The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition Revised (DSM-IV-TR) basically defines substance abuse as when an individual suffers at least one type of harm or dysfunction due to using or consuming a substance within the past year. It may be surprising to learn that alcohol can be one of the more dangerous substances as alcohol is readily available and fairly popular in the United States. Contrary to popular belief, a single drinking binge can have lasting consequences. Listed below are six common consequences of alcohol abuse that could ruin your life.
1. Legal trouble resultant from intoxication
It’s no secret that alcohol consumed in large quantities can impair judgment. What some people may be surprised to learn is how few drinks it takes for an average person to suffer from delayed motor skills and poor judgment. The standard legal limit for driving after consuming alcohol is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08. This is not an arbitrary number. Instead, it is the amount of alcohol that can reasonably impair an average person’s driving ability.
Even if you are not behind the wheel, you can easily find yourself in big legal trouble overnight. Many states have adopted a statute in which all persons involved in a felony can be convicted of murder if a felonious pact was made prior to the murder (e.g. one person agrees to participate directly in an armed robbery, one agrees to drive the getaway car, and the third agrees to serve as a lookout). Impaired judgment has landed people with lengthy prison sentences regardless of whether or not they were directly involved in perpetrating a violent crime.
2. DUIs and auto accidents
A first-time DUI conviction alone can be a major legal hurdle to overcome. You will likely have to pay a large fine, comply with court orders, have restrictions on your license, and have to address later consequences including paying insanely expensive premiums for car insurance and being less marketable as a potential employee. Many employers cannot purchase insurance to cover employees with poor driving records. Or, many employers will choose to hire an equally qualified job candidate after learning of a DUI conviction. Consider yourself lucky if arrested for a DUI after a traffic stop instead of being involved in a serious accident.
3. Alcohol poisoning
Alcohol poisoning is not a myth and anyone suspected of suffering from alcohol poisoning should seek emergency medical attention. Alcohol poisoning can cause brain damage or death after a blockage of airways. Death by chocking on vomit after slipping into an alcohol-induced coma must surely be one of the worst ways to die.
4. Slip and fall accidents
Falling can result in lasting spinal cord injuries or residual effects from a concussion. It should also be noted that concussions can be fatal. Often, someone under the heavy influence of alcohol may not have the presence of mind to immediately seek needed medical attention. Some symptoms of a concussion include drowsiness and dizziness. When intoxicated, people often feel dizzy. Also, taking a nap instead of going to the emergency room might seem like a good idea at the time.
5. Korsakoff’s syndrome
Korsakoff’s syndrome (also known as Korsakoff’s dementia) can be seen in people who have heavily used alcohol for an extended period of time. Those who suffer from the syndrome often exhibit symptoms similar to elderly people with dementia. They may be unable to care for themselves and require constant supervision or hospitalization.
6. Danger of alcohol withdrawals for heavy drinkers
Alcohol withdrawals can result in seizures and death. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol withdrawals are more dangerous than withdrawals from illicit drugs such as cocaine. Whereas those experiencing withdrawals from cocaine may experience dysphoria, cravings, and fictitious medical symptoms, withdrawals from heavy alcohol use can be deadly.
Consequences of one night of binge drinking
Drinking responsibly is usually not a problem. However, it only takes one alcohol-related mishap to ruin your life. After a major problem, many people will turn to drinking more heavily and create the possibility of having more dangerous problems in the future. Don’t let a mistake ruin your life. In the event you are already in legal trouble due to a DUI charge or misdemeanor involving alcohol, do everything in your power to ensure that your life is not over. Instead of phoning a friend, hire a lawyer.
Lauren Hill is a contributing author for Caddell, Nelson and Reibach, traffic Lawyers who will help after you have received a DUi or other traffic charge.