Alcohol Addiction

The Early Signs Of Liver Disease From Alcohol

Regular overuse of alcohol over a sustained period of time can result in significant health problems, including heart complications, neurological deficits, and various cancers. But of all the organs in the body that can be impacted by excessive consumption of alcohol, the liver probably bears the biggest brunt.

The liver is one of the body’s natural filters. It is a means by which we get rid of waste products and toxins. With its regenerative capabilities, the liver is remarkably durable. But even the toughest components will eventually wear down and ultimately break if they are not used properly.

Fortunately, the human body is intuitive, and the liver gives plenty of warning when it starts to function less optimally than it should. In this article, we will talk about how the liver works, what those early warning signs are, and most importantly, what you can do about it.

What Does The Liver Do?

The liver has many essential functions, one of which is to process all blood that leaves the stomach and intestines. It breaks down both useful and harmful substances within the blood. Useful substances like nutrients and medications are returned to the bloodstream and distributed to other parts of the body. Harmful substances are excreted into bile, which goes into the intestine and leaves the body as feces, or blood, which goes into the kidneys and leaves the body as urine.

The liver has been found to be responsible for at least 500 vital functions, including the following:

  • It regulates amino acids, which form the building blocks of proteins
  • It stores excess glucose in the form of glycogen, which it converts back to glucose as needed
  • It produces some proteins that are needed for blood plasma
  • It removes harmful bacteria from the bloodstream and produces immune factors
  • It regulates blood clotting
  • It convert poisonous ammonia to urea, which is passed out of the body in urine
  • It produces cholesterol and proteins to help move fat through the body
  • It stores iron and processes hemoglobin for its use

How Does Alcohol Affect The Liver?

When you consume alcohol, it is absorbed into the bloodstream via the wall of the stomach. From there, it is distributed to all parts of the body, including the liver. The liver processes alcohol in much the same way as it processes everything else, but it can only metabolize about one standard drink per hour. Anything over and above that circulates throughout the body, potentially affecting the other organs.

A single episode of binge drinking can interrupt normal functioning of the liver, and this in turn can result in your body chemistry being unbalanced. This is why people tend to feel a little rough for a day or two after a heavy drinking session. If you are not misusing alcohol on a regular basis, the liver is able to resume normal functioning.

Problems can arise if your liver is being called upon to metabolize alcohol on a continuous basis. It can lead to liver damage, resulting in the following:

  • Fatty liver disease: excess deposits of fat
  • Alcoholic hepatitis: inflammation of the liver
  • Cirrhosis: Scarring of the liver that is not reversible

What Are The Early Warning Signs Of Liver Malfunction?

early signs of liver disease from alcohol

The early signs of liver disease can be easy to miss, because they can be mistakenly attributed to other causes. In general, you should consult your doctor if you experience any unexplained symptoms that persist.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, your body may be giving you some early signs that all is not well with your liver.

  • You appear jaundiced (yellow-tinged skin and eyes)
  • Your urine is dark yellow
  • Your stool is unusually pale
  • You experience abdominal pain and swelling
  • You experience nausea and vomiting
  • Your skin is unbearably itchy
  • Your legs and ankles are swollen
  • You bruise more easily than usual
  • You are extremely tired in spite of getting sufficient sleep
  • You have noticed a decrease in your appetite

What Happens If The Signs Are Ignored?

Like many medical conditions, early intervention can be key to reversing early liver damage. The longer you leave it, the more extensive the damage will be, and the longer it will take you to heal. If left unchecked for long enough, you may find yourself dealing with serious long-term conditions that, in some cases, are not reversible.

Alcoholic Hepatitis

Regular overuse of alcohol over a prolonged period of time can result in inflammation of the liver. Common symptoms include jaundice, fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, chronic fatigue, and abdominal pain. Advanced alcoholic hepatitis can result in fluid buildup in the abdomen, failure of the liver and kidneys, and confusion resulting from a buildup of toxins that would usually be broken down and eliminated by the liver.


Damage done to any part of the body can leave scar tissue, and the liver is no exception. The more you have liver damage resulting from alcohol or any other cause, the more scar tissue will form, and the harder it will be for the liver to do its job. Cirrhosis is not reversible, but you can prevent further damage by eliminating your use of alcohol and making some other lifestyle changes that are described below.

