The 19th-century philosopher and father of American psychology, William James, once mentioned in a remarkable play of words and wit, “Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.” Though at that time it raised many an eyebrow today these words have come true in a surprising way. With increasingly liberal views dominating today’s American society, many individuals end up turning a blind eye to the dark side of alcohol consumption. That is when these words serve as a daunting reminder that alcohol is a serious threat to liver health, which holds the key to a healthy life.
In recent years, the number of people battling liver diseases such as hepatitis C, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), liver cancer and cirrhosis, has reached worrisome proportions. The American Liver Foundation (ALF) says that chronic alcoholism is the prime cause of cirrhosis across the United States. This is because consuming excessive alcohol causes the liver to swell, resulting in cirrhosis, which is an abnormal condition involving irreversible scarring of the liver. In 2014 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported more than 38,000 deaths in the U.S. due to chronic liver conditions and cirrhosis.
Historically, drinking was restricted to men, as it was deemed less appropriate for women because of high moral expectations and rigid societal conventions. But over the years, with growing demands for equality and recognition of feminism, the long-established differences in alcohol consumption between the sexes might as well be disappearing.
Cathy (name changed), 36, from San Francisco, was more of a social or a weekend drinker during her youth. But when she and her husband parted ways a decade ago, she took to heavy drinking to calm her agitated mind. She felt it was the only way to carry on with life. She swapped rum and brandy for wine because it was easier to get high and yet not get too aggressive.
In no time Cathy started drinking five bottles of wine each day and waking up in the middle of the night with profuse sweats and shakes. Her addiction to wine took a heavy toll on her physical and mental well-being. Drinking 350 units of wine each week not only led to her dismissal from work but also resulted in cirrhosis of the liver. Alcohol has wreaked havoc in Cathy’s life, making her appear heavily pregnant with veins bulging from her stomach. It is the side effect of cirrhosis known as ascites, an abnormal increase of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, causing abdominal swelling.
Such an accumulation of fluids, toxins and nutrients in her abdomen, which otherwise the liver would routinely process, has left her with no option but getting hospitalized every third week at a medical center far from the city, only to have several liters of built-up fluids clinically drained. Her future remains bleak as her only hope of survival is a liver transplant, with a low success rate.
Sadly, alcoholism is an inseparable aspect of American lifestyle
In spite of its detrimental effects on health, alcohol is popular in the American society and continues to be abused. Studies have repeatedly proven that alcohol leaves a stronger impact on women than men making them more susceptible to its negative effects.
In an effort to create awareness about alcoholism as a chronic disease, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has declared the month of April as the Alcohol Awareness Month (AAM). It is observed every year to raise public awareness about harmful effects of excessive alcohol consumption and to reduce the stigma associated with alcoholism.
All over the U.S., millions of people struggle with conditions related to alcohol abuse. Whether it’s evading a problem or escaping a crisis, simply another social occasion or coping with a tragedy, a drink seems to have the answer to all problems in life. No wonder, alcohol is becoming the most effective anti-depressant at the moment but the negative effects often show up in the long run. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), report about 88,000 alcohol-related deaths nationwide each year, making the substance the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the country.
In reality, alcohol is a socially accepted drug across all genders, creed, race or religion. Alcohol today has become synonymous with American culture, with more and more people seemingly getting trapped in the immensely seductive glitz of the latest brands of spirits, liquors and alcoholic beverages for every occasion, making them feel on top of the world.
It is a startling fact that alcohol-related causes claim more lives than all intoxicants combined. Nobody seems to be wringing their hands over alcohol. There are many who vilify marijuana and other illicit drugs but somehow alcohol manages to gets a silent approval from society. Millions of citizens are trapped in the clutches of alcohol without knowing that drinking heavily can make them vulnerable to serious health problems. In such a situation, awareness of health hazards and the warning signs of alcoholism could go a long way in reducing the risk of damage.
Beat alcoholism with timely treatment
Excessive alcohol consumption endangers the body, brain and nervous system of the consumer. The accompanying problems and side effects begin to surface when a person is under the influence of alcohol or is in the process of withdrawal. The NCADD says that alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the U.S., with 17.6 million Americans suffering from the effects of alcohol abuse. But unfortunately, less than 8 percent of them ever seek the much needed professional alcoholism treatment program they need.
Alcoholism is an illness which affects everyone alike. Life for an individual affected by alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a constant search for the next drink. Sovereign Health understands the plight of someone who is unable to discontinue the use of harmful substances like alcohol despite the negative impact on his/her life. Our customized alcohol addiction treatment programs are tailored to individual needs in order to treat the person holistically. Sovereign Health of San Clemente’s pain program is designed to help reverse the damaging effects of drinking too much alcohol by addressing the underlying causes of alcoholism which has led to such an addiction.
If you or your loved one is battling an addiction to alcohol, get in touch with Sovereign Health to gain access to the latest and innovative alcohol rehab programs at our state-of-the-art alcohol treatment centers in California or in other locations across the U.S. Our residential treatment facilities are well known for their alcohol detox programs. Whether you are looking for help or information to identify the signs of alcoholism or alcohol addiction treatment centers in California or at a place closer home, call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 819-0427 or chat online to know about the most effective alcohol rehab programs at our reliable rehabilitation centers.