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Alcohol and drug abuse: identifying the issue and finding solutions (Part Two)

Anonymous Drinker

Part Two: how does alcohol affect you?

The reason that alcohol can cause such extensive damage to the body is because it goes everywhere. There is no body cell resistant to alcohol.

Your Appearance – According to researchers, more than one or two drinks a week promotes aging. Alcohol is considered a food with non-nutritional calories that quickly add up. Alcohol abuse causes acne, makes eyes glassy and gives your skin a puffy, broken vein look.

Your Brain – Alcohol is a depressant that slows down brain activity. While one or two drinks makes most people feel relaxed, more alcohol may cause feelings of anxiety, depression and often aggression. Alcohol use lowers inhibition, distorts judgment, impairs coordination and perception, and causes memory blackouts.

Your Gastrointestinal System – Alcohol irritates your stomach. Alcohol abuse can cause heartburn and eventually ulcers. Alcohol use is linked to cancer of the mouth, esophagus, stomach and intestines. The liver, due to its role in breaking down alcohol, suffers the most damage.

Your Reproductive System – Alcohol use in men and women causes increased sexual desire but decreases performance. Alcohol is toxic to unborn children causing permanent tissue and organ damage.

Other – Alcohol depresses the immune system, making it easier to get sick. It also disrupts your sleeping patterns. Alcohol has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, constipation and stroke.

Some signs that may indicate a drinking concern in a loved one include:

  • Changes in drinking patterns. The person drinks more, or more often, or drinks in the morning.
  • Changes in appearance. The person frequently or usually smells of alcohol, has slurred speech, blood shot eyes or unkempt appearances.
  • Changes in personality. The person suffers memory loss, sleep issues, mood swings, irritability, distrust, or lack of interest in activities earlier enjoyed.
  • Health problems. The person suffers frequent hangovers, chronic digestive problems, fatigue or shaky hands.

About Agnesian Behavioral Health Services

Agnesian HealthCare has long been recognized as a leader in providing quality care for members of our community with psychological and addictive concerns. Our highly-trained team of professionals includes psychiatrists, addictionologist, psychologists, psychotherapists, nurses, family therapists, social workers, and certified alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) counselors. These professionals work together with three locations to serve children, adolescents, adults, couples and families.

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