Have you woken up one too many times with regret in your gut and feelings of shame and embarrassment? Have you missed out on special events because you were too hungover or prioritized drinking rather than doing things that genuinely fulfilled your soul? The rise of sobriety has played a prevalent role in society, and I am here for it. Since 2012, I have been studying addiction. Before that, I was caught up in a cycle of it myself. From alcohol abuse and other self-destructive behaviors, I found myself in a situation that could have easily been avoided if not for alcohol.
Granted, alcohol abuse is normalized worldwide, and I think that people are starting to wake up and have had enough of this toxic lifestyle. It makes me happy to see the increased number of brands selling non-alcohol beverage options more women standing up and using their voices to speak up about how the wine culture has impacted motherhood. But, no, alcohol does not relax you; it causes more anxiety and when you see promotions or advertisements for using wine or cocktails as a form of self-care has adverse effects.
“Alcohol is a toxic and extremely addictive substance. It is highly diffusible across cell membranes and metabolized by most tissues, meaning its toxicity affects the majority of your organs, but especially your liver, where most of the alcohol metabolization happens. Alcohol can dehydrate you, irritate your digestive system, contribute to electrolyte imbalances, impact your immune system, throw off your blood sugar levels, and have a detrimental effect on your sleep – all of which can contribute to that wonderfully painful state we’ve come to know as a hangover.” –Gooch, Millie. The Sober Girl Society Handbook
It’s difficult for people to get and stay sober when surrounded by so many other people who drink regularly. When you don’t have a solid support team of people who have your back when you’re ready to get sober and hold you accountable for your actions, it all falls on you, and that comes with a lot of pressure when you’re the only one in your family or friend group that wants to or should I say needs to be sober.
Although alcohol makes you feel confident and free, at the moment, the fall is only soon to come. An alcohol high keeps you craving more and more until you are deep down in a terrible funk or texting your ex after hours only to wake up the next day and regret everything you did and say the night before.
Alcohol increases symptoms of depression and a variety of other health issues.
Think back to the last time alcohol positively impacted your life or a particular situation. Chances are there are very few times to count when alcohol has been your friend. I can’t think of many. Some of the worst cases I created for myself under the influence and the drama I didn’t start was much, still much worse under the influence than it would have been if I had just stayed sober.
Have you ever questioned your relationship with alcohol? Have you ever stopped to think, “Maybe I should get some help?” If so, I’m glad you’re reading this article. But, first, let me show you some of the benefits of being sober.
- Ability to save a lot more money and pay off debt.
- You’ll have an increase in energy and mental clarity.
- More opportunities will come your way, and you’ll be able to follow through on your commitments at work and home.
- You’ll learn who you indeed are without the mask of alcohol blinding you of a false illusion of who you think you are.
- Your relationships will improve dramatically because you’ll have the ability to be less selfish and aware of other people’s needs.
- Other self-destructive behaviors will be easier to stop.
- You’ll be able to get quality sleep and wake up feeling well-rested.
- Productivity will increase as you will now have more free time and focus better than before.
- You’ll be able to set and achieve your goals without the barriers of alcohol.
- You’ll have a more profound sense of purpose and fulfillment in all areas of your life.
The quotation above makes no apologies for alcohol use: binge drinking has a significant negative impact on your brain and life. Unfortunately, heavy drinking is widespread in the United States, despite research to the contrary. More than 25% of adults reported binge drinking in the previous month two years ago. Furthermore, 7% of individuals admitted binge drinking five times or more in the last month. This is a terrifying fact given the slew of physical and social problems that excessive drinking can cause.
Short-Term Effects of Alcohol
- lack of judgment
- loss of coordination
- memory loss
- headaches and hangovers
- accidental injury (to yourself or others)
- being in a road accident
- deliberately harming yourself or others
- alcohol poisoning (which can be fatal)
Long-Term Effects of Alcohol
Brain: Too much alcohol can impair your concentration, judgment, mood, and memory. It raises your chances of having a stroke or getting dementia.
Heart: Excessive alcohol consumption raises blood pressure, contributing to heart disease and heart attacks.
Liver: Drinking three to four standard drinks every day raises your risk of liver cancer. Long-term heavy drinking increases your chances of developing liver cirrhosis (scarring) and dying.
Stomach: Even drinking 1 to 2 standard drinks a day raises your risk of stomach and bowel cancer, as well as stomach ulcers.
Regular heavy drinking lowers testosterone levels, sperm count, and fertility.
“…it feels odd that we don’t put alcohol under the microscope more. It is, after all, a toxic compound used as both a fuel and a solvent. More disturbingly, if it were discovered today, the safe limit once you’ve applied food standards criteria would be one glass of wine a year.” -Gooch, Millie. The Sober Girl Society Handbook
Lifestyle Implications Affected by Alcohol
Disregard of vital responsibilities: Because alcohol weakens one’s cognitive functions and physical capabilities, one may neglect duties related to work, home life, and school at some point.
Hangovers require time to heal: Alcohol has various short-term adverse effects, including hangovers. A hangover’s physical state may be transient, but it can significantly impede a person’s ability to meet commitments and encourage unhealthy behaviors like poor nutrition and inactivity. Those submerged in addiction prioritize their drug choice over loved ones, events, and other responsibilities.
Getting into confrontations, demonstrating unruly behavior in public, and driving under the influence are all legal issues that can arise from drinking.
- Interpersonal relationship troubles
- Financial problems
- Negatively impact children
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today at 888–438–0596. Most insurance is accepted.