Not only can alcohol dependency affect your life on the outside, it can also affect your life on the inside, as the health risks associated with alcoholism are very serious.
Health problems caused by excessive drinking can include:
Liver disorders. Drinking heavily can cause alcoholic hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver. After years of drinking, hepatitis may lead to the irreversible and progressive destruction and scarring of liver tissue (cirrhosis).
Digestive problems. Alcohol can result in inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis) and can interfere with absorption of B vitamins and other nutrients. Heavy drinking can also damage your pancreas, which produces the hormones that regulate your metabolism and the enzymes that help digest fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
Heart problems. Excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure and increases your risk of heart failure or stroke.
Diabetes complications. Alcohol interferes with the release of glucose from your liver and can increase the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This is dangerous if you have diabetes and are already taking insulin to lower your blood sugar level.
Sexual function and menstruation. Alcohol abuse can cause erectile dysfunction in men. In women, it can interrupt menstruation.
Eye problems. Over time, excessive alcohol use can cause weakness and paralysis of your eye muscles.
Birth defects. Alcohol use during pregnancy may cause fetal alcohol syndrome, resulting in giving birth to a child who has physical and developmental problems.
Bone loss. Alcohol may interfere with the production of new bone. This can lead to thinning bones (osteoporosis) and an increased risk of fractures.
Neurological complications. Excessive drinking can affect your nervous system, causing numbness of your hands and feet, disordered thinking, dementia, and short-term memory loss.
Increased risk of cancer. Chronic alcohol abuse has been linked to a higher risk of numerous cancers, including mouth, throat, liver, colon and breast cancer.
1) Client psychosocial history
2) Physical health problems related to alcohol and/or drug use
3) Previous history of arrests related to alcohol and/or drug use
4) Decrease in attendance/productivity at work or school due to alcohol and/or drug use
5) Prior history of drug or alcohol treatment
Alcohol depresses your central nervous system. In some people, the initial reaction may be stimulation. But as you continue to drink, you become sedated. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and affects your thoughts, emotions and judgment. Too much alcohol affects your speech and muscle coordination and affects vital centers of your brain. A heavy drinking binge may even cause a life-threatening coma.
Because denial is a frequent characteristic of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, you may not feel like you need treatment. You might not recognize how much you drink or how many problems in your life are related to alcohol use. Listen to family members, friends or co-workers when they ask you to examine your drinking habits or to seek help. The goal of the alcohol screening is to assess the extent of a client’s current and past alcohol abuse and/or dependence.
People who abuse alcohol may have many of the same signs and symptoms as people who have full-blown alcoholism. However, if you abuse alcohol but aren’t completely addicted to it, you may not feel as much of a compulsion to drink. You may not have physical withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink. But alcohol abuse can still cause serious problems. As with alcoholism, you may not be able to quit drinking without help.
Alcoholism is a chronic disease in which your body becomes dependent on alcohol. When you have alcoholism, you lose control over your drinking. You may not be able to control when you drink, how much you drink, or how long you drink on each occasion. If you have alcoholism, you continue to drink even though you know it’s causing problems with your relationships, health, work or finances.