Moderate and educated alcohol use is not only beneficial to consumers, but it can also extend their lives. Excessive drinking, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, drinking by pregnant women, and drinking by minors (“Fact Sheets – Alcohol Use And Your Health”). The aim of this study is to demonstrate that alcohol consumption has negative effects on the user’s health, mental capacity, and other faculties, all of which have an impact on their lives.
Alcoholism’s Health Consequences
The short-term health risks of alcoholism are listed below. First, alcoholics suffer lapses in judgment and cognitive capabilities and are therefore prone to minor injuries such as burns, dislocations from falling and sometimes drowning that could be fatal. Secondly, excessive consumption in one occasion causes alcohol poisoning as a result of high alcohol levels in the blood. Thirdly, it is common to see alcoholics engage in risky sexual behaviors like unprotected sex that result in unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (World Health Organization(WHO), 13). Also, drunk pregnant women are at high risk of miscarriage.
The long-term health effects of alcohol are the development of chronic illnesses such as liver cirrhosis, heart diseases, digestive problems, various forms of cancer and high blood pressure. Drinking daily in excess weakens the heart muscles and by extension affects blood circulation. Failure of blood to reach significant body parts like lungs and the brain can be fatal. Also, alcoholic fat deposits inflame the liver causing liver failure and hepatitis (“Fact Sheets – Alcohol Use And Your Health”).
The Effects of Alcohol on Mental Ability
It is ironic that most people drink to reduce stress and social problems only to end up having more alcohol-related issues. According to the World Health Organization, alcohol dependence causes acute instances of depression, especially where an individual can no longer sustain the drinking habit economically. Lapses in memory, including dementia are prevalent in alcohol addicts and they cause anxiety, mental health problems, poor performance in school and depression (“Fact Sheets – Alcohol Use And Your Health”). Alcohol affects mental ability because intoxicated users engage in high-risk courses such as gambling, irresponsible fun and petty theft that normally they would not engage in while sober. As people continue to drink, especially at night, they hide from the realities of life and disrupt normal mental functions resulting to sleeplessness and lack of proper rest which lead to more stress and depression. Thus, it is common to see cases of suicide, personality disorders and schizophrenia when reality finally dawn on the user.
The Effects of Alcohol on the Life of Users
Intoxication and Alcohol dependence can result in a lack of performance in crucial social roles. For example, alcoholism takes a toll on relationships and individual work roles resulting to serious consequences like divorce, failed marriages, job loss, loss of family fortunes and a dysfunctional social life (WHO, 14). The cumulative effects of health and mental disabilities result in serious economic hurdles as one looks for a cure for their problems. For instance, data from the World Health Organization shows that 5.9 % of all deaths and 5.1% of the burden of disease by 2012 is attributed to alcohol (WHO, 16). The effects of alcoholism are felt in society by friends, family, community, and government eventhough only a single individual practices the vice. For example, studies have regularly associated alcohol abuse with cases of crime. Most addicts take up crime to continue funding their insatiable drinking habits which affect the community at large (WHO, 17).
Alcohol affects health, mental abilities and life of users in numerous ways that spill over to affect other people. From the study, it is clear that the three categories of effects are inter-related and therefore should be addressed holistically.
World Health Organization. Global Status Report On Alcohol And Health, 2014. World HealthOrganization, 2014. Reprint.
“Fact Sheets – Alcohol Use And Your Health”. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p.,2016. Web. 27 June 2017.