Society has led millions to believe alcohol is not a drug. Its legality tends to give false belief that it’s fun and everyone should enjoy the benefits. Yet, 17.6 million people suffer from alcoholism in the United States at any given time. A few more million also engage in risky and self-destructive binge drinking patterns regularly. Alcohol consists of a chemical call ethanol, and it highly addictive. Certain fruits, vegetables, and grains are put through the process of fermentation. Bacteria reacts with sugars in food and the chemical reaction results in the production of ethanol. This chemical that is created is responsible for $475 million in economic activity. This, however, does not include the $35 billion that treatment centers make each year or the amount of hospital and funeral costs for those suffering from alcoholism. Perhaps, if we learn of the long-term health effects alcohol has on the body instead of focusing on the short lived high people seek, we could see a significant decrease in sickness and mortality. Over time, a person will develop a tolerance to alcohol. This means when you first drank alcohol, it likely took only one drink to feel the effects. After a short time, it would take two, then three, and so on. Before you know it, it’s ten years later and you can drink an entire bottle of liquor. This increase in tolerance can be a sign of alcoholism and is something that should be closely monitored. As your tolerance increases over the years, several things are happening to your body. Long-term overconsumption of alcohol causes brain damage. It kills the ends of neurons called dendrites, which are used to send messages between other neurons resulting in memory loss. Some alcoholics can even develop Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome which causes a loss in neurons, which results in confusion, memory loss, paralysis of the eyes, amnesia, and can ultimately end in death. Many people suffering from untreated severe alcoholism can develop cirrhosis of the liver, which is the most advanced form of liver disease. Liver disease is a condition where, over time, the body starts to replace healthy liver tissue with scar tissue. This damage is irreversible and requires a liver transplant. It is estimated that 10-20% of alcoholics develop this condition. Alcoholism can also cause pancreatitis, which is a dangerous inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland close to the stomach and it aids in converting food into fuel. When it is affected by alcohol, it can cause vomiting, fever, and severe pain. The list of negative effects alcohol has on the body is endless. Even though alcoholics are aware of the detrimentality of its effects, they continue to consume it. This is the disease; the insanity alcoholism brings. It doesn’t have to be this way. Learning the effects early on and spreading the word can save millions of lives before it’s too late.
Your story is waiting to begin with the rest of your life. Treatment is the beginning of the journey that changes your story. At Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in Orange County, California, we believe that when you change your story, you change your life. Call us today for information on our programs for treatment, including our exclusive executive track. 877.279.1777