With cirrhosis, you may experience the symptoms of hepatitis, plus the following:

  • You bruise easily
  • Your legs, feet and ankles become swollen
  • You lose a significant amount of weight without attempting to do so
  • Spider-like blood vessels appear on your skin
  • You experience period irregularities not related to pregnancy or menopause
  • The palms of your hands become abnormally red
  • You experience a loss of libido, breast enlargement, or testicular atrophy

What Steps Can Be Taken To Prevent Further Damage?

This may seem like a doom-and-gloom scenario, but you do have the power to stop liver disease in its tracks. Fatty liver disease can be reversed if you make some changes to your lifestyle.

Stop Using Alcohol

stop using alcohol

The sooner you stop consuming alcohol, the sooner your liver will be released from the job of trying to metabolize it. You may be able to start reversing the harm of fatty liver disease in as little as two weeks. It is important to bear the following in mind when you are planning to quit drinking:

  • Withdrawal without medical supervision can be extremely dangerous. It is recommended that you check into a detox facility, where medical staff can keep you safe and manage withdrawal symptoms as they arise.
  • Your cessation of alcohol use should be permanent. Even if you manage to completely reverse your liver disease, those conditions will return as soon as you start drinking again.

Improve Your Eating Habits

Alcohol is not the only thing that can cause liver damage. Foods and beverages that have added sugars and trans fats can also do harm. Conversely, your liver will benefit from a diet of whole grains, unprocessed fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins.

Other Lifestyle Changes

Some other things that can help your liver include the following:

  • Drinking plenty of water helps with liver functioning
  • Studies are showing that smoking cigarettes can aggravate the symptoms of fatty liver disease
  • Any prescribed medication you take is processed by the liver: inform any doctor who is prescribing medication of a fatty liver disease diagnosis

Getting Help For Substance Abuse Disorder

You only have one body, and you deserve for it to be in good working order so you can live a long, fruitful life. If alcohol consumption is destroying your health, you have the power to change that, and we can help. Thousand Islands Rehab Centre is a full-service addiction treatment facility that will take care of you from detox right though to aftercare. We will design a treatment program that is tailored to your needs and circumstances. With our compassionate staff and our welcoming facility, you will soon be on the road to recovery.

Alcohol Addiction

10 Risks Of Alcohol Misuse

It is estimated that roughly 80% of Canada’s population consumes alcohol at least once during any given one-year period. While this number may seem high, the vast majority of alcohol use in Canada is within reasonable limits. About 15% of those who drink alcohol consume more than the quantities laid out in Canada’s low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines.

Alcohol misuse is still a concern though. It costs the economy over $14 billion a year in healthcare, lost productivity, legal costs, and more. It destroys relationships and creates or exacerbates mental illnesses. Worst of all, it costs lives that can never be brought back.

In this article, we will talk about what constitutes alcohol misuse, and what the risks are.

What Counts As Alcohol Misuse?

Misuse of alcohol can take several forms, and although the general impacts are well documented, there is variability from person to person. How alcohol affects you in the short- and long-term depends on factors like your age, weight, state of physical and mental health, what medications you are taking, whether you are going through stressful life events, and more. If you do consume alcohol regularly, you should monitor your consumption and reduce it if needed, to account for any of these factors.

Exceeding Alcohol Use Guidelines

Canada’s low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines recommend that adults assigned female at birth should not exceed two drinks in one day, with a maximum of 10 drinks weekly. Adults assigned male at birth should not exceed three drinks in one day, with a maximum of 15 drinks per week. Anyone up to the age of 24 should limit themselves to two drinks in one day, no more than twice a week.

Exceeding these guidelines could result in harm to yourself or others. It is important to note that these numbers are averages only, and could vary according to several factors. If you are on any medications or you have been diagnosed with a physical or mental illness, talk to your doctor about safe alcohol consumption guidelines.

Underage Drinking

In Ontario, the minimum legal drinking age is 19. It is illegal for merchants to sell or serve alcohol to people below that age. Nor can adults purchase alcohol and pass it to someone who has not attained legal drinking age.

There is a solid body of evidence showing that alcohol can have detrimental effects on developing brains. Drinking at young ages can lead to serious long-term effects, and it increases the risk of addiction to alcohol or other substances later in life.

Drinking And Driving

drinking and driving

The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level for drivers is 0.08 in Ontario (80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood). This equates to around four standard units of alcohol. However, many people experience signs of impairment before reaching that level. The best course of action is to avoid driving after consuming any alcohol. If you have been drinking, hand your keys to someone who hasn’t, or find an alternative way of getting home.

