Tag Archive: alcoholic


How Alcohol Effects the Body

  1. Straight to Your Head

    Thirty seconds after your first sip, alcohol races into your brain. It slows down the chemicals and pathways that your brain cells use to send messages. That alters your mood, slows your reflexes, and throws off your balance. You also can’t think straight, which you may not recall later, because you’ll struggle to store things in long-term memory.

  2. Your Brain Shrinks

    If you drink heavily for a long time, booze can affect how your brain looks and works. Its cells start to change and even get smaller. Too much alcohol can actually shrink your brain. And that’ll have big effects on your ability to think, learn, and remember things. It can also make it harder to keep a steady body temperature and control your movements.

  3. Does It Help You Sleep?

    Alcohol’s slow-down effect on your brain can make you drowsy, so you may doze off more easily. But you won’t sleep well. Your body processes alcohol throughout the night. Once the effects wear off, it leaves you tossing and turning. You don’t get that good REM sleep your body needs to feel restored. And you’re more likely to have nightmares and vivid dreams. You’ll also probably wake up more often for trips to the bathroom.

  4. More Stomach Acid

    Booze irritates the lining of your stomach and makes your digestive juices flow. When enough acid and alcohol build up, you get nauseated and you may throw up. Years of heavy drinking can cause painful sores called ulcers in your stomach. And high levels of stomach juices mean you won’t feel hungry. That’s one reason long-term drinkers often don’t get all the nutrients they need.

  5. Diarrhea and Heartburn

    Your small intestine and colon get irritated, too. Alcohol throws off the normal speed that food moves through them. That’s why hard drinking can lead to diarrhea, which can turn into a long-term problem. It also makes heartburn more likely – it relaxes the muscle that keeps acid out of your esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth and stomach.

  6. Why You Have to Pee … Again

    Your brain gives off a hormone that keeps your kidneys from making too much urine. But when alcohol swings into action, it tells your brain to hold off. That means you have to go more often, which can leave you dehydrated. When you drink heavily for years, that extra workload and the toxic effects of alcohol can wear your kidneys down.

  7. The Steps to Liver Disease

    Your liver breaks down almost all the alcohol you drink. In the process, it handles a lot of toxins. Over time, heavy drinking makes the organ fatty and lets thicker, fibrous tissue build up. That limits blood flow, so liver cells don’t get what they need to survive. As they die off, the liver gets scars and stops working as well, a disease called cirrhosis.

  8. Pancreas Damage and Diabetes

    Normally, this organ makes insulin and other chemicals that help your intestines break down food. But alcohol jams that process up. The chemicals stay inside the pancreas. Along with toxins from alcohol, they cause inflammation in the organ, which can lead to serious damage. After years, that means you won’t be able to make the insulin you need, which can lead to diabetes. It also makes you more likely to get pancreatic cancer.

  9. What’s a Hangover?

    That cotton-mouthed, bleary-eyed morning-after is no accident. Alcohol makes you dehydrated and makes blood vessels in your body and brain expand. That gives you your headache. Your stomach wants to get rid of the toxins and acid that booze churns up, which gives you nausea and vomiting. And because your liver was so busy processing alcohol, it didn’t release enough sugar into your blood, bringing on weakness and the shakes.

  10. An Offbeat Heart

    One night of binge drinking can jumble the electrical signals that keep your heart’s rhythm steady. If you do it for years, you can make those changes permanent. And, alcohol can literally wear your heart out. Over time, it causes heart muscles to droop and stretch, like an old rubber band. It can’t pump blood as well, and that impacts every part of your body.

  11. A Change in Body Temperature

    Alcohol widens your blood vessels, making more blood flow to your skin. That makes you blush and feel warm and toasty. But not for long. The heat from that extra blood passes right out of your body, causing your temperature to drop. On the other hand, long-term, heavy drinking boosts your blood pressure. It makes your body release stress hormones that narrow blood vessels, so your heart has to pump harder to push blood through.

  12. A Weaker Immune System

    You might not link a cold with a night of drinking, but there might be a connection. Alcohol puts the brakes on your immune system. Your body can’t make the numbers of white blood cells it needs to fight germs. So for 24 hours after drinking, you’re more likely to get sick. Long-term, heavy drinkers are much more likely to get illnesses like pneumonia and tuberculosis.

