Defining the Problem
Despite being legal, widely available, and normalized everywhere — social media, TV, films — alcohol addiction has become a serious health issue. In the United States alone, more than 5.5 million women struggle with alcohol use disorders (AUD), according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
Unlike a stimulant that raises levels of physiological or nervous energy in the body, alcohol is a depressant. Drinking helps numb the pain and allows for a feeling of escape from everyday life. But over time, these self-medicating measures aren’t as effective and are increasingly more dangerous.
When your body builds up a tolerance to alcohol, it forces you to drink even more to achieve the same results. In addition to causing headaches, high blood pressure, and sleep issues, alcohol addiction can have a serious impact on your judgment and ability to focus.
While it may begin innocently enough, alcohol addiction can develop into a compulsive habit with life-altering consequences if it’s not addressed early. Prolonged use of alcohol can become full-blown alcohol addiction without your permission, which can have a serious impact on brain chemistry.