Alcohol abuse can have a serious negative impact on people’s lives. Even people who drink too much only on one occasion can feel how alcohol affects their minds and bodies. People who drink too much on a regular basis or become addicted to alcohol often experience far more life-altering effects as time passes. Some people may even find relationships, careers, and other major parts of their lives are falling apart because of how alcohol has affected their mood, their behavior, and, more importantly, their choices.
How Alcohol Abuse Affects Your Brain
Drinking too much even once can cause people to make poor life choices. When individuals drink, alcohol begins to interfere with the communication pathways in the brain, which can cause mood swings, memory lapses, changes in behavior, loss of coordination, and an inability to think clearly. The more they drink, the more alcohol addiction symptoms affect those parts of the brain. If people drink enough, they can lose control of these functions completely. This can make them blackout, fall unconscious, or even die.
Even before people blackout, they’re likely to experience negative short-term problems because of their excessive drinking. Some short-term problems may include:
- Accidental injuries
- Car or motorcycle accidents
- Violence toward self or others
- Risky physical or sexual actions
- Alcohol poisoning
All of these short-term problems can have lasting changes on individuals’ lives. This happens especially if someone is severely injured or dies directly because of the choices they made while they were intoxicated. Although some of the consequences can be avoided with proper precautions, regular alcohol abuse can make the possibility of short-term problems more and more likely. Eventually, it’s going to be impossible to avoid some of these short-term problems, no matter how hard someone tries.
How Long-Term Alcohol Abuse Affects Life Decisions
Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to alterations in the brain’s chemical balance and structure. This can affect both the body and the mind. Physical symptoms of alcohol addiction, such as liver disease, heart problems, and cancer, tend to get more public focus, but the truth is alcohol affects the brain in ways that could permanently alter how people live their lives. Drinking alcohol can lead to a number of long-term brain issues, including:
When people are struggling with any of these mental issues, they’re going to make different choices than they would have before alcohol took over their lives. It’s not uncommon for people with alcohol abuse problems to isolate themselves from others in order to hide their drinking habits. Combining that tendency with the mental issues that come with long-term alcohol use can cause people to feel even more alone over the course of time. They may even become bitter with their situation and take it out on others, which can result in broken relationships and frequent unemployment.