Drinking Alcohol While Pregnant Or Breast/Chestfeeding

Some people believe that having the occasional glass of wine during pregnancy is harmless, but this has not been established. Until a safe amount of alcohol consumption is established for pregnant people, it is best to avoid alcohol entirely if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Similarly, alcohol has been shown to pass into breast milk. If you do have a drink, wait for two hours before breast/chestfeeding your baby.

Using Alcohol In Conjunction With Medication Or Other Substances

Alcohol alone can have some serious side effects, and these can be exacerbated when alcohol is used with other substances. It is essential that you talk to your doctor about alcohol consumption guidelines if you are using any medication, particularly benzodiazepines, barbiturates or opioids.

Using various street drugs with alcohol can be extremely dangerous, since many drugs are combined, or “cut” with substances unknown to the user.

Using Alcohol As An Escape

Most people use alcohol as a way to relax after a long day at work, to celebrate a special occasion, or to socialize with friends. If you are drinking as a way of escaping from past or present traumas in your life, this could be a sign that you do not have a healthy relationship with alcohol.

What Alcohol Misuse Risks Should I Be Aware Of?

Misuse of alcohol, either on a single occasion or as a repeated pattern, can have far-reaching effects on all areas of your life. Many people only think of the long-term consequences of alcohol addiction, but remember that it only takes one incident of impaired driving to send your life spinning out of control.

Here are ten of the biggest impacts of alcohol misuse.

Risk #1 – There Are Immediate And Long-Term Health Risks

Alcohol intoxication happens when you drink more than what your body is capable of metabolizing. The effects include impaired motor skills, poor judgment, mood swings, high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, and loss of consciousness. In most people who are generally healthy, these effects will wear off within a few hours, although you may be left with a nasty headache and a feeling of dehydration the next day.

Drinking large quantities of alcohol on a regular basis over a long period of time can result in serious health effects, including liver disease, various cancers, cardiac problems, digestive complaints, reproductive health problems, and cognitive decline.

Risk #2 – You Are At High Risk Of Accidental Injury Or Death

When you are under the influence of alcohol, your sense of judgement starts to fail, and your inhibitions are lowered. This can result in you doing potentially dangerous things while being impervious to the risks. Examples include driving while impaired, trying to perform dangerous stunts, and engaging in high-risk sexual behaviour. These actions can have life-long effects, and they can even result in your death – or the death of somebody else.

Risk #3 – Alcohol Misuse Can Lead To Aggression And Violence

One of the more frightening side effects of alcohol is mood swings. One moment you may be feeling happy and relaxed, the next moment you may feel the need to lash out at someone for no reason that they can discern. Many incidents of domestic violence are triggered by overuse of alcohol. Your victims could end up seriously hurt or worse.

Risk #4 – You Could Alienate Your Family And Friends

you could alienate your family and friends

Whether you are dependent on alcohol or not, the way you behave when you’ve been drinking can have a potentially traumatizing effect on the people around you. If you tend to become violent, your family might fear you. If you have an addiction that is making you deceptive, you may lose the trust of those closest to you. If there are children in the home and you are deemed a safety risk to them, they could be removed from your custody. Sometimes damaged relationships can be mended during rehab with a lot of patience and hard work, but there are times when those broken relationships are lost forever.

Risk #5 – You Could Lose Your Job

If you have developed an alcohol addiction, you may have reached the point where your body needs alcohol in order to function. When this happens, your life becomes centred around making sure you can obtain and consume alcohol. This often leads to increased incidents of lateness and absenteeism, erratic work performance, and workplace behaviour that results in coworkers feeling uncomfortable or afraid. If you approach your employer for help, they may give you a leave of absence so you can attend rehab. Many times, though, you could simply find yourself without a job.

Risk #6 – Your Mental Health Will Suffer

In many cases, mental illness is a trigger for alcohol use and alcohol addiction, but the opposite can also happen. Many people who become dependent on alcohol experience an increase in anxiety and depression. These effects can be compounded by the social isolation that many people with alcohol addictions experience.

Risk #7 – You Could Find Yourself In Legal Trouble

Overuse of alcohol can lead to you doing things that are reckless and illegal. The most obvious example is impaired driving: depending on whether you cause a collision, you could face charges over and above the impaired driving charges. You can also face legal trouble if you assault somebody, if you trespass on private property, or if you engage in other criminal activity, like breaking and entering.

