Alcohol is the most readily available drug for society, and as such has long been consumed and misused. If it were invented today, it would likely be banned and criminalised.
According to Professor David Nutt, a British psychopharmacologist who specialises in the research of drugs that affect the brain and diseases such as addiction: ‘alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack if the general dangers for individuals and society are taken into account.’
Alcohol has been used as a social lubricant for millennia, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any harmful effects. Alcohol or substance abuse means reaching a point where control over the amount consumed is lost. Even if the abuse negatively affects a person’s life, denial often allows a user to continue and blind them to the chronic situation they are now in.
In many cases, the physical effects are ignored until it’s too late. Physical effects include the harsh reality of common long-term effects of alcohol abuse on the body such as liver disease, nerve damage, erectile dysfunction, permanent brain damage, vitamin B deficiency, ulcers, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach walls), malnutrition, larynx and mouth cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, pancreatitis, breast cancer, cardiovascular diseases and respiratory infections.
It is perfectly clear that alcohol abuse can cause serious physical problems with prolonged abuse. Large quantities over a long period of time will inevitably take their toll. And once the damage is fixed, in most cases, full recovery is no longer possible.
Consequences for mental health In addition to the physical problems caused by alcohol abuse, long-term users may experience mental or psychological problems caused by the effects of alcohol on the mind. These can range from blackouts and memory gaps (while intoxicated) to depression and worthlessness. It is well known that despite its reputation as a lucky charm and recognised ‘social lubricant’ of choice, alcohol is actually a depressant.
Depressants are a class of active substances that inhibit the function of the central nervous system. According to Drinkaware: ‘regular drinking lowers your serotonin level – the brain chemical that helps regulate your mood.’ This can lead to a vicious circle in which someone drinks in the wrong belief that he will treat the depression caused by alcohol abuse itself.
Calculating the risks to your own health and well-being is problematic if there is chronic dependency. It is often those closest to you who first notice the devastating and harmful effects that addiction has on the life of the user.
The alcohol addiction programme at Paracelsus Rehab offers treatment programs for anyone looking for help in maintaining and maintaining sobriety. As a leader in the treatment of behavioural disorders, alcohol and drug addiction in adults and adolescents, trained professionals offer customised recovery plans. Age-specific programmes ensure that treatment is tailored to the emotional needs of the individual.
There are several steps involved in the recovery process. Medical support is provided for withdrawal symptoms, while support is provided through an alcohol-free environment that is both structured and therapeutic.
In addition, daily plans are created to further support individuals in planning their day without the influence of alcohol. Intensive care during the programme and ongoing treatment after its duration are essential factors for a sober life.
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Wendy Whitehead worked as a teaching assistant at two special needs schools in London before embarking on a different career as a marketing consultant.