When most people think of health problems triggered by alcohol abuse, they think of liver damage. However, while the threat of liver disease is very real, alcohol abuse is linked to more than 60 conditions. Avoiding these health risks is all the more reason to seek addiction treatment if alcohol abuse is an issue in your life. Here are some of the health problems that are tied to this kind of substance abuse:
Alcohol abuse is associated with an increased risk of several kinds of cancer. This may be because the body converts alcohol into a substance called acetaldehyde, which doctors believe could be a carcinogen. Alcoholism is linked to higher rates of mouth, throat, larynx, liver, breast, esophagus, and colorectal cancers. It doesn’t help that many people who abuse alcohol are also heavy smokers, which further increases cancer risks.
There is a strong correlation between alcoholism and depression. The question is which condition was present first: the depression or the drinking? It may seem logical that people turn to alcohol in an attempt to cope with the symptoms of depression, but at least one study has indicated that heavy drinking pre-dates depression in many addicts. When depression and alcoholism are both present, a dual-diagnosis treatment plan, in which the addiction and the underlying mental health issues are both addressed, can be helpful.
Alcohol abuse takes a toll on the immune system, which in turn allows infectious diseases, like pneumonia and HIV/AIDS, to take hold. Alcohol abusers further increase their odds of contracting infectious diseases by engaging in risky behavior while under the influence. For example, alcohol abusers are three times more likely than average drinkers to contract a sexually transmitted disease because they are more likely to have unprotected sex.
The physical price of alcohol addiction is high. Take the first step towards reclaiming your life today by contacting Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena. Our dual-diagnosis treatment plan is designed to help you beat your addiction by addressing the conditions that contribute to substance abuse. Get the answers you need about our addiction treatment programs by calling (888) 348-2165.