According to Health Canada, roughly 80% of Canadians drink alcohol regularly. The social acceptability of alcohol makes it a dangerous substance to become dependent on and a difficult one to abstain from.
Often times, people use alcohol to cope with other mental or physical disorders. It is also a substance that many people use along with other addictive substances, a behaviour known as polydrug use. If left untreated, alcoholism can destroy a person’s mental and physical health, derail their career, damage their personal relationships and worse.
Signs of alcohol addiction or abuse include:
- Decreased involvement in work or school
- Loss of interest in extracurricular activities
- Decrease in social activities
- Preoccupation with drinking
- Erratic or violent behavior
Long-term effects of alcohol abuse include:
- Liver disease
- Some types of cancers
- Brain damage
- Memory loss
- Immune system obstruction
Alcoholism, like any other substance abuse disorder, is rarely an isolated condition. It is commonly accompanied by co-occurring mental health problems or disorders, or an inability to cope with stressful or traumatic experiences and situations.
In order to overcome the addiction, treatment should focus on the individual’s personal reason for abusing alcohol. Read about Aurora’s personalized care.