow up with a parent who is an alcoholic experience low self-esteem, guilty feelings, despair, loneliness, fear of abandonment, depression, and Geiger than normal levels Of stress and anxiety. These children tend to have a harder time making relationship with friends or teachers and tend to be more withdrawn. They may believe that their parent’s drinking is their fault and frequently cry, have nightmares, and wet their beds. Once they get older, children may not easily make friends. They may hoard things, develop phobias, or exhibit perfectionist traits” (Effects of Alcoholism on Families). It is also said that children of alcoholics are less likely to attend college. As children get older they continue to have low self-esteem and often make poor hoicks. Marriage is another common relationship that is affected by drinking.
Divorce rates increase when one or both spouses drink. In relationships where only one spouse drinks, the non-drinking spouse will become the caregiver, which often leads to feelings of resentment of the drinking spouse. Many marriages that involve alcoholics suffer from poor or lack of communication, reduced intimacy, abuse, and lack of finances. Many alcoholics will hide money from their spouse and use it for their addiction. Alcohol abuse can be associated with negativity and hostility which usually dads to some sort of abuse in the relationship. The more frequently men are intoxicated, the more likely they are to be verbally and physically violent toward their spouses. 40 t 60% of battered women report that their husbands were heavy or problem drinkers” (Alcoholism and Marriage). Alcohol abuse not only affects the drinker’s relationships, but it also can have major effects on their way of life. Many times it is the way alcoholism effects relationships that most greatly causes an affect to their way Of life, but it also can affect the drinkers work fife.
With increase in on-the-job injuries and loss in productivity, the drinkers work life tends to diminish. When work isn’t getting done or getting done right most employers see it as time to find somebody better fitting for the job. When this happens it can cause financial stress on families, especially when the drinker starts using bill money to supply their addiction. The marital stress that is brought from lack of communication and unpaid bills usually leads to other marital problems. As these problems increase, marriages often end in divorce.
Living with an alcoholic is never easy, coping with secrets and lies and being manipulated for that next drink. If the bottle turns out to be their one true love, often, the only option is to leave them and salvage your life. ” (Living with an Alcoholic). Divorce greatly affects the drinkers way of life; they no longer have their family to come home to. The following excerpt is a testimony from a man named Jeff Gauged and how alcoholism affected his life. He writes, “l am an alcoholic. Have been clean and sober for several years now. My drinking was out of control for more than half my life.
My wife took on the role of head of household and all the stress of that plus dealing with an alcoholic husband and father. I was in the military’ for several years but was asked to leave after being caught drunk on duty. Afterwards, I had several jobs that only lasted for a short period of time; usually would quit before they asked me to leave. Everyday my wife. Michele, would leave for work knowing would probably be drunk when she returned. On one occasion, the police were called because I had hit her and would not calm down. Am not proud of this, but it happened and it is a part f my life.
I had gotten so bad that I would have seizures from alcohol withdrawal when I would have to stop drinking. When my family went to my brothers wedding in another state, I had to make sure would start the trip off in my own selfish way. When I started to come down off the booze I had guzzled before we left, I had a seizure and we had to stop so I could be admitted to the hospital” (Alcoholic Husband). This man was lucky enough to have a spouse that stood by him and helped him find his way to recovery. Alcoholics are two times more likely to be divorced than those who don’t rink.