Part of the problem with alcoholism is related to time. The longer that you drink, the more damage that accrues. However, other issues are immediate and they can harm you even if you are early on in your alcoholism. That is why alcohol rehab in West Palm Beach can help even if a person has only been drinking for a short amount of time.
The most severe of all risks tied to alcoholism is alcohol poisoning. This is a life-threatening condition that occurs when someone drinks to excess and overwhelms the central nervous system. When this happens, a person’s body temperature drops, respiratory rate slows, and vomiting may occur, which can lead to choking. Without the proper medical attention, alcohol poisoning is often fatal. But, even if you do not experience alcohol poisoning, there are still several risks that are associated with alcohol abuse and addiction, including the following short-term problems:
- Physical and/or verbal arguments
- Unprotected sex
- Legal repercussions
- Motor vehicle accidents
Some of the most common effects associated with alcoholism include motor vehicle accidents and DUIs. Alcohol impairs driving ability significantly, which is why driving with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% or higher can lead to a DUI. When your BAC reaches this point, your concentration and cognitive abilities decrease, all while you struggle to maintain your ability to reason. If you receive a DUI, you could face one or more of the following repercussions:
- Paying a fine
- Doing time in jail
- Community service
- Take alcohol education classes
Many of the effects and risks covered so far reflect what can happen while inebriated. But, those who find themselves drinking to excess and for longer periods of time can develop long-term effects and face severe risks to their overall wellbeing. Each year, approximately 88,000 Americans lose their lives to a health issue related to alcohol use. The many different types of disease that can contribute to that total most frequently include the following:
- Bone disease
- Heart disease
- Immune system disease
- Nerve disease
- Stomach ulcers
Alcohol rehab in West Palm Beach also offers help with co-occurring mental health disorders. Often, mental health conditions develop as a result of long-term alcoholism. In addition, sometimes, a person uses alcohol to cope with an underlying mental health disorder.
Of the many health-related complications that often turn life-threatening, complications with the liver are by far the most common. The liver processes every bit of alcohol that you consume, as it is the role of this organ to filter fluids in the body. However, regular exposure to alcohol can cause the liver to experience chemical changes and dehydration that can lead to severe, potentially fatal outcomes. Unfortunately, most individuals are unable to tell that their liver is in need of help until about 75% of it is damaged. At this point, signs that something is wrong can become extreme.
- Distended abdomen
Liver disease may be a condition that many people consider to impact long-haul alcoholics, but studies show that age is not always a defining trait. Experts say that liver disease is rising in people between the ages of 25 and 34. And while some liver complications can be treated, many can result in death, which is the most costly of all consequences caused by alcoholism.
It is a common misconception that these effects, especially the long-term effects, are not applicable to people who drink alcohol, but not on a 24/7 basis. These effects can occur in those who abuse alcohol in different ways, such as through binge drinking. At this point, someone may need detox before things worsen.
Antidepressants, such as Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, and Wellbutrin help to treat different forms of depression. However, when combined with alcohol, they can worsen the side effects of the medication and interfere with the function of the antidepressant. Drinking alcohol while taking antidepressants can be counterintuitive to attempting to treat depression because of these effects.
Anxiety medications like Ativan, Xanax, and Klonopin work to suppress certain functions of the body, as does alcohol. Being that both of these substances have depressant qualities, it becomes easier for individuals to suffer slowed respiratory rates, unconsciousness, impaired cognition, organ failure, and even coma.
Antibiotics like amoxicillin, Augmentin, and metronidazole are designed to help treat bacterial infections. But when someone is drinking at the same time they are on a course of antibiotics, they can dramatically reduce the effectiveness of the antibiotics. This can lead to continued infection and complications associated with that.
OTCs, such as ibuprofen and Benadryl, are not less dangerous to combine with alcohol just because they are available without a prescription. Drinking alcohol while taking OTCs can lead to several complications, ranging from liver problems to respiratory distress.
When drinking alcohol, even responsibly, several interactions can occur if someone is taking medications or other drugs. Some of these interactions can create short-term impacts while others can be fatal.