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Who Are the Victims of Alcoholism?
Alcohol abuse and alcoholism remain some of the most severe diseases in the world. Currently, millions of Americans are impacted by alcohol abuse yearly. The pull of alcohol has trapped many, from famous singers and writers to everyday people. Victims of alcoholism include members of every ethnicity, socio-economic class, profession, gender, orientation, or age. Tragically, the victims of alcoholism are not limited to those who drink, but also their loved ones or anyone who they encounter while drunk. The devastation of alcohol abuse can include emotional, psychological, behavioral, medical, legal, financial, personal, and professional damage that can be traumatic for those involved.
How Alcohol Impacts People
Not only does excessive alcohol use cause health problems, it causes behavioral problems that may concern those witnessing its effects. With regular alcohol consumption, the brain may shrink in size. This can in turn create behavioral changes, contributing to stress. Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely difficult to withstand. To illustrate, when someone limits their alcohol consumption after developing a tolerance or dependence, the brain craves the chemicals in alcohol. He or she may exhibit seizures, depression or anxiety, irritability, and fatigue. Withdrawal can encourage aggression and hallucinations to occur, which can distract from daily activities and one’s peace of mind. To escape the difficult side effects, many return to drinking.
Alcohol can be a substance to cope with mental and emotional distress. Someone grappling with depression who uses alcohol to drink can become unrecognizable to their loved one. Not only do loved ones see the low moods of depressive episodes unravel, the effects are more intense when combined this with alcohol.
How Alcoholism Affects Family Members
Family members are often most directly impacted by alcohol and drug use. For starters, they witness challenging behaviors and often try to intervene. Relatives who abuse harmful substances may become defensive or deny there is a problem. The individual drinking alcohol may become more reclusive; spend large amounts of money on alcohol, becomes secretive; steal money for alcohol, and risk job loss or poor academic performance. The result can be trust issues, broken relationships, and emotional frustration that may need therapy to fix, if the relationship is salvageable at all.
Children and the Effects of Alcoholism
Children who see a mother or father drinking often duplicate drinking patterns as the age. If the parents had an unstable relationship the child may develop a caretaker or codependent attitude, attracting other individuals struggling with compulsions of addictions. Children can develop fear-based thoughts about people and relationships from seeing angry family members. Additionally, children can develop anxiety, depression or drink at a younger age, and hence experience greater health risks.
College Students and Alcoholism
A survey conducted by the Washington Post noted roughly 80% of college students drink alcohol. College drinking has many causes. Students entering a new world facing academic stress and isolation from family may feel anxious or depressed. Alcohol or other substances can become a temporary source of relief that increases health risks, safety risks, and poor academic performance.
Both men and women who drink on campus are at greater risk of sexual assault and violence. 11.2% of students are victims of rape; 8.8% women and 2.2% men. Depending on the time of year, college students are more likely to be at risk for sexual assault. This is typically around fall months when new students are starting school for the first time. Additional dangers include date rape drugs placed in alcoholic beverages leaving women and men vulnerable to sexual assault.
Expecting Mothers and Alcohol Effects
Expecting mothers endanger 2 lives when drinking. Alcohol gets transferred through the bloodstream and into the baby. Even small amounts of alcohol exposure can impact the baby’s development, causing developmental delays and abnormal physical attributes. In many cases, babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, which produces the following traits:
- Deformed joints, limbs
- Problems with vision
- Extremely thin lips, upturned nose
- Small heads
- Cardiac problems
- Bone problems
- Learning disabilities
- Poor memory
- Difficulty problem solving
- Poor social skills
- Academic problems
Women should consult a doctor if expecting regarding alcohol consumption.
Get the Help You Deserve
Alcoholism is a serious condition that needs immediate assistance. The first step is to acknowledge the problem exists. With this knowledge, someone can empower themselves to discover how treatment can restore balance in his or her life, rebuild broken relationships, and provide the hope needed for change. Contact a compassionate treatment specialist to progress into sobriety.