Written By Kami Ann Davis 🌹🍃
One of THE most addictive substances in the WORLD, is one hundred percent LEGAL, and it goes by the name of ALCOHOL.
Let’s face it, we drink alcohol to feel good and get a BUZZ. Yes, I can have a glass of wine with a beautiful meal as a compliment, but for the most part, it’s not really the way society consumes alcohol.
For example, WHO goes out at night with friends to have ONE drink?? NO ONE. Who goes to the bar to have just ONE drink? NO ONE. Why? Because with each drink, our senses become more and more numb, to our surroundings. Alcohol dulls whatever emotion or thought, we are having. This is one of the reasons why alcohol is so addicting. Because, when we are in pain (especially mentally or emotionally), alcohol can literally make that pain go away. That’s why oftentimes, we see the term ‘self-medicating’ being used. It can be a slippery slope, if someone is self-medicating with alcohol.. because it is such a dangerous substance. Instead of INCREASING mental clarity and focus, like Kratom does, alcohol does the complete opposite. Alcohol impairs our judgment and our thinking. We don’t function as well, when we have been drinking. If anyone says different, it is because they are a functioning alcoholic. No, that’s not a good thing either, because it means they need to have alcohol in their system in order to feel normal. BECAUSE, they are dangerously addicted to it. I have a long history of experience with alcohol addiction and abuse in my family. Unfortunately, I know firsthand, how it destroys families.
We’ve all been there, having one too many. But, for some drinking is a way of coping. After each drink, it feels a bit better and if you’re self medicating, usually one drink is just the beginning. Drinking alcohol is so incredibly addictive, yet we don’t even realize that, because of the social norm. Alcohol is so INCREDIBLY ACCEPTING, in our culture and society, that no one even realizes that a hangover is actually WITHDRAWALS.
Yes, when someone is hungover, they/you are WITHDRAWING from alcohol. That’s why the ‘hair of the dog’ makes you feel better, because you’re literally feeding the alcoholic withdrawal.
Kratom is not like this for the majority of people, yet it’s made out to be this horrible substance because it produces withdrawals. HOWEVER, it only produces a withdrawal if you abuse it or take heavy amounts, and for the majority like myself …Kratom does not produce cravings or the desire to need ‘more’. The desire to need or crave ‘more’ IS addiction within itself. It IS this out-of-control behavior that is produced by someone’s brain chemistry, as a result of whatever underlying issue driving IT.
Like alcohol does, Kratom does <<<NOT>>> cause any kind of high, nor increasing effect, the more you take it. It does not produce a buzz or any kind of impairment, like alcohol does. Although some people’s chemistries are sensitive, for the most part ..very little side effects are experienced.
For example, drinking heavily causes a hangover, but for some, who are more sensitive, they might feel gravely ill simply after a few drinks. Therefore, take responsibility for YOUR chemistry and how it reacts. Same with Kratom. Some experience negative side-effects, even though it may be rare. If you decide to keep taking it, that’s on YOU.
I do not condone self-medicating, mentally and emotionally; with any substance unless it is residual, presenting in chronic symptoms and it is AFTER or DURING psychotherapy. But, if self-medication is a means of survival, I support Kratom one hundred thousand percent, because it doesn’t impair or intoxicate you like all other substances. However, I don’t support anyone using it as a means to escape reality, while not learning to deal with their issues at hand.
Kratom is pretty magical though, when you think about it. How many substances are out there that you can think of …that are beneficial in so many ways, not producing negative side-effects? Because when you consume it sparingly, you WILL receive more positives, than ever imagined.
I do believe that alcohol has its place in society. It’s fun to celebrate with, especially at weddings and special occasions. There are certain times and events in my life, when I feel like I may want to drink and/or it’s a MUST to have it. I definitely want to be able to have drinks on these rare occasions. We are all adults and should have the freedom to choose and make our own decisions, whether they are good or whether they are bad. Drinking alcohol can be fun and relaxing in moderation, but once we start over drinking, building a tolerance to it, abusing it, then depending on it ..it becomes our worst enemy.
It’s called addiction and behavior. Being mindful of our patterns and habits can keep us on track and lead us to continued success with anything in life. The same thing goes for our Kratom consumption. Don’t use more than what you really need. Use sparingly and your success with this plant will go far.
