If your definition of Alcohol Abuse is the action of spilling or pouring out a perfectly good alcoholic beverage onto the ground or down the drain and purposely allowing it to go to waste, then you are wrong. Alcohol Abuse is a very serious matter and can cause injury not only to the person’s reputation, but to their health, career, and personal life. In fact, someone that you may know or work with may by suffering from Alcohol Abuse, but you don’t know for sure. Here are some common signs of Alcohol Abuse:
- Repeatedly neglecting responsibilities at home, work, or school because of drinking.
- Using alcohol in situations where it’s physically dangerous.
- Experiencing repeated legal problems on account of drinking.
- Continuing to drink even though alcohol use is causing problems in relationships.
- Drinking as a way to relax or de-stress.
Alcoholism is a long-term (chronic) disease. Like many other diseases, it has a course that can be predicted, has known symptoms, and is influenced by your genes along with your life situation. It’s important to know what to look for as well as knowing what can happen. Obviously drinking too much, either occasionally or over time, can take a serious toll on your health, including:
- Brain: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain operates including mood changes and behavioral problems resulting in harder to think clearly and move with coordination. Heavy drinkers have a greater risk of sleep disorders and depression.
- Heart: Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including Cardiomyopathy (stretching and drooping of heart muscle), Arrhythmias (irregular heart beat), Stroke, and high blood pressure. However, research also shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease. Heavy drinkers have a greater risk of bleeding from the stomach, sexually transmitted infections from unsafe sex, may have problems managing diabetes, and other conditions.
- Liver: Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including Steatosis, Alcoholic hepatitis, Fibrosis, and Cirrhosis.
- Pancreas: Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
- Cancer: Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the Mouth, Esophagus, Throat, Liver, and Breast.
- Immune System: Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink as much. Drinking a lot o a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections, even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.
We’re not saying that drinking is a bad thing, we’re just saying you should know your limits, but how much IS “enough”? Think about it, how do you know when you’ve had enough? It seems the more you drink, the more it’s never “enough”. That’s an error in judgment we make caused by when we do drink enough, sometimes more than we should. However, research shows that people who drink moderately may be less likely to experience an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). The drinking levels are different for men and women:
- Men: No more than 4 drinks a day or no more than on average 14 drinks per week.
- Women: No more than 3 drinks a day or no more than on average 7 drinks per week.
It is strongly advised that you should keep with both limits to remain a low risk for AUD. About 1 in 4 people who drink above these levels already suffer from alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse problems. Although, you can still have complications if you drink too quickly or have over health related issues. That’s why it’s recommended that if you do plan on drinking alcohol, do it slowly and make sure to eat enough while drinking. Even with these precautions, certain individuals should avoid alcohol completely for various reasons including: those planning to drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery, people who take medications that could interact with alcohol, have a medical condition that alcohol can manipulate, and women that are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
If you suspect someone working for you is having a problem with Alcohol after reviewing the symptoms mentioned above, it’s a good idea to have then tested. Rapid Detect INC has several products that can assist with this type of testing, including Alco-Screen Saliva Test Strips. Visit our website rapiddetect.com or call to speak with one of our friendly knowledgeable sales consultants at (888) 404-0020 Monday – Friday from 8 am to 4 pm (CST) for more information.