Physical & Physiological Risks of Alcohol Abuse
by Lily Obeck
The Mayo Clinic defines alcohol abuse as excessive drinking without the dependency on alcohol. In other words, someone who abuses alcohol may not yet be considered an alcoholic, but he is certainly toeing the line of a serious health problem. Alcohol abuse is dangerous, not only for your body but for your mind and those around you as well.
Your liver is one of your body's main tools for clearing the blood of toxins. Drinking heavily and drinking often puts immense strain on your liver and can cause alcoholic hepatitis and eventually cirrhosis, or permanent scarring and damage to the liver.
Heavy drinking elevates your blood pressure and damages your heart muscles. High blood pressure is the first step towards atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke and other types of cardiovascular disease.
More Physical Problems
Alcohol depresses your nervous system and acts as a sedative. The more you drink, the more fatigued and weak you will feel overall. Your sensory organs, speech and muscle coordination will diminish in capacity. Drinking can also leave men impotent and can cause severe birth defects in pregnant women. The strain on your nervous system may cause your hands and feet to go numb. Your risk for cancer greatly increases with every continuous alcohol binge.
Alcohol will affect not only your body but your mind as well. Whether you are drinking to forget your depression, or depressed because of your drinking, depression and alcohol are dangerous when mixed. Alcohol acts as a mental depressant, meaning if you were upset before drinking, a drink will only exacerbate the sadness. You are less likely to care for your body and more likely to consider or attempt suicide when you have been drinking.
People that abuse alcohol will drink in private and ignore a family member or friend's plea to stop. Eventually, the person may pull away completely from her social circle. She may develop anxiety and a poor self-image and refuse to go out in public.