EtOH abuse and addiction are quite prevalent in the US. According to Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data, more than 50% of US adults report drinking alcohol in the past month. And nearly 17% of adults binge drink, and 6% drink heavily.
What does EtOH mean? And what are the consequences of getting addicted to it?
EtOH medical abbreviation stands for ethyl alcohol, the active ingredient in alcoholic drinks that leads to intoxication. It is also known as ethanol, a compound produced by fermenting sugars from grains, fruits, vegetables, and other sources.
Now, ethanol is a consumable product that, when abused, has numerous adverse effects, including addiction and other consequences. So, let us explore these adverse effects in depth:
Abusing ethanol can lead to alcohol addiction, a chronic brain disorder that leads the user to develop a compulsive and unmanageable use of alcohol, even with knowledge of its negative effects. Ethanol addicts typically show a variety of signs, including but not limited to the following:
- Alcohol cravings
- Lack of control over the frequency and amount of drinking
- Increased tolerance to alcohol effects
- Withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, seizures, and hallucinations with stoppage
- Neglect of other aspects of life, for example, family
- Sustained use even when there are apparent negative physical, mental, social, or legal consequences
Other Consequences of Ethanol (EtOH Medical Abbreviation) Abuse
Besides addiction, ethanol alcohol abuse has many other consequences, cutting across psychological, physical, and even socio-economic aspects. Here are some of these consequences:
Ethanol abuse can lead to liver conditions such as alcoholic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and liver cancer. Further, continued use of EtOH can cause permanent damage to the liver, resulting in complete liver failure and, thus, the need for a liver transplant.
Apart from liver cancer, EtOH abuse can lead to many other cancers. It can also cause throat, breast, mouth, and other cancers.
People addicted to EtOH can develop various neurological conditions, among them dementia, neuropathy or nerve damage, and memory loss, dementia. Long-term abuse can lead to even more problems, including brain damage.
Social and Economic Consequences
EtOH can completely turn your social and economic lives upside down. It can cause you to get sacked at work, trigger financial issues, cause a collapse of relationships, and even get you into legal woes, thanks to irresponsible acts such as DUIs and criminal activities.
Though it might not seem so, relapse is a serious consequence of EtOH addiction. Relapse will always undermine your ability to stay away from the bottle, especially during stressful times, when at the mercy of peer pressure, and so on.
Mental Health Disorders
Abusing EtOH can exacerbate the risk of psychological disorders like PTSD, depression, and anxiety. It can also enhance symptoms of otherwise dormant mental health problems.
Overcome EtOH Addiction with the Right Treatment
EtOH addiction has far-reaching negative consequences that will undermine your life in all aspects, including mental, physical, social, and even economic. Fortunately, there is a solution for you if you are struggling with addiction. Treatment, including therapy and medication, can help you successfully beat EtOH addiction, avoid relapsing, and lead a better, more fulfilling life.