Risk #8 – Attempts To Quit Can Be Dangerous

If you go down the path of alcohol addiction, you could end up in what feels like a no-win situation because it is so difficult to quit. One of the reasons for this is that the body can have intense reactions to alcohol withdrawal, and this could be dangerous if you are not under the supervision of a doctor. A severe form of alcohol withdrawal, called delirium tremens, is characterized by seizures, and can be fatal. If you are intending to quit using alcohol, we strongly recommend that you check into a detox facility that will keep you safe during the withdrawal process.

Risk #9 – You Could Become Addicted To Alcohol

become addicted to alcohol

Not everyone uses alcohol for enjoyment. Some people seek out alcohol as an escape. It can create feelings of relaxation and confidence. It can make people feel less anxious. The problem is that the more you use alcohol, the more you have to use. The amounts you consume have to increase in order to give you the same effects. Over time, your body becomes dependent on alcohol, and your life becomes consumed with drinking and planning to drink.

Risk #10 – Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

If you drink alcohol throughout your pregnancy, you face risks like preterm delivery and complications during childbirth. Your baby could be born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This has potentially lifelong effects for the child, such as inability to gain weight, cognitive delays, behavioural challenges, learning difficulties and social challenges.

Getting Help For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

If you are concerned about alcohol misuse, either in yourself or in a loved one, call 1000 Islands Rehab Centre for help. With our compassionate staff and our beautiful location, we can provide customized alcohol addiction treatment in an environment that is conducive to healing. We look forward to being part of your journey to recovery.

Alcohol Addiction

Short-Term And Long-Term Effects Of Alcohol

For most people, alcohol is not a substance of abuse. It is something we use to relax after a long day, to socialize with friends, or to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. In many circles, those who choose not to use alcohol are ridiculed for their abstinence, while those who use it excessively are celebrated as “the life of the party”.

Being the life of the party does not come without a cost, though. Excessive use of alcohol can have far-reaching effects not only on a person’s health, but also on their relationships and financial security.

The Difference Between Alcohol Abuse And Alcohol Addiction

Before we go into how excessive alcohol consumption can affect a person, it is important to make the distinction between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. Many people use the two terms interchangeably, although it is inaccurate to do so.

Alcohol addiction is a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol that cannot be controlled. The addicted person feels that they have to continue drinking in order to survive. In some cases, this is accurate: unsupervised withdrawal from alcohol can be extremely dangerous, and even fatal.

Alcohol abuse is any problematic use of alcohol. This encompasses several behaviours, including:

  • Use of alcohol that results in violent or aggressive behaviour
  • Exceeding the alcohol consumption guidelines laid out by health authorities
  • Drinking to the point of becoming physically ill
  • Use of alcohol that results in impaired driving or other criminal activity
  • Regular episodes of being under the influence of alcohol

While it is fair to say that people with alcohol addictions have, at some point, engaged in alcohol abuse, the reverse is not always true. Many people who abuse alcohol are able to control their consumption. They may limit their drinking to certain days or occasions, and they do not experience cravings or withdrawal symptoms while sober.

They can still suffer some of the effects of excessive alcohol consumption, though, such as adverse health events and relationship breakdowns.

How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use & Addiction has compiled some recommendations for the safe use of alcohol. These include the following:

  • Adults who were assigned female at birth should not exceed a maximum of two drinks on any one day, for a total maximum of 10 drinks per week
  • Adults who were assigned male at birth should not exceed a maximum of three drinks on any one day, for a total maximum of 15 drinks per week
  • People up to the age of 24 should limit consumption to one or two drinks at a time, no more than twice a week
  • No alcohol should be consumed if you are driving a vehicle or operating machinery
  • If you are using prescription medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist about alcohol use
  • Avoid consuming more than two drinks in a three-hour period
  • Your own personal risk factors may reduce your limits – for example, your body weight, age, and existence of medical conditions

What does biological sex have to do with consumption guidelines?

Those who are biologically female differ in several respects to those who are biologically male. Females generally have a lower body weight, but their body fat percentage tends to be higher. Since alcohol is stored in fat cells, this could put biological females at higher risk of long-term health effects. In addition, males produce higher amounts of alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme, which aids in breaking down alcohol.

Short-Term Effects Of Alcohol

Mood swings

In most adults, the body is capable of metabolizing around one unit of alcohol per hour. Consuming anything over and above that can lead to intoxication. While intoxicated, you may experience the following effects:

  • Impaired motor skills, which can result in accidental injury or death
  • Impaired judgment and lowered inhibitions
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Mood swings and the potential for aggression or violence
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness

Except in cases of alcohol poisoning, these effects usually pass when the body has metabolized all of the alcohol. However, during the period of intoxication, your risk of injury or death is significantly higher than it is while you are sober.

