Every day, drunk driving results in at least thirty deaths across the United States of America.
While chronic alcohol consumption is not the cause of these accidents, it certainly is a factor.
Additionally, there are other negative effects associated with excessive drinking. And for some people, the answer isn’t as simple as deciding not to drink.
Alcohol use disorder is a serious mental illness that requires dedicated therapy, care, empathy, and rehabilitation over a long period of time.
If you or someone you know is struggling with this, knowing the following information can help.
What Is Chronic Alcohol Consumption?
Chronic alcohol consumption indicates the consistent drinking of alcohol over a long period of time.
Sure, most people indulge in the occasional drink, now and then, or even a few drinks over the weekend. However, when this becomes a habit you cannot do without, it’s a problem.
The word chronic addresses two elements within your drinking habits. One is consistency or continuity, and the other is duration.
When your consumption can be recognized as chronic, it is time to consider whether alcoholism is a problem.
Recognizing the Signs of Alcoholism in Yourself or Someone Else
No matter what kind of drinker you consider yourself, it is important to take a moment to reflect on your habits and how they make you feel. Many of those who struggle with substance abuse experience denial.
Be honest, and examine whether you recognize any of the following symptoms in yourself or someone you know.
- Alcohol consumption interferes with your work or personal life
- You continue to drink alcohol despite the negative toll it takes on your relationships
- Alcohol triggers violent or dangerous behavior like fighting or reckless driving
- You experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms when you are not drinking
- You regularly use alcohol as a suppressant for your emotions
- You feel sad or depressed when you don’t drink
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to consider getting the right treatment. Keep in mind that detox is usually the first stage of alcohol treatment so it’s important to prepare your mind and body for what to expect.
Long-Term Effects of Alcoholism
It might be difficult to convince yourself that you need treatment. In this case, therapy or simply being honest with yourself can help.
It is also beneficial to know the long term effects of chronic alcohol consumption on your body.
- Loss of memory
- Losing your ability to concentrate and focus
- Liver fibrosis
- Higher risk of contracting certain cancers
- Higher risk of heart disease
- Disruption of the digestive system
- Psychosis, suicidal thoughts and feeling a lack of control
This is not meant to overwhelm you, but to motivate you to take that first step to recovery.
Beginning Your Journey to Recovery!
Recovering from alcoholism may not feel easy, but it is definitely worth it.
If chronic alcohol consumption is something you struggle with, we encourage you to find a therapist or treatment center around you and take that first step.
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