Many people who are arrested for a DUI often have a history of alcohol abuse. This is especially true with repeat offenders. Alcohol abuse is a serious problem that takes a lot of hard work to overcome. In the United States, approximately 8 percent of people aged 18 and older suffer from alcohol abuse and/or dependence.
What is ultimately tragic about alcohol abuse is that it can have negative effects on a person both physiologically and behaviorally. In order to understand the effects of alcohol abuse, it is important to understand what happens when your body absorbs alcohol.
You may have heard other people talking about their tolerance to alcohol or how much alcohol they can have and still be able to function properly. This is due to:
- An increase in the level of liver’s enzymes that are used to break down alcohol
- An increase in activity of brain and nervous-system neurons
Higher tolerance to alcohol means that the body becomes more efficient at eliminating the high levels of alcohol in the blood. However, because people oftentimes feel the need to experience the effects of intoxication, they drink more. This is what contributes to an addiction to alcohol and other physical ailments.
Here are some physical effects that can happen when one gets addicted to alcohol:
- The increased activity in the liver causes cell death and hardening of the tissue (cirrhosis of the liver).
- The brain cells in various centers die, thereby reducing the total brain mass.
- Stomach and intestinal ulcers can form because the constant alcohol use irritates and degrades the linings of these organs.
- Blood pressure increases as the heart compensate for the initially reduced blood pressure caused by alcohol.
- Male sex-cell (sperm) production decreases because of decreased sex hormone secretion from the hypothalamus/pituitary and, possibly, direct effects of alcohol on the testes.
- Poor nutrition decreases levels of iron and vitamin B, leading to anemia.
- Because alcoholics lose balance and fall more often, they suffer more often from bruises and broken bones; this is especially true as they get older
Because the body adapts to well to a higher BAC, a person can become irritable when alcohol is not in their system. Furthermore, the increased brain activity may make them crave alcohol. This results in both emotional and social problems.
Because alcohol affects the areas of the brain that controls emotions and memory (the limbic system), alcoholics can likely suffer from the following:
- Thoughts of Suicide
The emotional and physical effects of alcohol can directly contribute to a variety of marital problems and work-related problems. Some of these instances include:
- Domestic violence
- Emotional abuse
- Codependency issues
- Trouble with the law
- Excessive absences from work
- Poor performance at work
There have been times when people are forced to confront their problems with alcohol after something bad happens. It could be getting fired, getting arrested for a DUI or a tragically worse incident that resulted in injury or death.
Because most alcohol-related accidents are preventable, it may seem difficult for other people not to judge people with alcohol abuse. There is a stigma behind getting arrested for a DUI or public intoxication. Sometimes it can feel as if everyone is writing you off as a “drunk” or a waste.
These judgments can be hurtful and can contribute to your pain. However, it doesn’t mean you are not worthy. No matter what walk of life, if you suffer from alcohol abuse, you do deserve quality help. Furthermore, this help is readily available.
If you or someone you care about suffers from alcohol-related problems, there is help available. Please contact Alcoholics Anonymous in your area.
For help regarding a DUI case, please contact a DUI attorney today.