The Effects of Alcohol Addiction and Withdrawal

Just because alcohol is legal doesn’t mean it isn’t addictive. It is one of the most addictive substances there is, in fact. It can damage your body, control your mind, and harm your ability to manage your lifestyle in a healthy way. Alcohol is a drug and should be taken seriously. Understanding the effects it can have on you and how to fight off addiction will allow you to live a happier, healthier life.

What Makes Alcohol a Drug?

The definition of a drug is a substance that has a physiological effect when ingested or introduced to your body, and alcohol has serious physiological effects almost immediately after entering your body. The Foundation for a Drug-Free World (1) explains that alcohol is a type of depressant that slows down your vital functions. It impacts your brain and causes a shift in the way that you function.

Man slumped over from booze, an effect of alcohol addiction and withdrawal

Common ways That alcohol impacts your body include:

  • Slowing down your heart rate
  • Poor judgment
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty with motor function
  • Poor reaction times
  • Blurred vision

What are the Risks of Overdosing?

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that because alcohol is a drug, you’re able to overdose on it, and when you ingest large quantities at a time, you greatly increase that risk. Overdosing causes an inability to feel pain, blackouts and even alcohol poisoning. In the worst case scenario, alcohol abuse can cause a coma or death.

man suffering from alcohol withdrawals

Some symptoms of an overdose include:

  • Confusion or inability to wake up
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow, irregular breathing
  • Hypothermia

What are the Risks of Withdrawal?

Due to the increasing prevalence of alcohol abuse, there is a rising concern for the health and wellbeing of its users. Web MD (4) says that alcohol addiction causes severe withdrawal symptoms and you need medical assistance when treating the addiction. Professionals can help you manage your withdrawal symptoms safely by performing a detox to reset your body and cleanse it of toxins.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweats
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe tremors, shakes, or seizures
  • Paranoia

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Addiction.

While alcohol is not an illegal substance, it is still a dangerous drug and it harms your health when an addiction develops. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (5) estimates that almost 8.5 percent of Americans abuse alcohol and need treatment for addiction.

Very happy guy who had a successful treatment

The best treatment options for alcohol addiction and dependence depend on the situation and your health. In some cases, you must seek medical attention and treatment before focusing on the substance abuse due to the possible damage to your health. Programs that offer a wide array of treatment options, including cognitive therapies and group programs, allow individuals to focus on their goals and concerns.

You also want a program that addresses your specific needs, so make sure that you always evaluate your situation and goals before starting treatment. Generally, a program that offers solutions for co-occurring disorders, physical health and alternative needs will allow you to focus on your goals and make positive changes.

Alcohol is a depressant drug that impacts your brain and body. It changes your perceptions of life and alters the way that you think. Fortunately, a treatment program alcohol rehab laguna beach allows you to make positive changes and start working on recovery goals by addressing the causes of alcohol abuse.


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