Alcohol abuse

Too much wine or alcohol consumption - what can happen if you get it wrong

Wine bottles

Positive effects of alcohol

Alcoholic drinks are a kind of drink that has ethanol in them and are, broadly known as "alcohol". Alcoholic drinks and beverages are comprised of three basic categories: beers, wines, and distilled beverages. On the one hand, these alcohol drinks are legally manufactured in most countries, and hundreds of the countries have approved the manufacturing, consumption and sale of alcohol, whilst on the other hand, there are also the countries where alcohol is not considered as legal and mostly restricted or heavily taxed.

Some believe that alcohol has only harmful effects on health, which is a fact largely depends on the cliche “excess of anything is bad”, which means if alcohol is drunk according to recommended levels of consumption then it will have significant benefits for the health as well.  The medical establishment and media have a generally critical view of alcohol, afraid to be associated with the positive effects. Scare stories are rife and "fake news" is all too common in this area.

After years of scientific and clinical studies, medical experts have shown the following health advantages of the alcohol, which are:

  • Red wine reduces fat: Red wine can assist your efforts in losing weight. Research studies from Oregon State University came up with a study, revealing that the red grapes found in red wine are enriched with a chemical called ellagic acid that improves metabolism and stops the formation and growth of new fat cells in the human body.
  • Prevents cold: If the individual habitually takes a moderate and recommended amount of wine, then they can reduce the risk of the cold around 60 percent. These studies show that the antioxidants present in wine have a helping hand in this regard.
  • Improved sex life in men: Again, due to the high amount of antioxidants in the wine, according to a study on men who drink wine by the Western University of Australia it can help them to have an improvement in erectile malfunctioning by 30 percent compared with non drinkers.
  • Red wine improves memory: A study conducted by Texas A&M University on rats showed that wine boosts memory due to a compound found in red grape skins are known as resveratrol.

Negative impact of alcohol, abuse, the other side of the story

  • Alcoholism: The recommended quantity for the consumption of alcohol by medical experts is a maximum of one glass for women and two for men per day. In some countries such as the U.K., this is much lower. Excessive use can become a habit called alcoholism. Alcoholism is "uncontrolled reliance and dependence on alcohol due to its abuse and excessive use". One who is alcoholic feels like he cannot perform his regular activities without the use of alcohol which results in more and obsessive consumption. People who suffer from this issue tend to resume their habit despite the fact that it has devastating effects on their life.
  • Types of Alcoholism:

> The first category is known as the young adult subtype, includes young adult alcoholics who do not have the family history of alcoholism.

> The second type is the young antisocial subtype, these people do have a family background of drinking and addiction to other substances and drugs.

> Functional subtype, this category is comprised of people with stable jobs and families. They also have the family history of alcoholism, and almost one-third of them suffer from depression.

> The fourth type is the people who get persuaded towards drinking due to their continuous depression and a similar family background. This class is known as the intermediate familial subtype.

> The last classification of alcoholics is chronic severe subtype and contains mainly middle-aged and senior citizens who have an excessive history of mental diseases and drugs consumption.

  • Causes: Many factors work as stimuli for alcoholics, and it may include psychological and biological reasons. Some people drink to relax their pain while others do so to feel good. Similarly, there are countless other causes which motivate the addicted one to take an excessive amount of alcohol, for example., poverty, business loss, homelessness, loneliness,  anxiety etc. Hence, there is no one core cause which can be held responsible for alcoholism.
  • Effects: As mentioned earlier, "Excess of anything is bad," same with alcohol. Those who become addicted an drink to great excess can expose themselves to serious risks

Short term effects of alcohol abuse:

> Restlessness

> Problematic breathing

> Vision issues

> Reduction in brain's activity

> Low productivity

Long term effects of alcohol abuse:

> Serious brain damages

> Diminishing defence capabilities of immune system

> Liver disorders

> Diabetic worries

> Neurological disability

> Psoriasis

> Unstable pressure of blood

> Damaged brain cells

> Inflammation of pancreas

  • Signs & warnings of alcohol abuse: Statistics show dismal results regarding consequences of alcohol abuse and addiction. In the United States, around 1/3 people get diagnosed with having alcohol related disorders in their lives. Alcoholism causes 1 out of each 25 deaths in worldwide. In its severe form, addiction of alcohol can be very hard to be treated which makes it inevitable to notice the symptoms and signs at an earlier to initiate the rehab process promptly. Typical symptoms may include:

> Unsocial and unethical behaviour

> Reluctance to bear job or family responsibilities

> Drinking with an excuse of escaping from tensions

> No interest in other regular activities once done with drinking

> Slanted statements and loud voice tone

> Crumbled walking stance

> Craving to drink again

> Hiding alcohol in unlikely places

> Stealing money for buying alcohol, this sign is more commonly observed in teenage alcoholics

Moreover, appearance and behaviour of alcoholic usually show following symptoms:

> Extreme redness of eyes, cheeks or nose

> Reduction in weight

> No or limited hunger for food

> Heartburn or gastritis

> Headache and being unable to sleep

  • Alcohol withdrawal:

Alcohol withdrawal or alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a highly dangerous situation that can happen with the people who have been in the habit of drinking alcohol constantly. The alcohol withdrawal indications can start as quick as two hours after the last drink and possess the potential to prolong for weeks or even months. Commonly noticed symptoms are:

> Difficulty in taking breath

> Lungs pain or complications

> Imbalanced heartbeat

> Sweating and sudden mood swings

> Fatigue or vomiting

> Delirium tremens, which is a severe symptom that can do quick mental or nervous system changes

> Infections or even seizures

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms have the capability to get worse swiftly, so do not hesitate to contact health emergency department even if the symptoms seem mild.

  • Treatment of alcoholism:

There are numerous treatments for alcoholism which involve sets of steps to be taken in a standardised way. However, treatment depends upon the nature of the disorder. Typically, treatment is divided in three categories:

  1. Home care: Relatively mild indications of alcoholism can frequently be treated at home, and a relative or friend must remain at the place to monitor the situation. Their duty is to ensure that in the event of any severe symptoms, they will take you to a hospital or call for emergency services instantly. They are also helfpul in counselling appointments and go to the medical expert regularly for routine blood tests. There might also be the requirement of tests for alcohol-related mental problems.
  2. Hospitalisation: In case of severe signs or symptoms you might need to be admitted to the hospital. In this case doctors can observe your condition and help resolve any complications. At times, a patient needs to get fluids or liquids into the system to  prevent dehydration and medications to help ease symptoms.
  3. Medications: Indications of Alcohol abuse treated with sedatives called benzodiazepines. Most widely prescribed benzodiazepines include Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax, Valium. Other than that, vitamin supplements are provided to replace necessary vitamins that are depleted by alcohol habit. As soon as, withdrawal is completed, excessive medications and supplements are required to heal complications and nutritional deficiencies that happen as a result of chronic alcohol abuse.


Just like other regular edibles, drinks and beverages, alcohol is just another sort of drink which has many myths associated with it. Some tend to believe that even a small amount of regular consumption results in health risks while others have a belief that you keep on drinking until doctors tell you that enough is enough. However, modesty is the best policy in this regard!  Regular consumption of alcohol according to advised guidelines does not seem to confer harm and may have health advantages. Alcohol abuse can be dismal, and if the habit is not eradicated initially, it forms a shape of serious disorder which is hard to be treated in its severe stages.