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The Effects Of Alcoholism On The Body – The Dangerous Effects of Alcoholism
The dangerous effects of alcoholism are numerous and potentially fatal, not to mention destructive to the alcoholic’s work, family, goals, and relationships in general. The physical side effects of alcoholism are:
Effect of Alcohol on The Brain
Alcohol acts as a depressant on the brain, most strongly affecting the area that governs inhibitions and judgment. In many cases the alcoholic is seeking just that: liberation from anxiety, shyness, rigidity of thinking, and also the euphoric feeling that accompanies the release of such emotional restrictions.
The temporary loss of judgment and inhibitions explain why some people are “happy drunks,” while others become angry and hostile. The happy drunk seems to get along with everyone because he loses his ability to accurately judge others. Everyone becomes his friend, and he is the life of the party. He also loses his inhibitions – which in normal life restrict him and cause him social anxiety.
The angry drunk also loses his inhibitions, which when sober restrict him from expressing his emotions, especially, anger. His loss of inhibition translates into loss of anger management and personal self-control.
So while much study has been undertaken to try and develop a working model of the alcoholic personality, it has not been possible to do so because various personality types become alcoholics for a variety of reasons. It is certain though that alcoholism does the same physiological damage to the individual’s brain, nervous system, and liver, regardless of his personality and behavior.
In spite of the initial euphoria experienced by the drinker, consumption of more alcohol leads to a more depressed state. The circulation and respiratory systems also become depressed, so that a severe consumption of alcohol can lead to stupor, coma and even death.
As the brain suffers from bouts of alcoholism, so does the nervous system.
Effect of Alcoholism on the Nervous System
One of the visible effects of alcoholism is the loss of balance and muscular coordination. As drinkers consume more and more alcohol, their speech is slurred, their movements become clumsy and awkward, and they lose their balance. This is not due to direct effect of alcohol on the muscles, but the direct effect on the brain and its impulses to the peripheral nervous system.
Effect of Alcoholism on the Liver
The liver is responsible for many vital functions in the body and suffers greatly from the effects of alcoholism. One important role of the liver is to destroy and eliminate toxic substances from the bloodstream and send them to other organs for elimination. Under stress, the liver will fail to accomplish this function properly, resulting in toxemia, poor immune function, infection, skin diseases, kidney disease, impaired circulation, tumors, and a while host of disorders.
Over 90% of the alcohol consumed by the body must be eliminated by the process of oxidation, which takes place in the liver. Oxidation is the breakdown of alcohol into carbon dioxide and water (CO2 and H2O). The rate at which the liver can perform this function is the same regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed by the person. So, the more alcohol consumed, the more the liver’s work backs up because it cannot oxidize any