Myths and Facts Around Alcohol

by Renuka B H

28 April,2021 | Reading Time: 5 minutes

Alcohol has far-reaching effects on the human body. According to research, alcohol is one of the leading misused addictive substances. It is a depressant that slows down brain activity and is hence often linked with stress relief. What starts as a casual drink soon turns into an addiction such as binge drinking. 

As alcohol enters your system, the brain, heart, and liver, along with other organs, go through immediate physiological changes. If you drink too much, these changes can turn into severe medical concerns. Each year, almost a third of deaths attributed to alcohol are preventable. 

This addictive beverage also has several myths around it popular in many cultures. For instance, many of us might consider getting drunk once in a while completely fine. But in reality, binge drinking even after a considerable time may lead to serious health issues. The relationship between humans and alcohol is a complicated one. 

Many people advocate the health benefits of consuming alcohol in moderation. In contrast, the cons generally outweigh the pros for a vast majority of people. It may produce dopamine initially and give the effect of pleasure and satisfaction. In no time, this can turn into dependence for feeling good or numbing down emotions.

A Drinking Song

When wine comes in at the mouth

And Love comes in at the eye;

That’s all we know for truth

Before we grow old and die

 I lift the glass to my mouth,

 I look at you and I sigh

        _By William Butler Yeats

On the other hand, alcohol has plenty of Fascinating associations as read in poetry, other literature, and the Media. The gold-and-scarlet glow of liquor advertisements, the fizz of the champagne opened by a celebrity, the transparent glass at a party, or the thrill teenagers feel over a secret beer bash – they all make for the feel-good image of alcohol.

Many people drink socially or occasionally, and they are able to stop after a few drinks. This is called Social Drinking, and this does not interfere with any other aspect of their life. But for some others who drink, things get out of their hands, not knowing why? An alcoholic is not just the man in tatters, knocked flat on the road after a binge.

An alcoholic is one whose drinking causes continuing problems in any area of his life (such as family relationships, job, financial status, or health) and who continues to drink in spite of these problems because he has developed a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol.

Once they are under the influence of alcohol, the Jinn in the bottle is over them, they are trapped. And how! “If a person has cancer, all are sorry for him…But not so with the alcoholic illness, for with it there goes obliteration of all things worthwhile in life.

This section aims to inform people who may be having problems with alcohol, or know people who have problems with it.

It brings misunderstanding, fierce resentment, financial insecurity, disgusted friends and employers, relationship with all close family members goes warped” Alcoholism is age no bar, economic status/ social status no bar disease.   

I would like you to know that alcoholism is a DISEASE, It’s A PROGRESSIVE DISEASE, and that needs TO BE TREATED.

Alcohol Addiction is a complex and chronic Disease involving complex interaction among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s personality aspects and life experiences.

People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences. Prevention efforts and treatment approaches for addiction are generally as successful as those for other chronic diseases. 

It is a progressive disease: People initially start using alcohol socially with friends, parties, for fun, if a person is vulnerable gradually from Social use, Alcohol becomes the need, increasing Tolerance and leading to psychological and Physical Dependency.

If you are alcohol dependent, your condition goes from bad to worse. Sometimes there may be periods when you may feel there is an improvement. But drinking over a length of time will only lead to deterioration. Unless treated and stopped, Drinking excessively leads to cirrhosis and pancreatitis, and even to death.

Psychological and Physical Dependency: Alcohol becomes so central to their thoughts, emotions, feelings and activities that they cannot control the craving for drink and think that they need alcohol to cope with major and minor life stressors; This state is called Psychological Dependence.

Their body becomes so accustomed to the use of alcohol over a period of time, that when they stop drinking, “withdrawal symptoms”, such as sleeplessness, anxiety, nervousness, tremors, convulsions, hallucinations etc. occur. This state is called Physical Dependence.

Physical damage caused by alcohol: Repeated excessive drinking over a period of time affects the following organs and tissues. Brain _Cell damage resulting in loss of memory, confusion, and hallucination; Lungs _Greater chance of infections including TB; Gastrointestinal systems_ Ulcer, cancer..; Genitals _Temporary impotence; Skin_ Flushing, sweating; Blood _Anemia .....etc

Alcoholism Is A Treatable Disease:Alternatives such as a change of job, marriage, etc., will not help you to recover; if you are abusing alcohol, unless treated so that you totally stop drinking, your condition will get worse day by day. Good News is in India; help is available; reach out to your Physician/Psychiatrist/ Psychologist for help without delay. This brings us to our next step.

Stepping Onto The Path Of Sobriety

The key to fighting alcohol addiction is spotting early signs of being heavily under the influence of alcohol. One can manage the condition with the help of professional doctors and lead a normal life without any hiccups. But it is not an easy ride, especially when you have been a heavy drinker for most of your life. 

Early Intervention: The earlier you recognize the symptom, the better coping mechanism you can apply. People with a history of drinking find it an arduous task to recover. But if you experience that one glass becoming your daily necessity, it is time you seek professional help. They will equip you with techniques and provide the required care both physically and mentally to quit this slow poison as soon as possible.

In this process, the key person that can help you is a mental health professional. As you or your loved ones take notice of under the influence of alcohol symptoms, it is an alarm to see whether it is turning into a problem. One of the leading psychologists who can help you understand and overcome alcoholism is Mrs. Renuka B H. She has experience of over 15 years with multiple accolades to her name, such as the best mental health practitioner.

Rehabilitation: One can seek quality care at Cadabams and recover faster through their long-term rehabilitation plans. The main aim of rehabilitation is to go back into society and feel like a part of it. With the help of mental health professionals and occupational therapy, the road to sobriety can get smoother. There is no doubt that you will need perseverance and patience, but quality and sensitive medical care can do wonders.

The best de-addiction rehabilitation center in India is Anunitha. It has dedicated professionals for treating people with different severities of alcohol addiction through personalized medication and round-the-clock care. From family therapies, group therapies, drug detoxes to 12 step de-addiction programs. It has a wide range of clinically proven approaches for ensuring long-term recovery. Hence, one can seek help and support at early stages and in severe cases at Anunitha without any fear of judgment.

Wrapping Up

Alcoholism is a woe that can slowly eat up one’s life. Being under the influence of alcohol, a person can ruin the trajectory of their life in an unfortunate turn of events. Hence, it is advisable to have awareness and pick up the sign at the earliest for holistic recovery. 

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