  13. Hormone Havoc

    These powerful chemicals manage everything from your sex drive to how fast you digest food. To keep it all going smoothly, you need them in the right balance. But alcohol throws them out of whack. In women, that can knock your periods off cycle and cause problems getting pregnant. In men, it can mean trouble getting an erection, a lower sperm count, shrinking testicles, and breast growth.

  14. Hearing Loss

    Alcohol impacts your hearing, but no one’s sure exactly how. It could be that it messes with the part of your brain that processes sound. Or it might damage the nerves and tiny hairs in your inner ear that help you hear. However it happens, drinking means you need a sound to be louder so you can hear it. And that can become permanent. Long-term drinkers often have hearing loss.

  15. Thin Bones, Less Muscle

    Heavy drinking can throw off your calcium levels. Along with the hormone changes that alcohol triggers, that can keep your body from building new bone. They get thinner and more fragile, a condition called osteoporosis. Booze also limits blood flow your muscles and gets in the way of the proteins that build them up. Over time, you’ll have lower muscle mass and less strength.

Links

I found some very awesome links today for worksheets for working the 12steps.  I am in desperate need of a sponsor – I have two ladies in mind in my home group.  Man I wasn’t this nervous when I asked my hubby to be my boyfriend back when I was 16!!  I need to put my big girl panties on and just ask….easier said then done.  People say it so nonchalantly.  “just get a sponsor.”  ummm – yeah, would LOVE to!

Anyways – here are the links:

http://jimrlong.org/index.php/pdf-12-step-worksheets

http://silkworth.net/zips/index.html

http://www.monroealanoclub.com/Resources___Links.html

http://thesponsorsaide.org/Downloads.htm

http://www.rewritables.net/cybriety/banner_&_image_gallery.htm

http://www.12stepclipart.50megs.com/

http://spot.colorado.edu/~hauserg/ArEmotList.htm

http://www.12step.org/tools/step-worksheets.html

http://thesponsorsaide.org/12StepWorksheets.htm

http://home.capecod.net/~rogerg/_RECOVERY.html

http://www.rc-rc.info/downloads.html

Is Addiction Really A Disease?

Well, I’m fresh out of rehab, and all I can say is there are a million things I look at differently. Heading into rehab, I had some serious misconceptions of both what an addict / alcoholic was, and why it was important to distinguish why we addicts are the way that we are.

I have to face the fact that I’m an addict, and i’ll never be able to change that. What can change, is my honesty to admit I am an addict, my open-mindedness to find a new way of doing life, and finally, willingness to act upon to the proposed changes I will need to make. I had to learn that if its not God‘s will (And you will see me reference back and forth between God and Higher Power) its not a healthy will. I can clearly see where my own will has got me, and the end result was a rock bottom. Self-will run-riot

One thing that drastically changed for me, while in rehab, was my view on addiction- whether to drugs or alcohol. I got saturated in both NA and AA in treatment, and have been working both programs, so I will try to be specific when quoting literature, to let you know where I got it. For example In NA “alcohol is also classified as a drug.” ( See NA Big Book) In any case, this finally leads me to the title of this entry.

The medical profession has struggled to accurately handle the field of addiction, whether to drugs or alcohol. How do we know this? Look at our Jails, our Institutions, or the addicts we used to know.(Death) Their approach to addiction is flawed, and a video I got the pleasure of watching while in rehab made me see addiction in a whole new light. Some doctors are pressing now, that addiction is a disease. Here is the video, broken into segments, addressing the issue of whether addiction is a choice based problem, or a disease based problem.

I hope you are just as enlightened as I was, and I’d be very interested to know whether you originally felt addiction was a disease or not! Enjoy!

JUST FOR TODAY my thoughts will be on my recovery,
living and enjoying life without the use of drugs.
JUST FOR TODAY I will have faith in someone in NA who
believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery.
JUST FOR TODAY I will have a program. I will try to follow it
to the best of my ability.
JUST FOR TODAY, through NA, I will try to get a better
perspective on my life.
JUST FOR TODAY I will be unafraid. My thoughts will be on
my new associations, people who are not using and
who have found a new way of life. So long as I follow
that way, I have nothing to fear.

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