Alcohol KILLS: ‘Excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 95,000 deaths in the United States each year, or 261 deaths per day. These deaths shorten the lives of those who die by an average of almost 29 years, for a total of 2.8 million years of potential life lost.Jan 14, 2021’
To date, no one has ever died from consuming Kratom, alone. Warrior Friends and Kratom Testimonies – Southeast Beautiful Kratom
The following is written by Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic ~
March 24, 2020 / Digestive
6 Surprising Ways Alcohol Affects Your Health — Not Just Your Liver
Alcohol can harm multiple organs
Some of the ways alcohol affects our health are well known, but others may surprise you. Here are six less-known effects that alcohol has on your body, according to gastroenterologist K. V. Narayanan Menon, MD:
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• Drinking gives your body work to do that keeps it from other processes. Once you take a drink, your body makes metabolizing it a priority — above processing anything else. Unlike proteins, carbohydrates and fats, your body doesn’t have a way to store alcohol, so it has to move to the front of the metabolizing line. This is why it affects your liver, as it’s your liver’s job to detoxify and remove alcohol from your blood.
• Abusing alcohol causes bacteria to grow in your gut, which can eventually migrate through the intestinal wall and into the liver, leading to liver damage.
• Too much is bad for your heart. It can cause the heart to become weak (cardiomyopathy) and have an irregular beat pattern (arrhythmias). It also puts people at higher risk for developing high blood pressure.
• People can develop pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, from alcohol abuse.
• Drinking too much puts you at risk for some cancers, such as cancer of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver and breast.
• It can affect your immune system. If you drink every day, or almost every day, you might notice that you catch colds, flu or other illnesses more frequently than people who don’t drink. This is because alcohol can weaken the immune system and make the body more susceptible to infections.
How your liver breaks down alcohol in your body
When you drink, here’s what happens in your liver, where alcohol metabolism takes place.
Your liver detoxifies and removes alcohol from the blood through a process known as oxidation. Once the liver finishes the process, alcohol becomes water and carbon dioxide. If alcohol accumulates in the system, it can destroy cells and, eventually, organs. Oxidative metabolism prevents this.
But when you’ve ingested too much alcohol for your liver to process in a timely manner, the toxic substance begins to take its toll on your body, starting with your liver. “The oxidative metabolism of alcohol generates molecules that inhibit fat oxidation in the liver and, subsequently, can lead to a condition known as fatty liver,” says Dr. Menon.
‘Almost one-third of our population meets the criteria for an alcohol use disorder (AUD) at some point in their lifetime.1 Alcohol is one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States, with about 85% of people reporting that they’ve drank alcohol in their lifetime and over 25% reporting that they’ve engaged in binge drinking (achieving a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of 0.08 g/dL or higher) within the past month.’
‘Though alcohol is considered socially acceptable to consume in most parts of the world, heavy alcohol use can prove detrimental to a person’s physical and mental wellbeing and the overall physiological health of their brain. Heavy or long-term alcohol use can result in learning and memory issues and can also eventually lead to the development or exacerbation of mental health conditions.’
The following is written by Health and Human Services (HHS) ~ Number 63 October 2004
ALCOHOL’S DAMAGING EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN
Difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory: Clearly, alcohol affects the brain. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops. On the other hand, a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist well after he or she achieves sobriety. Exactly how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcohol research today.
We do know that heavy drinking may have extensive and far–reaching effects on the brain, ranging from simple “slips” in memory to permanent and debilitating conditions that require lifetime custodial care. And even moderate drinking leads to short–term impairment, as shown by extensive research on the impact of drinking on driving.
A number of factors influence how and to what extent alcohol affects the brain (1), including
- how much and how often a person drinks;
- the age at which he or she first began drinking, and how long he or she has been drinking;
- the person’s age, level of education, gender, genetic background, and family history of alcoholism;
- whether he or she is at risk as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure; and
- his or her general health status.
This Alcohol Alert reviews some common disorders associated with alcohol–related brain damage and the people at greatest risk for impairment. It looks at traditional as well as emerging therapies for the treatment and prevention of alcohol–related disorders and includes a brief look at the high–tech tools that are helping scientists to better understand the effects of alcohol on the brain.
BLACKOUTS AND MEMORY LAPSES
Alcohol can produce detectable impairments in memory after only a few drinks and, as the amount of alcohol increases, so does the degree of impairment. Large quantities of alcohol, especially when consumed quickly and on an empty stomach, can produce a blackout, or an interval of time for which the intoxicated person cannot recall key details of events, or even entire events.
Blackouts are much more common among social drinkers than previously assumed and should be viewed as a potential consequence of acute intoxication regardless of age or whether the drinker is clinically dependent on alcohol (2). White and colleagues (3) surveyed 772 college undergraduates about their experiences with blackouts and asked, “Have you ever awoken after a night of drinking not able to remember things that you did or places that you went?” Of the students who had ever consumed alcohol, 51 percent reported blacking out at some point in their lives, and 40 percent reported experiencing a blackout in the year before the survey. Of those who reported drinking in the 2 weeks before the survey, 9.4 percent said they blacked out during that time. The students reported learning later that they had participated in a wide range of potentially dangerous events they could not remember, including vandalism, unprotected sex, and driving.Binge Drinking and Blackouts
• Drinkers who experience blackouts typically drink too much and too quickly, which causes their blood alcohol levels to rise very rapidly. College students may be at particular risk for experiencing a blackout, as an alarming number of college students engage in binge drinking. Binge drinking, for a typical adult, is defined as consuming five or more drinks in about 2 hours for men, or four or more drinks for women.
