Everyone is quick to give out their opinion on how alcohol problems affect one’s life. There are many who advocate the teetotaller culture (and with reason), while a few lucky people who are in control of their lives and their urges can stop at the occasional social drink. But if you ask an expert such as a doctor or a psychiatrist their opinion, he would hold forth on the subject and reiterate rudimentary facts.
Alcohol, by itself, is not a bad beverage. Several medical doyens point out how rum and other forms of alcohol are used in preparation of medicines. The real trouble starts when a person starts to get dependent on his swig and cannot seem to lead a normal life without a drink. This dependence, in spite of seeming harmless, soon becomes a fixation and begins to affect the individual’s relationships, behaviour and judgement.
The most telling effect of alcohol problems is seen on social relationships and employment. Imagine a person who is hung over all the time! Performance falls drastically and the person in general remains moody and irritable when he is not drinking. Employers are quick to notice these changes, and more often than not, corrective treatment is suggested.
The results of alcohol abuse are both immediate and far-reaching. Traffic rules strictly impose the dictum that people who have been drinking in the last few hours are not supposed to get behind the wheel. The mind is not alert and responsive enough to help the individual be a responsible road user, and this is a threat to self as well as other people on the road.
Sadly, there are many people, young and old, who violate this small civic courtesy and end up injuring themselves — sometimes grievously. Law enforcement takes pains to check this behaviour, in collusion with public places serving alcohol which limit entry of guests according their age and other considerations. These places are also supposed to close shop at a reasonable hour and not encourage boozing into the wee hours.
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests are conducted by the National Highways authorities and law enforcement officers to check the level of inebriation. The penalty levied in the case of testing positive is not always monetary. An individual might sometimes be required to serve time or attend counselling.
Alcohol problems are so severe because a person in an inebriated condition tends to lose balance, and the worst possible behaviour is seen. The individual would commit grave mistakes in judgement and even common sense takes a nosedive. If it were only spluttering during speech and embarrassing oneself, it would not do so much harm. But putting oneself at danger, walking into shady areas and not being to protect oneself from attacks or evil puts one’s life in danger.
Alcoholism can easily become a habit, causing irretrievable damage to health. Liver cirrhosis is the most commonly heard condition and it is nothing pretty. Alcohol problems directly and indirectly affect many spheres of life. In addition to poor health, the effects of alcohol begin to show in puffy eyes, loose folds of skin, redness of the eyes, insomnia, dehydration, headaches and a rapidly developing paunch.
The redeeming factor is that alcoholism is treatable (at most stages) and can be handled if the individual is ready to make a better life for himself.
Suffering from an alcohol problem and need some support? Speak to our professional counselling team for help and guidance.