There are many ways to mar or even ruin relationships. One could be infidelity. Another could be financial cheating. It could also be a case of incompatibility wherein an unwillingness to change makes you the root of the problem. In more complicated cases, you become the root of the problem because of deep-seated personal issues that make you turn to alcohol abuse.
But, what does alcohol have for people to be so addicted to it? This is because drinking alcohol activates the reward system in the brain and causes dopamine release. Also, it’s the reason alcohol frequently appears to have a stimulating impact. But is that why people are up to drinking even without any specific event in their life? Of course, not.
Based on everyone’s experiences, every time they have alcohol in their system, it makes them forget about the things happening in their life; it helps them escape their reality, even just for a bit. They become hyperactive, and enthusiastic, and feel good about themselves even as they know for a fact that the next day, they’ll experience massive headaches, hangovers, or even vomiting. But they’ll consider it worth it because it just felt so good, they’re willing to do it repeatedly. To learn more about how alcohol affects people’s lives, read more here.
With this said, it’s not surprising anymore to know that a lot of people become dependent on alcohol, causing them to develop this habit of running to alcohol every time they get a chance to do so. According to the statistics done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in thirty individuals is considered to be alcohol addicted. With increased alcohol use, alcohol dependency rates rise. Alcohol dependence affects 10% of binge drinkers, and 30% of those who often binge (10 or more times per month) depend on alcohol.
Now that information related to how alcohol affects us as individuals is shared, here are ways how alcohol abuse affects relationships.
1. It Changes The Person
As you may know, a person’s behavior and actions affect the people they associate with. Being influenced by alcohol makes people lose their rational thinking and anger suppression and become uncontrollable. When people act this way, they usually do things that’ll surely make the other person hurt and confused. People who are under the control of alcohol tend to talk rudely and lose their sense of respect which also limits their ability to have a normal train of thought. Their actions are not well thought out and might lead the other person to misunderstand them.
Aside from that, the psychological impact of too much alcohol intake severely affects the person. Depression and anxiety will always be there, affecting your relationship with your family, friends, loved ones, and colleagues. Your outlook on life changes as well as your beliefs. If left unaddressed, you could begin exhibiting anti-social and even psychotic behavior.
2. You Lose The Confidence Of Those Around You
Isn’t it comforting to think there’s a way to escape whatever present you’re in or how liberating it is to know that you can be a totally new different person while enjoying yourselves at the same time? These are just some thoughts or justifications that an alcohol-dependent person thinks. The unending promises that it’ll be their last drink or that it’s only temporary, and they just want to feel problem-free even for a moment.
Some may reconsider their actions while using the excuse that they’re just drunk and that their actions aren’t intentional. But not all people will understand how an alcohol abuse person thinks, nor do all people have the tolerance to accept their actions. The mere fact that you cannot control yourself indulging in drinking alcohol is enough to show that you also don’t have the capacity to change for the better.
This is how trust becomes doubt, then becomes regret. The moment you let yourself be dependent on alcohol is also the moment you’ll start to jeopardize the connection you built with other people. It’ll be harder for them to put their faith in you because of how you let yourself be drawn to alcohol as a way of escape or addiction. They’ll doubt your decision-making and question your credibility in controlling and handling situations in your life.
If you can no longer handle your responsibilities, like your means of living, your finances could suffer. You might show up late with a hangover at work or not show up at all. You could ruin deals with business partners or potential clients. When you don’t have money coming in as it should, mortgages, loans, of your kids’ education could be compromised. If still single, you could lose any chance to keep a potential partner for life.
3. You Become Violent
When someone is under the influence of alcohol, everything seems to be heightened and hard to take control of, like your emotions and instincts. An article by Mayshak R, Curtis A, Coomber published in 2020 stated that alcohol was a factor in between 24% and 54% of family domestic violence occurrences in Australia that were reported to the police. Even if you don’t resort to violence, emotionally abusive behavior toward the people around you can happen.
With the information mentioned above, you can derive that alcohol does affect your perception and decisions in life. Alcohol’s interference with normal brain function may foster anger or violence. Too much alcohol also inhibits the brain’s natural impulse control systems, particularly those that prevent inappropriate violence.
Alcohol initially makes individuals feel relaxed, which is one of the reasons people want to drink. However, the more you drink, the more this emotion might change to one of rage and hostility. Hostile interactions and conflicts frequently occur because people tend to be confrontational and misinterpret things.
4. It Makes Your Mental Health Unstable
Mental stability is one of the essential factors in keeping relationships with other people meaningful and worthwhile. Unfortunately, having the capability to be mentally healthy these days seems so challenging and hard to maintain, especially for people who are experiencing significant dependence on alcohol.
Some people could believe that using alcohol as a coping strategy is how you handle challenging emotions like stress, anxiety, or despair. However, relying on alcohol to control your mental health can develop into a problem in and of itself. Research by the Mental Health Foundation (2020) says that suicidal ideation and attempts are associated with heavy drinking. Alcohol may induce people to act impulsively and lose control, resulting in behavior like self-harm or suicide.
How does this affect the relationship that alcohol abusers have? Being stuck in a situation that even you have no longer control over will lead to a messy relationship with other people. The constant battle you have within yourself will soon take a toll on your whole being, making you more distant and harder to be with. The continuous dilemma of self-hatred and self-sabotaging will quickly make the people around you leave.
5. It Leaves You Broken
Having an unhealthy relationship with alcohol makes people’s lives crushed and unbearable. Aside from the impact mentioned earlier of alcohol dependence on people’s daily lives, it also weakens and makes the body susceptible to diseases like heart problems, liver failure, high blood pressure, stroke, digestive issues, and many more risks.
But what really makes the person broken because of too much alcohol? Is it only because of the physiological complications? That can be one, but what makes them feel broken and shattered is the aftermath of what they’ve done to the people around them just because they’re under the influence of too much alcohol.
Lost connections and failed responsibility can be too much for a person to carry. The burden they’ll have after realizing what they’ve done can manifest in their future relationship with new people. Not only will they develop doubt they can be better, but they’d also push people away just to ensure that those things that happened while they were controlled by alcohol won’t happen again, making it harder for them to build new relationships.
Alcohol is capable of a lot of things. Who would have thought that that one sip after another could lead to a lot of unexpected turns in your life? Alcohol dependence will change how you view things and how you deal with the people around you. Nonetheless, who’s in their right mind to choose to be an alcohol addict? No one. So, if ever in your life you have someone who might go in that direction, talk them out and make them realize the risks they’ll be facing in the future, and you might just do wonders.
Before associating yourself with alcohol, it’s better to know the side effects it’ll soon cause. Know your body and the things it can only take. Keep the people around you in mind as well. Alcohol abuse can ruin your relationships. It can make you a different, undesirable, and violent person. People lose confidence in you, and you become mentally unstable and broken.