What a lot of Muslims don’t know, however, is that as far as the body is concerned, alcohol is a poison.
Consumption of alcohol isn’t only an issue that concerns morality, pregnancy or liver health. Alcohol can also damage the brain, pancreas, duodenum and central nervous system and causes metabolic damage.
In fact, alcohol causes metabolic damage to every cell in the body in such a slow and insidious way that it may take years for one to actually notice the damage. This can give the illusion that one is “doing OK” with their alcohol or that the one drink didn’t affect them at all.
On the contrary – the liver, which is the only organ that actually processes the alcohol, can actually be up to 3/4 damaged before the person becomes aware of the damage…by then the liver usually shuts down completely.
Furthermore, when alcohol is broken down in the liver it inhibits the organ’s production of digestive enzymes and impairs the body’s ability to absorb fats, proteins and the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) – as well as the B-complex vitamins.
This happens every time a person drinks. Because of the work the liver must do to process the alcohol, toxic amounts of fat get stuck in the liver. This can cause obesity and trouble with weight loss, even in people who consume moderate amounts of alcohol.
Another common effect of alcohol on the body is that of damage to the peripheral nervous system, such as the feet and hands. One may experience shaking or loss of sensation in either. The pancreas also can become inflamed and thus can lead to diabetes.
Men who drink alcohol also experience a great decrease in their production of testosterone, a male hormone that is basically responsible for making them “male”. Alcohol is also one of the most common causes of reduced sexual performance, impotence and infertility.
A common “old wives tale” recommends that a woman tired of her marriage bed needs only to allow her husband a sip of beer to quell his passions.
People consuming large amounts of alcohol may also eventually become deficient in zinc, which can cause one to lose their sense of taste or smell and thus some of their enjoyment of food.
This also impairs their ability to heal wounds – so alcoholics who get injured or have surgical scars may never heal properly.
Combining alcohol with over the counter drugs like Panadol, Tylenol and others have often proved deadly to some people as well. If a person is allergic to sulfites (sulpha drugs, sulfites, etc…) then alcohol is even more deadly, as it is manufactured with sulfites.
To detect if you or a loved one has a problem with alcoholism, you should learn to recognize symptoms commonly related to a drinking problem.
Symptoms directly related to excessive drinking include: dizziness, delayed reflexes, slowed mental function, memory loss, poor judgment, emotional outbursts, aggressive behavior, lack of coordination, shaking of the hands, nervous system disorders and anxiety.
Symptoms of withdrawal (when trying to quit) are: cravings, nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal upset, abdominal cramps, anorexia, fatigue, headache, anxiety, irritability, chills, depression, insomnia, tremors, weakness and hallucinations.
Many Muslims are afraid to seek help for alcoholism because of the fear of what people will say or think of them. However, we must remember that no one is immune to immorality.
Allah condemns even those who sell or support alcohol. Most people support alcohol sellers when they eat at restaurants that serve alcohol, buy products from those who sell alcohol and even when they fly on an airplane.
“The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah has cursed wine, its drinker, its server, its seller, its buyer, its presser, the one for whom it is pressed, the one who conveys it, and the one to whom it is conveyed,” (Buhkari: Book 26, Number 3666).
The only way we can combat alcoholism in our community is to first observe it, accept that there is a problem, and lovingly assist those Muslims who are having trouble.
This article is from our archive, published earlier and we currently republish it for its importance.
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- Register of Addiction Specialists.
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