Equal numbers of men and women reported experiencing blackouts, despite the fact that the men drank significantly more often and more heavily than the women. This outcome suggests that regardless of the amount of alcohol consumption, females—a group infrequently studied in the literature on blackouts—are at greater risk than males for experiencing blackouts. A woman’s tendency to black out more easily probably results from differences in how men and women metabolize alcohol. Females also may be more susceptible than males to milder forms of alcohol–induced memory impairments, even when men and women consume comparable amounts of alcohol (4).
ARE WOMEN MORE VULNERABLE TO ALCOHOL’S EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN?
Women are more vulnerable than men to many of the medical consequences of alcohol use. For example, alcoholic women develop cirrhosis (5), alcohol–induced damage of the heart muscle (i.e., cardiomyopathy) (6), and nerve damage (i.e., peripheral neuropathy) (7) after fewer years of heavy drinking than do alcoholic men. Studies comparing men and women’s sensitivity to alcohol–induced brain damage, however, have not been as conclusive.
Using imaging with computerized tomography, two studies (8,9) compared brain shrinkage, a common indicator of brain damage, in alcoholic men and women and reported that male and female alcoholics both showed significantly greater brain shrinkage than control subjects. Studies also showed that both men and women have similar learning and memory problems as a result of heavy drinking (10). The difference is that alcoholic women reported that they had been drinking excessively for only about half as long as the alcoholic men in these studies. This indicates that women’s brains, like their other organs, are more vulnerable to alcohol–induced damage than men’s (11).
Yet other studies have not shown such definitive findings. In fact, two reports appearing side by side in the American Journal of Psychiatry contradicted each other on the question of gender–related vulnerability to brain shrinkage in alcoholism (12,13). Clearly, more research is needed on this topic, especially because alcoholic women have received less research attention than alcoholic men despite good evidence that women may be particularly vulnerable to alcohol’s effects on many key organ systems.
BRAIN DAMAGE FROM OTHER CAUSES
People who have been drinking large amounts of alcohol for long periods of time run the risk of developing serious and persistent changes in the brain. Damage may be a result of the direct effects of alcohol on the brain or may result indirectly, from a poor general health status or from severe liver disease.
For example, thiamine deficiency is a common occurrence in people with alcoholism and results from poor overall nutrition. Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is an essential nutrient required by all tissues, including the brain. Thiamine is found in foods such as meat and poultry; whole grain cereals; nuts; and dried beans, peas, and soybeans. Many foods in the United States commonly are fortified with thiamine, including breads and cereals. As a result, most people consume sufficient amounts of thiamine in their diets. The typical intake for most Americans is 2 mg/day; the Recommended Daily Allowance is 1.2 mg/day for men and 1.1 mg/day for women (14).
Up to 80 percent of alcoholics, however, have a deficiency in thiamine (15), and some of these people will go on to develop serious brain disorders such as Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) (16). WKS is a disease that consists of two separate syndromes, a short–lived and severe condition called Wernicke’s encephalopathy and a long–lasting and debilitating condition known as Korsakoff’s psychosis.
The symptoms of Wernicke’s encephalopathy include mental confusion, paralysis of the nerves that move the eyes (i.e., oculomotor disturbances), and difficulty with muscle coordination. For example, patients with Wernicke’s encephalopathy may be too confused to find their way out of a room or may not even be able to walk. Many Wernicke’s encephalopathy patients, however, do not exhibit all three of these signs and symptoms, and clinicians working with alcoholics must be aware that this disorder may be present even if the patient shows only one or two of them. In fact, studies performed after death indicate that many cases of thiamine deficiency–related encephalopathy may not be diagnosed in life because not all the “classic” signs and symptoms were present or recognized.Human Brain
Schematic drawing of the human brain, showing regions vulnerable to alcoholism-related abnormalities.
Approximately 80 to 90 percent of alcoholics with Wernicke’s encephalopathy also develop Korsakoff’s psychosis, a chronic and debilitating syndrome characterized by persistent learning and memory problems. Patients with Korsakoff’s psychosis are forgetful and quickly frustrated and have difficulty with walking and coordination (17). Although these patients have problems remembering old information (i.e., retrograde amnesia), it is their difficulty in “laying down” new information (i.e., anterograde amnesia) that is the most striking. For example, these patients can discuss in detail an event in their lives, but an hour later might not remember ever having the conversation.
