Counting the cost of alcohol addiction can be a real an eye-opener!
It is very important for persons who are drinking too much, or for his or her loved ones to fully understand the damages their addiction is causing.
If you check out the costs of alcoholism, it may help get the alcoholic into treatment or urge his or her family members to seek professional intervention.
Some persons balk at the cost of treatment. However, once you look at the cost of continued addiction, treatment looks like the most valuable option.
So let’s look at the real cost of alcoholism:
Alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream and subsequently affects all parts of your body. Beginning with the brain – when it hits the brain, that’s what it means getting ‘high’ or getting the ‘buzz’. Every small peg of alcohol kills thousands of brain cells – irreversibly. Long term alcohol abusers have difficulty in remembering due to memory loss, have lack of concentration and impaired judgement.
The drinker’s liver is one of the first victims. Excessive intake of alcohol makes the liver unable to break down the harmful substances. Continued alcohol abuse can lead to serious liver diseases including sclerosis.
Alcohol commonly causes stomach problems such as ulcers, bloating and excess gas. Your heart too gets under strain – it has to work that much harder to keep the body functioning. Though the cardiovascular system is extremely powerful and resilient, but like everything it has limits. That’s why alcoholics are prone to irregular heartbeats, strokes and heart attacks.
Alcoholism also damages the nervous system. It can cause sexual dysfunction. For men it can lead to impotence, women infertility issues.
Other serious problems associated with excessive alchol intake are: problems with teeth and gums, bowel issues and ulcers.
There are over 46 diseases directly related to alcoholism. Alcoholics need to spend more time in hospitals, experience loss of pay when they are absent from work. Some, of course, land at the graveyard early.
Impact on personal relationships
While the loud and dysfunctional behaviour of the alcoholic may make friends avoid him or her in social settings, it’s the personal relationships that take a huge beating.
The alcoholic destroys his or her family unity, causes extreme stress, grief, anguish and hearbreak to those who love him or her dearly. Family members live in constant fear and suffer from long-term emotional and psychological damage.
Even love has its limits. The near and dear ones will ultimately give up or harbour deep resentments.
As often happens, the partner abandons the alcoholic. This causes the alcoholic to hit the bottle with more vigour and vengeance, leading to further loneliness and devastation.
You don’t need rocket science to get this. Boozing is expensive. Not just the cost of the booze, but the things that along with it. Going out with drinking buddies, grandiose spending, medical costs, and absenteeism at work – all these add up to a huge cost. The same amount could have been spent on family welfare, housing improvement, holidays, investments, and personal growth.
For the alcoholic, drinking becomes the Number 1 priority. It not only ruins the bank balance, but adversely affects all areas of the alcoholic’s life. Alcohol becomes all-consuming and whatever it costs to fund your drinking will be spent over and above other financial responsibilities.
Stop counting the cost of alcohol addiction – start seeking help
Those who cross the line from social drinking to alcohol abuse need help. Alcohol rehabs are effective in rebuilding the lives of alcoholics and their families. The cost involved is nothing compared to what the alcoholic is bound to lose if he doesn’t stop.
If you wish to save someone from further deterioration, get in touch with a rehab. Most of the rehabs have outpatient, residential and online therapy options for addiction recovery.