Long-Term Effects Of Alcohol

If you regularly consume large amounts of alcohol over a sustained period of time, you could be at risk of serious long-term effects, including the following:

  • Liver disease, including fatty liver, hepatitis, and liver fibrosis
  • Various cancers, including breast, esophageal, colorectal, and throat
  • Heart complications, such as cardiomyopathy, stroke, and irregular heart beat
  • Cognitive effects, including learning difficulty, memory loss, and limited attention span
  • Digestive complaints, including ulcers and pancreatitis
  • Reproductive health problems, such as erectile dysfunction, irregular menstruation, and reduced fertility

The Dangers Of Alcohol Withdrawal

long-term effects of alcohol

If you are concerned about the long-term effects of your alcohol consumption, it is not too late to stop. Some of the effects listed above will start to reverse when alcohol use is discontinued. However, alcohol withdrawal can have serious effects when attempted without medical supervision. The safest way to withdraw is to check in to a detox facility, where you will be under the care of medical professionals who can manage and treat withdrawal symptoms as they arise. At the very least, you should ensure that during your withdrawal, you are with somebody who can get medical care to you should the need arise.

The Use Of Alcohol During Pregnancy

There is a misconception that it is safe for pregnant women to have the occasional glass of wine. However, no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy has been established. The medical community therefore recommends complete abstinence during pregnancy, and in those who are intending to become pregnant. However, if you were consuming alcohol prior to finding out that you were pregnant, there is no need to worry. If you discontinue all alcohol use, you can still have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

If you consume alcohol throughout your pregnancy, your baby could be born with fetal alcohol syndrome. This can result in a low birth weight, slow growth, heart defects, intellectual disability, poor motor skills, and more.

Alcohol And Lactation

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, alcohol can be passed from a parent into the breast milk they produce. One standard drink per day may be safe as long as the parent does not nurse within two hours of consuming that drink.

Getting Help For Alcohol Addiction

If you are concerned about your alcohol consumption or that of a loved one, it is never too late to seek help. At 1000 Islands Rehab Centre, we will create a alcohol addiction treatment program that is tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. We will take care of you at all stages of your recovery, from detox right through to a comprehensive aftercare program for your post-rehab days. To find out more, or to book your stay, give us a call.

Alcohol Addiction

How Harmful Use Of Alcohol Can Affect Your Life

Alcohol is an intrinsic part of life in most societies. When we get home after a stressful day at work, we unwind with a beer. We go out to restaurants and order wine to drink with our dinner. We celebrate birthdays and weddings with alcohol, and we ring in the new year while we are holding a glass of sparkling wine.

For many teenagers and young adults, getting drunk for the first time is regarded as a rite of passage. Alcohol is a staple ingredient for most parties that we attend as adults. The person who drinks the most is seen as “the life of the party”, while those who choose to abstain are pressed to “have a real drink”. When the party is winding down, guests are invited to “have one more for the road” before getting into their cars and driving.

All too often, people cross the line from having a drink to engaging in harmful use of alcohol. It is a fine line, and we often do not know when it has been crossed because it is socially acceptable – in some cases, socially expected – to get drunk.

The problem is that harmful use of alcohol, either as a one-off or on a regular basis, can have far-reaching effects on multiple areas of your life.

How Alcohol Can Affect Your Body

Most adults can metabolize about one unit of alcohol per hour. If you drink more than that, you can become intoxicated. This can result in nausea and vomiting, elevated blood pressure, headaches, and impaired motor skills. Some of these effects can linger into the next day – what we know as a “hangover”.

Unless you consumed enough alcohol to experience alcohol poisoning, these effects generally pass as the body metabolizes the alcohol. However, if you consume large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis, you may experience some longer term effects. These include the following:

  • Liver disease. Excessive alcohol consumption over a period of time can lead to fatty liver disease, hepatitis, and liver fibrosis.
  • Heart disease. Cardiac complications can arise, such as irregular heartbeat, stroke, cardiac arrest, and cardiomyopathy.
  • Cancer. There is a higher risk of certain cancers, like breast, throat, colorectal, and esophageal.
  • Cognitive decline. Long-term heavy use of alcohol can lead to neurological damage, which can result in learning difficulty, impaired memory and difficulty focusing or maintaining attention.
  • Digestive problems. Repeated exposure to large amounts of alcohol can cause ulcers, pancreatitis, and other problems relating to digestion and metabolism.
  • Reproductive problems. People with alcohol use disorders are at higher risk of erectile dysfunction, irregular menstruation, and reduced fertility.

