Alcohol has been around for at least 10,000 years. Statistics shows that there were 136.8 million alcohol drinkers in the U.S in 2013 alone. While we are not taking a position that it should be abolished, everyone needs to be aware of the truth and make their own choices.
Alcohol is particularly cruel as it kills people very slowly. Most alcohol related deaths happen due to liver problems. There are three major types of liver-related issues:
1. Fatty liver diseases
This disease is an accumulation of extra fat in the liver and it is very common in heavy drinkers. The good news is that it goes away once the person quits drinking.
2. Alcohol hepatitis
Alcohol hepatitis damages the liver and causes it to swell. About 35 percent of heavy drinkers develop it at certain point and run the risk of serious complications like liver failure and even death.
3. Alcoholic cirrhosis
Alcoholic cirrhosis is defined as scarring of the liver which results in poor liver function.
It is important to mention that we are not talking about an occasional drink here. This refers to people who find it difficult to stop and eventually end up drinking regularly, running the risk of the aforementioned diseases.
This article focuses on the psychological aspect of heavy drinking, meaning its effects on the brain and the mental state of the drinker.
When you consume alcohol, about 33 percent of it goes through the stomach and into the blood. The rest of it is absorbed by the small intestine, and it ends up into the bloodstream.
From the blood, it goes everywhere, given that most cell membranes are quite permeable. This is why experts suggest no more than two drinks in a day for men and one drink daily for women. Anything more than this can cause serious issues!
Alcohol and your brain
When it comes alcohol`s effects on the brain, they are quite varied. Although we get pleasure from it, eventually dopamine receptors become less receptive. Once addicted, if we quit drinking, we experience withdrawal symptoms.
Additionally, it also affects motor coordination, memory, and causes more short-term and long-term effects.
Alcohol and your body
According to Dr. Ball, alcohol dependency and drinking on a regular basis do serious damage on our bodies in general. In addition to the brain effects like memory loss, motor coordination loss, and cognitive impairment as well as the organ repercussions like liver disease, alcohol abuse contributes to esophageal problems, dementia, delirium, and organ failures, too.
Ultimately, it is worth noting that there is a strong link between alcohol abuse and both violence and sexual assaults.
Conservative estimates of sexual assault prevalence suggest that 25 percent of American women have experienced sexual assault, including rape. Approximately one-half of those cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim, or both. Alcohol contributes to sexual assault through multiple pathways, often exacerbating existing risk factors. Beliefs about alcohol’s effects on sexual and aggressive behavior, stereotypes about drinking women, and alcohol’s effects on cognitive and motor skills contribute to alcohol-involved sexual assault.
– National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism