Alcoholism affects millions of service members and military personnel across the United States.

Often those who suffer from PTSD symptoms use alcohol as a way to cope with the symptoms of psychological disorders. However, alcohol is a depressant that not only causes symptoms of depression but also enhances the damaging effects of PTSD.

The effects of drinking don’t only affect active military members and veterans, but their families and loved ones as well. Often victims of alcoholism use social events to hide their alcohol dependence, although it quickly escalates and takes a toll on their health and wellbeing.

Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

Symptoms of alcohol abuse are often overlooked due to the acceptable nature of being drunk in society. As a result, the warning signs often go unnoticed until it’s too late, causing irreparable damage in the mind and health of those in active military, veterans, and first responders.
Here are a few signs that a veteran might be suffering from the effects of alcoholism or could be in the path to alcohol addiction:

  • They’re unable to control the amount of alcohol they drink
  • They drink early in the day, drink alone, or stay drunk for a long period of time
  • Periods of blackouts and memory losses are regular
  • Most of their time is spent recovering from drinking or drinking
  • They rely on drinking to solve problems or calm stress
  • Alcohol is a focal point of their life
  • They ignore social obligations in order to drink
  • Experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking

Effects of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Long-term effects of alcohol include:

  • Depression
  • Brain cell death, leading to brain disorders and lowered mental/physical effects
  • Cirrhosis, a condition that requires a liver transplant to treat
  • Pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas which causes nerve damage
  • Increased tolerance towards alcohol which results in higher intake of alcohol

Alcohol not only affects the mind but also all of the other parts of the body including the heart, liver, pancreas, and immune system.

High usage of alcohol leads to alcohol dependence which results in the individual drinking despite suffering from serious damage to their body. The brain becomes dependent on alcohol and the way that chemicals are transmitted to the rest of the body is affected by it.

Short-term effects of alcohol include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Emotional changes
  • Sleep disruption

Veterans often use alcohol in an attempt to calm the effects of PTSD due to its effect of causing drowsiness. Often, alcohol is paired with prescription drugs or other illicit drugs which magnify the dangers of these substances. However, continued reliance on alcohol leads to several long-term effects that could cause irreparable effects on the body.

Alcohol Abuse and PTSD

Abusing alcohol often leads to prolonged and intensified PTSD symptoms. Alcohol is a depressant which leads to feelings of anxiety, depression, and insomnia which are also commonly associated with post-traumatic stress disorder effects.

Alcoholism and PTSD often result in other damaging mental and physical problems. More than half of those who have both of these conditions are more likely to have panic attacks, depression, attention problems, abuse to other chemicals such as drugs, and long-term illnesses such as heart and liver disease.

The battle against alcohol addiction begins

The battle against alcohol addiction begins

The battle against alcohol addiction can be tough, but Warriors Heart is here to fight along with you. Our alcoholism treatment center in San Antonio treats veterans across the United States with a team of certified counselors who have experienced the effects of PTSD and addiction in their families.

Don’t let alcohol take over your life. Let us help you. (844) 448-2567