Once a person transitions from casual drinking to alcohol abuse, life changes. The effects of alcohol abuse are profound, affecting the individual and everyone around him/her. The unfortunate thing about alcohol abuse is that often the damage is done long before the abuser really knows what’s going on. We aim to help alcohol abusers limit that damage by offering them the help they need to stop drinking.
You need to know that the effects of alcohol can be felt at home, within one’s social circles, and even at work. There is no such thing as alcohol abuse without consequences. Therefore, any indication that you might have a drinking problem is reason to contact us. Do not let the effects of alcohol ruin your life as well as the lives of everyone around you.
Effects of Alcohol Abuse at Home
The silent victims of alcohol abuse tend to be family members who feel as though they have no outlet. For example, consider spouses and domestic partners. They are the ones closest to the adult alcoholic or alcohol abuser. Spouses and partners begin to suffer when alcohol causes their loved ones to treat them poorly. Things may start out with a few nights home alone and some rude or sarcastic comments from time to time, only to escalate to outright abandonment and verbal or physical abuse. Spouses and partners are often left in a place of confusion and hurt. They want to help, yet they don’t know how.
Often, spouses and domestic partners will enable their alcohol abusing loved ones, thus exacerbating the problem. How do they enable? By doing the following:
- Covering up their loved one’s alcohol abuse
- Drinking along with the abuser
- Providing alcohol or the funds to purchase it
- Blaming their loved one’s alcohol abuse on external problems.
Unfortunately, spouses and partners are not the only ones hurt by alcohol abuse at home. Children are also negatively affected. Children find themselves neglected, mistreated and sometimes abused. And even when significant physical neglect is not present, children are emotionally and psychologically neglected by alcohol-abusing parents. The effects of such neglect often lead to those children eventually taking up alcohol themselves.
Effects of Alcohol Abuse in Social Circles
A very good sign that a loved one is abusing alcohol is one of a shrinking group of friends. Simply put, not many people enjoy being around an alcohol abuser for any length of time. They stop inviting the alcohol abuser to parties; they stop attending social gatherings when they know the alcohol abuser will be present. Eventually, the abuser finds him/herself completely isolated or having to form new friendships with fellow drinkers who do not mind his/her behaviour.
What is it about alcohol abuse that friends don’t care to be around? That depends on the individual. Some alcohol abusers have a tendency toward verbal and physical abuse; others can be loud and obnoxious to the point of being an embarrassment. Still others can be prone to engage in dangerous behaviour when under the influence of alcohol.
Effects of Alcohol Abuse at Work
Alcohol abuse even has detrimental effects at work. While there may be some functioning alcoholics who can continue working without anyone ever knowing differently, such scenarios are the exception rather than the rule. Most alcohol abusers are discovered by supervisors due to poor performance and friction between the individual and other workers.
It is not unusual for alcohol abusers to be reprimanded by their supervisors for poor for performance. The abuser may initially be warned to improve his/her performance or face disciplinary action. When it becomes evident that alcohol abuse is a problem, an employer may or may not offer assistance. In either case, the abuser who is unable to overcome alcohol and improve his or her performance is quite likely to find unemployment just a few steps away. One cannot continue to be employed if alcohol is interfering with day-to-day productivity.
In the interim, the alcohol abuser alienates co-workers and, in client-facing positions, may even turn away customers. The individual’s reputation is ruined to the point where any measure of professional respect evaporates as well all due to alcohol addiction. The result is a loss of employment, a loss of income, and all the baggage that comes with it.
Real and Sometimes Permanent
The effects of alcohol abuse at home, at work and within one’s social circles are real and sometimes permanent. To think that you can continue drinking excessively without causing any damage is to completely misunderstand how alcohol misuse becomes abuse and eventual dependence. It is a dangerous way to think.
We often say that alcoholism is a family condition because it affects both the alcohol abuser and other family members living in the same household. But it actually goes much further than that. Alcohol abuse:
- destroys relationships
- inhibits personal productivity
- exhausts financial resources
- causes profound medical issues.
Continued alcohol abuse eventually takes everything that is important to the abuser. Alcohol prevents the drinker from being productive at work, resulting in eventual unemployment. A lack of income leads to increased indebtedness, which could result in losing one’s home, car and other personal property. In the meantime, spouses and partners are chased away and children are harmed emotionally, mentally and physically.
As the alcohol abuser continues down the path to complete dependence, physical health is also harmed. Alcohol affects the liver, heart, brain and almost every other part of the body. It also affects the mind. The alcohol abuser finds it more and more difficult to cope with life outside of drinking until he or she eventually reaches the point where alcohol controls nearly every thought and action.
Alcohol abuse is a dangerous proposition. If you are consuming more alcohol than is generally recognised as safe within the medical community (no more than two units of alcohol per day) you are already at risk for becoming an abuser and eventually an alcoholic. Get the help you need before it’s too late.