How Alcohol Harms Where Most Believe It Helps

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to find yourself comparing residential rehab centres for alcoholics to have a problem with alcohol. In fact, research suggests that the overwhelming majority of people who drink on a regular basis are in fact drinking way more than their recommended weekly intakes. Full-blown alcoholism may seem rare, but it’s nonetheless true to say that millions across the UK could benefit enormously from cutting down at least a little.

The trouble is, extensive studies have shown that when it comes to the effects of alcohol, the many people have got it all wrong. Everyone knows that too much alcohol is never a good thing health-wise, but there are still so many who turn to alcohol as something of an ‘aid’ for a variety of purposes. From stress to sleep to self-confidence and so on, they hit the bottle in search of benefits and actually receive the exact opposite.

Now, there’s nothing to say that enjoying a drink in moderation needs to be seen as dangerous…it isn’t. But at the same time, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that in every instance when you think alcohol is helping you, chances are it’s actually hindering you.

Here’s a quick rundown of a few points to ponder:

Sweet Dreams?

First and foremost, millions of adults of all ages treat themselves to more than a couple of nightcaps, in order to help them sleep. It’s one of the most common justifications in the world for an extra drink – anything that assists with restful sleep can’t be a bad thing…right? Well, this is where logic is unfortunately overtaken by science. While it’s true to say that alcohol has the potential to help a person fall asleep faster, it can also have a highly detrimental effect on their respective quality of sleep. The science behind it all isn’t important, suffice to say that when you drink alcohol before bed, your brain and body cannot get the natural, restful sleep you need. So even though you fall asleep quicker, you wake up feeling as though you’ve hardly had any sleep at all.

Stress-Relief

If you find yourself in a stressful situation, it’s true to say that a couple of drinks can make a huge difference and bring along a sense of temporary escapism. The only problem being that the key word here is temporary – whatever it is that’s troubling you will soon return with a bang. Whatever kinds of troubles you attempt to drink away with alcohol, all you are actually doing is putting them on hold. In the meantime, you are taking a toll on your own mental and physical health, which means that your problems will seem all the more severe when the effects of the alcohol wear off – especially during the hangover. The more you drink, the bigger your problems seem to grow. So while alcohol might provide some temporary relief, it simply isn’t worth it for the longer-term aftereffects.

Depression Relief

There are millions of people all over the world who due to their depression find themselves turning to the bottle on a regular basis. In the same sense as the above, there’s nothing to say that a drink or two cannot work wonders for temporarily providing relief from the symptoms of depression. However, the effect alcohol has on the brain has been scientifically proven to significantly worsen the symptoms of depression, both immediately and long-term. Alcohol has never been and never will be a workable treatment for depression. Instead, it makes more sense to look toward addressing the root cause of the depression itself, rather than simply putting in on hold for a while and ultimately making it much worse.

Self-Esteem

Last up, there will always be plenty of people for whom alcohol seems to represent the magic elixir that makes them the person they want to be. From nights at the pub to wild parties to all-night clubbing and so on, they can really only have a good time and ‘be themselves’ if they really go to town on the alcohol. The only problem in this being that when you overdo it with the booze, you are absolutely NOT yourself…not even for a second. You may appear to become confident and self-assured, but it’s nothing more than a temporary and obvious mask behind which lies someone totally different. And when the alcohol wears off and the dust settles, you’re back to your original self with a head full of guilt, shame and perhaps even bigger confidence issues than you had before. All in all, counterproductive to say the least.