Alcoholism occurs when a Seattle resident is physically and psychologically dependent on alcohol and continues to use alcohol despite experiencing negative consequences. Tolerance to alcohol will cause drinkers to increase their alcohol consumption, and this increases the effects of alcohol. Alcoholism can affect a person’s health, interpersonal relationships, financial stability and mental acuity.
Physical Effects of Alcoholism for Seattle Residents
Chronic alcohol abuse affects Seattle residents in a variety of ways. The major organs and body systems are damaged over time, and users may develop serious life threatening diseases. Some physical effects of alcoholism include the following:
- Gastrointestinal damage. One of the more serious problems caused by alcoholism is cirrhosis of the liver which occurs when scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue. The longer and more heavily a person drinks, the faster the liver will be permanently damaged. Most scarring is permanent, although some healing is possible with sobriety.
- Cardiomyopathy/heart disease. Large amounts of alcohol put a strain on the heart and cardiovascular system, resulting in the walls of the heart becoming thin. The cardiovascular system becomes less effective, and a lack of blood flow may damage other parts of the body.
- Respiratory system damage. The toxic effects from continual alcohol abuse kills tissue and dries out the lungs, making an alcoholic person more susceptible to upper respiratory infections such as pneumonia.
- Brain damage. Excessive drinking can hurt the brain’s ability to learn new tasks and can affect long- and short-term memory.
Mental and Emotional Effects of Alcoholism
Alcohol can affect a person’s quality of life in Seattle beyond physical health repercussions. Alcoholism can hurt relationships with family members and friends and can affect the individual’s mental state as well. Some additional effects of alcoholism include the following:
- Depression. Alcoholism can cause depression and anxiety. Alcoholics may have suicidal thoughts and have a high chance of carrying through with a suicide attempt. Excessive use of alcohol can lower serotonin levels in the brain and cause continual low level depression.
- Isolation. Alcoholics often drink alone which can increase feelings of loneliness and depression. They may become irritable or angry while drunk which can distance them from loved ones.
Family members are also emotionally affected by a loved one’s alcoholism. Children of alcoholic parents are often depressed, insecure and emotionally distant. They sometimes feel responsible for the parent’s alcohol problem and often do poorly in school. Children with alcoholic parents are at an increased risk for developing alcoholism as adults.
Social and Career Effects of Alcoholism
Alcoholism affects more than an individual and his or her immediate family. Alcoholism impacts a drinker on larger scale than personal health or relationships and can lead to the following:
- Alcoholism can cause embarrassment and loss of respect among co-workers and friends. This can lead to low self-esteem and job loss.
- Long-term alcoholism increases time away from work which may cost a person financially or hurt his or her career development.
- Former friends may avoid an alcoholic person who becomes out of control or angry while drunk. It may be harder to sustain a romantic relationship while dealing with alcoholism.
Get Treatment for Alcoholism Today
Alcohol may seem less deadly because it is a legal drug, but alcohol addiction can have serious and permanent consequences for Seattle residents. You can end the effects of alcoholism by calling our toll-free helpline. We are here 24 hours a day to talk with you about your concerns and help you find the treatment that will work for you. Please call now.