Drinking alcohol to excess can potentially have disastrous consequences. Despite what you might believe, alcohol is actually a toxic chemical that can potentially affect both health and lifestyle. One of the most significant consequences of alcohol misuse is an addiction. But what does alcohol addiction cause? Moreover, are you in danger of developing this illness? It is important to know the answers to these questions because if you are affected, you will need professional help to regain control of your life. Lets start with the consequences of alcohol addiction.
The Negative Consequences of Addiction
Alcohol is a legal, widely available, and socially acceptable substance here in the UK as well as in many other parts of the world. Nevertheless, just because it is legal does not mean that it cannot cause problems.
It is easy to forget that alcohol can be an addictive substance and one that can cause great harm when abused. Furthermore, because it is so easy to abuse alcohol, it happens to be one of the leading contributors to poor health and premature death in the United Kingdom.
Alcohol is a substance that the brain adapts to quite quickly. When you first start drinking it, your brain will release dopamine chemicals, which are responsible for the feelings of pleasure you get from alcohol. However, as your body gets used to alcohol, the brain will dial down its production of dopamine. This means that you will not get the same pleasurable feelings from the same amount of alcohol, with the upshot being that you will need more alcohol to achieve the feel you want.
As you increase your alcohol consumption, you are increasing the risk of developing a physical dependence where your body will crave alcohol whenever the effects wear off. Allowing your consumption of alcohol to spiral out of control means finding yourself on the slippery path to addiction and all the negative consequences that go with it.
What you also need to know is that alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. It affects almost every cell in the body and can have a detrimental impact on health. Your mental and physical health will suffer when you abuse alcohol. In the short term, you may experience a spike in blood pressure, weight gain, vomiting, diarrhoea, and poor coordination.
Nonetheless, the long-term consequences of alcohol addiction are much more serious. You could develop diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, and even some forms of cancer if you continue to abuse the substance.
When considering the issue of what does alcohol addiction cause, initial thoughts tend to turn to the impact on health, but alcohol addiction can cause problems in other areas of your life too. For example, when an addiction develops, it is likely to consume you and take over. It will crowd out everything else in your life as it becomes the most important thing to you.
You will probably start losing interest in activities or hobbies that you used to enjoy, and you may begin isolating yourself from those closest to you. Your addiction may cause you to become secretive and withdrawn as you try to hide what you are doing from the people around you. You might know deep down that you have a problem but if you pretend as if nothing is wrong, then you will not have to deal with your situation.
The impact of alcohol addiction on relationships is enormous. Your family members and friends are sure to notice that things are not quite right with you, but they may not realise instantly that addiction is at play. They will see that your behaviour has changed and that you are no longer acting the same way as before.
When they finally realise that alcohol is to blame for your erratic behaviour, they may try to reason with you. They will want to do everything possible to fix the problem and will beg and plead with you to quit the substance, not realising that you are unable to quit. You are now in the grip of this addiction and it is not going to let you go easily.
Alcohol addiction can place a tremendous strain on relationships and can push them to the breaking point. Families are often torn apart by one members addiction, and some are damaged beyond repair. Children are particularly affected, with many suffering deep emotional scars that can last a lifetime. Some will go on to develop addictions themselves in later life as all they have known is how to use alcohol as a crutch when life gets tough.
Another area of life that will be negatively affected is your finances. One of the answers to the question of what alcohol addiction causes is definitely financial troubles. When addiction to alcohol spirals out of control, your need for alcohol will grow and grow. You will need more alcohol to achieve the feelings you desire, and you will have to spend quite a lot of money feeding your habit.
Couple that with the fact that you may find it harder to hold down a job due to the effects that alcohol abuse has on your ability to perform well and you can soon see how alcohol addiction causes financial difficulty.
Poverty is a common consequence of alcohol addiction, which itself can then lead to other problems. Families often face neglect and financial ruin because of one members alcohol addiction. You might find yourself out of work and live on the streets if you allow your alcohol addiction to reach crisis point without getting help.
Do You Need Help with Addiction?
As most people drink alcohol and believe it to be a safe substance, it can be difficult to come to terms with having an alcohol addiction. If you are worried that you might have been drinking too much recently, it is important to evaluate your alcohol consumption carefully to determine if you have a problem or if you are in danger of developing one.
You might have noticed that you are drinking more now than you used, which this is probably because you have developed a tolerance for it. This is quite a common occurrence, but it does not necessarily mean you have an addiction yet.
What you need to consider is the amount of control you have over your alcohol consumption. It is not so important what type of alcohol you drink or how often you drink it; it is far more important to think about whether you are capable of stopping once you start and if you can stay away from it when you have promised yourself you would.
If you find it difficult to resist the pull of alcohol and keep going back to it time and again despite saying that you wouldnt, you probably have a problem. If you also suffer withdrawal symptoms whenever the effects wear off, you more than likely have a physical dependence.
Finally, if you continue to drink alcohol despite knowing that this will have negative consequences for you and the people you love, you are probably addicted and need help to get better. Fortunately, that help is readily available.
Accessing Help for an Alcohol Addiction
If you have reached the conclusion that you do have a problem with alcohol, your next move should be to consider getting help. You can get in touch with us here at UK Rehab for advice and information about the next steps and the options available to you.
We work with various treatment providers across the UK and will assess your situation to give you a clear idea of what you are dealing with and how serious your problem is. From there, we can refer you to an appropriate treatment provider if you wish, or you can go away and take some time to think about what you want to do next.
Please note, our team of friendly advisors are ready to answer any queries you may have in a calm and non-judgemental manner. You can call us to just talk, or to get information for yourself or a loved one.