The central nervous system and the liver are the parts of the body most frequently damaged by alcohol. The nervous system can be affected by polyneuritis(inflammation of the nerves), and at a later stage dropfoot -- when the muscles of the front foot cannot support the toes which drop below the level of the heel, so that the sufferer looks as though he is waling on a feather mattress. The patient may also be striken by Wernicke's encephalopathy -- named after the German neurologist Karl Wernicke, in which he is confused, unsteady on his feet and has weakness in some eye muscles.
Alcoholism is a disease and its effects can end in death. Potential or actual alcoholism can affect four areas of people's lives: mental, physical, professional, and domestic and social. The effects of alcoholism were described in the previous post.
The most common mental ailments are anxiety, tension and depression. These may be caused by drinking itself, by financial worries, by feelings of guilt or insecurity or by a combination of all three. However, anxiety, tension and depression may themselves have been the cause of the alcoholism: it is often difficult to identify the root of the problem.
In 10% of sufferers, more serious complaints develop with the advance of alcoholism. The drinker may develop phobias, start hearing things and seeing things, and show signs of schizophrenia -- delusions and hallucinations -- marked disturbances of thinking and contact with reality. Some sufferers develop Korsakoff's syndrome, named after the 19th century Russian neurologist Sergei memory which he unwittingly tries to disguise by relating stories of non-existent experiences.
Alcoholic dementia may occur. This is an irreversible intellectual deterioration in which the drinker shows loss of memory, comprehension and judgment similar to senile dementia. If the drinker is deprived of alcohol, he suffers the withdrawal syndrome -- hallucinations, tremors, seizures, and worst of all, delirium tremens. The main features of this are restlessness, confusion, distortion of sense of time and place, and also frightening and vivid visual hallucinations.
The alcoholism of one member of a family can affect all others. The husbands or wives and the children of drinkers often suffer from anxiety and depression, and there may be physical effects too. Although most problem drinkers strive to be good marriage partners and parents, they may, in drunkenness, go from vocal abuse to actual physical violence against members of their families. That is why it is important for these people to seek drug and alcohol recovery as soon as possible. Some suffer from paranoid jealousy, in which the drinker is mistakenly convinced of his partner's infidelity and may become violent in attempting to justify his suspicious.
In addition to mental and physical injuries, the family may also be faced with financial hardship because the drinker has lost his job, or because he or she squanders money on alcohol. Sexual problems such as impotence and frigidity are also common.
The constant need for money to pay for their liquor drives many sufferers to crime, and the depressive effects of excessive drink lead others to take, or attempt to take, their own lives. These we can see how serious and deadly alcoholism can be. Recovery from alcoholism is a life-long process. If you are one of such drinker, go for alcohol detox now. Save yourself, save your family at drug rehab.