Alcohol is a strange substance. It is an intrinsic part of many cultures across the world and is increasingly being accepted in many more cultures on a global scale. Some kinds of alcohol are touted to have great health benefits taken in moderation. And that, in fact, is the key to alcohol consumption. There is no harm in drinking a little like an ice breaker or to make yourself comfortable in a gathering, or even to keep yourself warm in freezing temperatures, but it is when this drinking becomes a habit that you spiral into alcoholism. Currently, alcoholism is one of the most prevalent disorders battled by people around the world- irrespective of sex, age, and occupation.
Am I an alcoholic?
Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder as the medical term goes, is characterized by an excessive dependence on alcohol. A large number of people enjoy a drink in the company of friends or in solitude, but the alcohol only acts as an ice breaker or something to bond over with, much like food. It is when the drinking part starts to take center stage that you know you have a problem. If you find yourself seeking out the company of your friends more often simply so you can have more than a couple of drinks, or if you find yourself avoiding anyone’s company because it interferes with your time with the bottle, it is time to seek help.
Jeopardized personal life
And seek help you must. Alcoholism is not a passing phase; it unchecked, it will take control of your life sooner and more completely than you think. The social implications of alcoholism are enormous. First of all, you will find your resources depleting. Your family life will disintegrate as you recede further from them into the annals of the bottle. Alcohol affects the brain, so it is likely you will not be able to perform at work and your career will be jeopardized. Thousands of divorces take place every year because of this single issue, scarring not just the partners but their children as well. This creates a vicious cycle; your unhappiness and helplessness will drive you to drinking more and sink into oblivion, and since alcohol is a depressant, will make you even unhappier, and the cycle will continue. Alcoholics are more likely to commit suicide, and also commit violent crimes in their drunken haze.
Deteriorating physical health
The physical implications of alcoholism, of course, are known to all. The liver is one of the first organs to be affected by excessive alcohol consumption. Alcoholism can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, which leads to acute liver failure and very painful death. Too much alcohol will lead to an incredible amount of fat deposits on the liver and on all other parts of the body, giving rise to a host of other problems. Alcoholics regularly suffer from cardiac and other debilitating and potentially deadly health problems, including various types of cancers.
Alcoholism is much like cancer. Just like the cancer cells spread through your body and puts every organ out of work, similarly, alcoholism has the potential to take over every aspect of your life, so that you will find yourself left with nothing. The first step to do is to seek help. Talk to your family and your friends, or at least one close confidante. Like everything else, the first step to cure is recognizing there is a problem. From there, you need support and your own willpower to battle this deadly disease.