The cerebellum, an area of the brain responsible for coordinating movement and perhaps even some forms of learning, appears to be particularly sensitive to the effects of thiamine deficiency and is the region most frequently damaged in association with chronic alcohol consumption. Administering thiamine helps to improve brain function, especially in patients in the early stages of WKS. When damage to the brain is more severe, the course of care shifts from treatment to providing support to the patient and his or her family (18). Custodial care may be necessary for the 25 percent of patients who have permanent brain damage and significant loss of cognitive skills (19).
Scientists believe that a genetic variation could be one explanation for why only some alcoholics with thiamine deficiency go on to develop severe conditions such as WKS, but additional studies are necessary to clarify how genetic variants might cause some people to be more vulnerable to WKS than others.
Most people realize that heavy, long–term drinking can damage the liver, the organ chiefly responsible for breaking down alcohol into harmless byproducts and clearing it from the body. But people may not be aware that prolonged liver dysfunction, such as liver cirrhosis resulting from excessive alcohol consumption, can harm the brain, leading to a serious and potentially fatal brain disorder known as hepatic encephalopathy (20).
Hepatic encephalopathy can cause changes in sleep patterns, mood, and personality; psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depression; severe cognitive effects such as shortened attention span; and problems with coordination such as a flapping or shaking of the hands (called asterixis). In the most serious cases, patients may slip into a coma (i.e., hepatic coma), which can be fatal.
New imaging techniques have enabled researchers to study specific brain regions in patients with alcoholic liver disease, giving them a better understanding of how hepatic encephalopathy develops. These studies have confirmed that at least two toxic substances, ammonia and manganese, have a role in the development of hepatic encephalopathy. Alcohol–damaged liver cells allow excess amounts of these harmful byproducts to enter the brain, thus harming brain cells.
Physicians typically use the following strategies to prevent or treat the development of hepatic encephalopathy.
- Treatment that lowers blood ammonia concentrations, such as administering L–ornithine L–aspartate.
- Techniques such as liver–assist devices, or “artificial livers,” that clear the patients’ blood of harmful toxins. In initial studies, patients using these devices showed lower amounts of ammonia circulating in their blood, and their encephalopathy became less severe (21).
- Liver transplantation, an approach that is widely used in alcoholic cirrhotic patients with severe (i.e., end–stage) chronic liver failure. In general, implantation of a new liver results in significant improvements in cognitive function in these patients (22) and lowers their levels of ammonia and manganese (23).
ALCOHOL AND THE DEVELOPING BRAIN
Drinking during pregnancy can lead to a range of physical, learning, and behavioral effects in the developing brain, the most serious of which is a collection of symptoms known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Children with FAS may have distinct facial features (see illustration). FAS infants also are markedly smaller than average. Their brains may have less volume (i.e., microencephaly). And they may have fewer numbers of brain cells (i.e., neurons) or fewer neurons that are able to function correctly, leading to long–term problems in learning and behavior. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Children with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) may have distinct facial features.
Scientists are investigating the use of complex motor training and medications to prevent or reverse the alcohol–related brain damage found in people prenatally exposed to alcohol (24). In a study using rats, Klintsova and colleagues (25) used an obstacle course to teach complex motor skills, and this skills training led to a re–organization in the adult rats’ brains (i.e., cerebellum), enabling them to overcome the effects of the prenatal alcohol exposure. These findings have important therapeutic implications, suggesting that complex rehabilitative motor training can improve motor performance of children, or even adults, with FAS.
Scientists also are looking at the possibility of developing medications that can help alleviate or prevent brain damage, such as that associated with FAS. Studies using animals have yielded encouraging results for treatments using antioxidant therapy and vitamin E. Other preventive therapies showing promise in animal studies include 1–octanol, which ironically is an alcohol itself. Treatment with l–octanol significantly reduced the severity of alcohol’s effects on developing mouse embryos (26). Two molecules associated with normal development (i.e., NAP and SAL) have been found to protect nerve cells against a variety of toxins in much the same way that octanol does (27). And a compound (MK–801) that blocks a key brain chemical associated with alcohol withdrawal (i.e., glutamate) also is being studied. MK–801 reversed a specific learning impairment that resulted from early postnatal alcohol exposure (28).
Though these compounds were effective in animals, the positive results cited here may or may not translate to humans. Not drinking during pregnancy is the best form of prevention; FAS remains the leading preventable birth defect in the United States today. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa63/aa63.htm
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Written By Kami Ann Davis 🌹🍃