Why is Alcohol Addictive?
Alcohol is a chemical substance that stimulates the release of dopamine and endorphins, which are connected with producing feelings of pleasure, pain relief, and satisfaction. For one, the simple fact that alcohol produces these effects creates a sense of reward. Additionally, heavy drinking over time can cause physical changes in the brain and lead to dependency and cravings. In short, alcohol is addictive on a physiological and psychological level.
Health Complications of Alcohol Abuse
The health-related complications of alcohol abuse can be broken down into 2 different categories, short-term and long term complications. Short term complications include the possibility of increased blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and possible overdose. Long term effects can include heart disease, lung disease, and liver disease. The National Cancer Institute has also noted a connection between alcohol consumption and certain types of cancer including head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer.
The long term complications of alcohol abuse can be irreversible and deadly. Additionally, alcohol dependence can lead to withdrawal complications.