Struggling with alcohol addiction is a horrible experience because it can have health, social, and economic consequences in one’s life. Alcoholism is a very serious issue that needs to be treated with professional help before it leads to tremendous consequences that can’t be fixed anymore. It can make you put yourself in many dangerous situations and experience poor overall health, but it can also make you hurt your loved ones.
When you are struggling with substance abuse, you are rarely able to realize how much alcohol hurts your body, mind, and soul. You keep letting your loved ones down because you experience changes in your behavior and way of thinking or may also physically hurt them or yourself because of the lapses in your judgment. Thus, when you realize that enough is enough, you have to start a journey to sobriety and recovery after alcohol addiction. Read on to find out the health consequences and causes of alcoholism and how to succeed in the process of recovery.
Health consequences of alcohol addiction
It comes as no surprise that one of the most dangerous consequences of alcohol addiction is dealing with poor overall health and increased risk in developing serious health conditions. Your health should be your first priority because when you are feeling sick, you are unable to enjoy all the beautiful things in your life. Thus, improving your health should be a reason good enough to make you give up on your toxic habit and head to recovery. Here are the health conditions that may arise as consequences of drinking alcohol for a long time:
- Heart disease- Alcohol raises the risk of higher blood pressure and can lead to heart failure
- Liver disease- Cirrhosis and life-threatening liver failure are some of the most common health conditions that alcohol addicts deal with.
- Poor mental health- Medical specialists have found a strong connection between alcohol intake and poor mental health. Alcoholism can lead to depression, anxiety and mood swings that can affect your mental wellbeing.
- Lapses in judgment- Alcohol addiction often leads to lapses in judgment that can increase the risks for injuries and dangerous situations. Not only that the addict may expose themselves to accidents, falls, or dangerous sexual behaviors, but they can also become a danger to the people that surround them.
- Alcohol poisoning- Excessive drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning which can often be fatal without immediate medical attention.
- Higher risk of cancer- Excessive alcohol intake for a long period of time can increase the risk of developing certain types of cancers such as colon, breast or liver cancer.
Causes of alcohol addiction
The causes of alcoholism are various, ranging from emotional, social, and environmental factors. From drinking to handle psychological traumas more easily to engaging in drinking as accepted social behavior, that later develops into an addiction, many addicts don’t realize their issue until their bodies are already dependent to the substance.
Most people who start drinking and develop addiction are using alcohol as a coping mechanism for their problems. They may be dealing with emotional pain such as depression, job loss, poverty, divorce or the loss of a loved one which triggers powerful negative emotions. Also, addicts can start drinking due to social and environmental factors such as being influenced by the behaviors of their parents, partners or friends.
The process of recovery from alcoholism
Recovering from substance abuse isn’t an easy journey. There are many factors that make addicts give up the battle against addiction and relapse. However, with motivation, professional help, and support from your loved ones, recovering from alcoholism isn’t impossible. Here’s how you can fully recover, mentally and physically, from your addiction:
- Beware of withdrawal symptoms- One of the most difficult parts of the process of recovery is dealing with the withdrawal symptoms. Most past drinkers experience severe anxiety, cramps, shaky hands, vomiting, insomnia, and nausea once they stop their alcohol intake. Usually, the withdrawal symptoms disappear on their own after a short period of time and are rarely life-threatening. However, some individuals may experience more severe conditions such as seizures, confusion, and hallucinations which require immediate medical attention. Thus, if you experience extreme symptoms after you quit drinking, ask for medical help to avoid putting your life in danger.
- Accept professional help- Most alcohol addicts experience emotions such as shame, guilt, and isolation. They are often scared to ask for help, especially because they fear that the people that surround them will judge them for their condition. However, not getting professional help increases the risk of relapse and poor health. Thus, you need to accept the fact that asking for support from specialists from alcohol rehab is the best way to ensure a safe and effective recovery process.
- Take care of your mental health- Taking care of your mental health is one of the most important parts of your recovery process. Dealing with addiction can have a multitude of negative effects on your mental wellbeing. Addicts often experience depression, anxiety, isolation, and even suicidal thoughts. Thus, the recovery process needs to heal both your body and your mind in order to avoid relapse. Surround yourself with people that love and support you, practice meditation to forgive yourself for your mistake and to discover the cause that made you engage in drinking behaviors. Improving your mental health is essential to stay motivated on winning the battle against addiction.
- Find ways to avoid temptation- Relapse is common among past drinkers that don’t get professional help to recover after their addiction. Although they stop drinking for a while, when they try to reintegrate back into society, they often engage in drinking behaviors again. Thus, it is important to know how to avoid temptation and stay sober from now on. First of all, you need to avoid situations that may tempt you to start drinking again such as going to the bar with other drinkers. Also, you can find a new healthy and productive hobby that will help you stay busy and not think about your addiction.