Additionally, the use of alcohol during pregnancy can be harmful to the pregnant person and to the baby they are carrying. Risks include preterm labour, low birthweight, neonatal failure to thrive, and heart complications. The baby may experience the life-long effects that come with fetal alcohol syndrome, such as ADHD, intellectual disability, poor social skills, impaired motor skills, and behavioural difficulties.

How Alcohol Can Affect Your Livelihood

For most people, a glass of wine or a beer is simply a way to relax or be social with friends. They save their alcohol consumption for appropriate times, and if alcohol is not available to them, they do not get anxious or upset about not being able to drink. They are able to moderate their use of alcohol.

On the other hand, most people with alcohol use disorders drink in order to achieve a certain effect – to reduce social anxiety, to escape from stress, to cope with trauma, or any number of other reasons. If this behaviour is repeated enough times, it can quickly become a situation of, “the more you drink, the more you need to drink”. As your body and mind become used to the effects of alcohol, you find yourself needing to consume more in order to achieve those effects.

While this is happening, your body is developing a dependence on alcohol, meaning that you need to drink in order to function. And when this starts happening, alcohol consumption can take over areas of your life where it could do a lot of damage.

This can affect your livelihood and your financial wellbeing in several ways:

  • As your alcohol dependence grows, you will spend increasing amounts of money on alcohol. A bottle of wine or a few beers here and there may not impact your family finances much. However, if you reach the point of needing to have a drink as soon as you wake up, you may be buying your alcohol with money intended for groceries or bills.
  • You may start restructuring your life around your alcohol consumption. This may involve planning alternative routes to work so you can purchase alcohol on your way to the office, requesting different shifts to allow for your typical “down” times, and taking more frequent breaks.
  • Being dependent on alcohol can result in you being late for work, and you may find yourself calling in sick frequently as a result of drinking or recovering from drinking.
  • Your work performance itself can suffer, especially if your job involves physical strength or coordination, or mental acuity. In some cases, this can put coworkers or customers in danger.

Poor or dangerous work performance, lateness, absenteeism, and inconsistent hours can lead your employers to think of you as unreliable. You may be at risk of losing your job, and if your alcohol consumption caused injury or damage to property, you could also be on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

How Alcohol Can Affect Your Relationships

affect your relationships

Like most addictions, alcohol use disorders can damage relationships with loved ones. The period of addiction – and in some cases, the circumstances leading up to the addiction – can create mistrust and fear.

Here are some of the ways in which harmful alcohol use can damage relationships.

  • As you spend more money on alcohol, you may be trying to hide elements of your family finances from your partner. This behaviour may intensify as bill payments become past due.
  • You may start asking loved ones to cover for you when you do not go to work, often by asking them to call your supervisor to tell them you are sick. This can lead to your family members resenting you for asking them to make excuses, and you resenting them when they refuse.
  • People with alcohol addictions frequently withdraw from contact with people, even those who are closest to them. You may be spending time alone drinking instead of spending time with your partner and children, and you may start declining invitations to spend time with friends.
  • Alcohol consumption can result in aggressive behaviour and violence. Many incidents of domestic assault are fuelled by alcohol. Not only does this generate fear and trauma among your loved ones, it can put their safety at risk, and it could result in children being removed from your custody.

The Human Cost Of Impaired Driving

Whether you use alcohol excessively just once or as a regular pattern, impairment can lower your inhibitions and reduce your powers of judgment. This leads to potentially risky behaviour, including driving while under the influence of alcohol.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 1,273 people lost their lives in 2014 as a result of drug or alcohol impaired driving. Alcohol was a factor in more than half of these fatalities, as well as thousands of injuries that range from minor to permanently life-altering. It is not only the impaired driver who is at risk, but also anyone who happens to be walking or driving anywhere nearby.

Impaired driving creates tragedies that do not need to happen. While legal  blood alcohol content (BAC) limits have been laid out in impaired driving legislation, it is important to remember that you could be impaired even before reaching those legal limits. Your age, weight, state of health, medications that you use, and other factors could result in your “safe” BAC level differing from the legal guidelines.

Getting Help For Alcohol Addiction

At Thousand Islands Rehab Centre, we do not treat addictions – we treat people. To us, you are not “just an addict”. You are a human being struggling with a devastating illness, and we are here to help you. We will put together a customized addiction treatment program that takes into account your unique situation, and we will help you build the strength and the tools to cope in the outside world without needing alcohol. To get started, call us today.