How does Alcohol effect my loved one?
For individuals of the legal age, Alcohol is a socially acceptable drug. It is a first-pass metabolism substance meaning it is one of the few drugs that immediately enters the bloodstream. Recent evidence suggests that genetic/physiological factors; Specifically the presence, absence, or amount of digestive enzyme(s) available in the gut. All of these greatly influence the user’s first and continued experience with alcohol and can be a factor in if they will continue to drink in a responsible manor or transition into abuse or even addiction.
There are also gender and racial biases important in understanding one’s ability to remove alcohol from the body. Individuals who are biologically incapable or have a limited ability to process alcohol, experience a much higher blood alcohol level than a person with a “normal” amount of enzyme. This genetic difference gives some users experiences that are more challenging and damaging to the body, both short and long term. in some cases, social pressures and underlying mental health concerns may promote a person’s consumption of alcohol and increase the likelihood of abuse and addiction.
Although alcohol is socially acceptable, as you just read there are many factors that lead to many experiencing issues. These issues can manifest in a wide variety of ways. Some can drink responsibly while others begin to abuse alcohol similarly to those who abuse prescriptions or illicit drugs such as opiates or stimulants. The question many families ask is what is responsible drinking and what is abuse?
When does Alcohol use turn into Abuse?
If a loved one’s drinking begins to create consequences that don’t trigger them to stop alone they may be abusing alcohol. These consequences include but arent limited to DUI’s, Public Intoxication, Outbursts of Anger, Damaged Relationships, Accidents and many more. The consequences of alcohol abuse can also include injury or even organ (Liver) damage from alcohol.. This includes the physical body of the addict and the social and/or financial harm that will affect this same “natural person” within society. It includes the family, friends, coworkers and congregation members who are likely victims and/or enablers of the addict’s abusive behavior.