One of the most obvious facts about alcohol is: alcohol is the most common psychoactive drug in the World that is widely abused. There is more money spent advertising and promoting it than any other product. Alcoholism is a fatal disease that is chronic and progressive if not treated.
Many friends and family members are often affected when a loved one suffers from this disease. Even at low doses it impairs judgment and coordination and increases the incidence of aggressive acts such as domestic violence and child abuse.
It can cost hefty legal fees if caught driving under the influence as in the US many States consider you legally drunk after two drinks. In moderate doses, dizziness, talkativeness, slurred speech, nausea and vomiting can take place. Larger amounts cause hangovers and work absences, causing loss of income or possibly jobs.
Facts about alcohol on a long term basis are that after prolonged, heavy use, or “self-medication”, alcoholism causes withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop drinking. Withdrawal can produce hallucinations, tremors, severe anxiety and even convulsions.
Long term physical affects of alcohol consumption can lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the liver, different types of cancer, ulcers and other gastro or intestinal disorders, high blood pressure, and nutritional deficiencies.
Pregnant mothers that continue to drink through pregnancy could have a child born with foetal alcohol syndrome and may have mental retardation or abnormalities. It is believed that often these children may become alcoholics as adults.
The disease or addiction becomes disabling if it continues without treatment and many family members feel helpless in dealing with it.
Another of the facts about alcohol is that it is actually a depressant. Many alcoholics experience an initial euphoria when they first start drinking by feeling more relaxed and less inhibited. They also experience increased confidence.
Soon however they will ‘come down’ after they stop drinking and will be left feeling worse than they did before as it slows down the brain actions and the nervous system.
The depressant qualities of alcohol can make alcoholics become suicidal or homicidal and causes many alcohol related hospitalisations from falls, assaults, car wrecks and home accidents where the alcoholic does not know what happened during a blackout.
Many alcoholics attempt to “self-medicate” emotional issues and depression or anxiety with alcohol it often actually ends up making the problem worse.
One of the sad facts about alcohol is that it is common for there to be an underlying emotional issue that causes the person to seek comfort in drinking. The underlying problem becomes blurred however as the new problem is the alcoholism itself.
The good news is that there are treatment options available that treat both the emotional and physical withdrawal aspects of the disease. They often involve the intervention of the family or friends and their support and understanding through the treatment phase to keep a relapse from occurring.
There are also support groups for the affected loved ones, which give them the strength and knowledge to help cure the alcoholic and help them enjoy a healthy and prosperous life.