Alcoholism is a chronic disease that can destroy a person's career and their family. It can also be fatal to their health if left untreated.
Heavy alcohol intake on a regular basis causes chemical changes to a person's brain. For example, it alters the composition of the body's gamma-aminobutyric acids, which function to inhibit impulsiveness, and glutamate, which stimulates the nervous system. Excessive drinking also tends to deplete these chemicals, which can depress the nervous system and damage vital areas of the brain.
Loss of control over the tongue and posture is symptomatic of an alcohol-poisened bring, as is fatigue, memory loss, weakness of the eye muscles, and paralysis. In serious cases, long-term heavy drinking can even send a person into a coma from which they may never awake.
In addition to the potentially fatal effects of alcohol poisening to the brain, other organs, such as the liver, can also be seriously effected. Excessive drinking causes alcohol hepatitis, a condition that is characterized by inflammation of the liver. Its symptoms include appetite loss, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, fever, tenderness, jaundice, and dizziness. If the heavy drinking continues, the hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis, which is characterized by progressive scarring and destruction of the liver tissues.
Alcoholic persons can also suffer severe gastrointestinal problems, such as inflammation of the stomach, that leads to a condition called 'gastritis'. A gastritis sufferer is unable to absorb nutrients through their stomach, such as vitamin B, folic acid and thiamin.
When alcohol is consumed in heavy quantities, it also damages the pancreas and interferes with the organ�s creation of hormones that regulate metabolism of the body by creating enzymes for digestion. It can also led to a variety of cardiovascular problems, such as high blood pressure, and can even damage the heart muscle - a condition called 'cardiomyopathy'. Cardiomyopathy significantly increases the possibilities of heart attack.
Diabetes is another common disease amongst alcoholics. High alcohol intake prevents the liver from releasing glucose, which increases the risk of hypoglycemia (characterized by low blood sugar). This condition is particularly dangerous for someone who is already suffering from diabetes and is taking insulin to reduce their blood-sugar level.
Further, prolonged alcohol abuse tends to damage the reproductive system, leading to erectile dysfunction in men and menstrual problems in women. Alcohol abuse during pregnancy is particularly dangerous, as it can give rise to fetal alcohol syndrome, where the child is born with defects, such as a small head, short eyelids, heart defects, and other abnormalities.
And finally, research also indicates that continued alcohol abuse places one at higher risk of cancer and diseases of larynx, esophagus, colon, and liver.
In short, the human body was evidently not designed to handle large amounts of alcohol for any length of time. Heavy drinking may seem like a lot of fun at a distance, and it always seems to appeal to young people as a means of demonstrating how grown up they are. Ironically though, irresponsible drinking is the very behavior that has the potential to stop young people reaching adulthood altogether.