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Facts About Alcohol Addiction

Posted by arizonarecover on June 24, 2020

Alcohol addiction is the most common substance abuse problem persisting worldwide. With the people paying seemingly less attention to this disorder, more and more individuals are indulging in this activity. Doesn’t matter if you are drinking hard liquor like tequila, bourbon, gin, or even light ones like beer, wine, etc., they all severely affect your body if continued for a longer duration.

Of course, there is normal drinking and there is binge drinking. The latter is far worse than the former and can have serious consequences on our health. According to a survey by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, around 56% of American adults reported drinking the previous month, while 24% of them reported binge drinking.

Most people who drink responsibly don’t usually develop physical problems, however, if the habit is continued for long, it can pose some serious issues.

Facts About Alcohol

  • It changes the brain

Drinking excessively can restructure the brain. Our brain is designed to physically adapt itself to the environment to help us perform better, however, when we constantly feed our body with alcohol, our brain realizes this as a new environment. It takes longer to identify this and start functioning better with alcohol in your body. This induces the unstoppable urge to drink.

  • Ethyl alcohol

It is the intoxicating ingredient in almost all of the alcoholic beverages and is produced from sugar, fermented yeast, and starches from a variety of plants and vegetables. When ethyl alcohol is drunk in moderation, the liver can easily metabolize it so that it poses no threat to our body. However, excessive drinking may cause it to overflow the liver making it impossible to process this huge amount. The excess amount circulates throughout our body and even the brain, making us feel drunk.

  • Different effects on men and women

Men and women have different biology which also explains how alcohol affects the two differently. In both the genders, there is a difference in how it metabolizes due to distinct stomach enzymes, muscle to fat ratio, hormones, etc. Women’s bodies tend to absorb more but metabolize it slowly. They also have a greater risk of developing long-term health issues with continued drinking. Men, however, have a comparatively stronger resistance which puts them in a more vulnerable position to have an overdose which may result in hospitalization or even death.

  • Binge drinking

This practice of drinking excessively within a short period is called binge drinking. It is most commonly performed by young people aged between 18 and 22. Alcohol is a sedative, and all sedatives at higher doses can depress breathing or even cause you to simply stop breathing. Binge drinking can also result in other health conditions such as vomiting, unconsciousness, dehydration, and seizures.

  • Withdrawal is not easy

If you think it is easy to get out of the addiction of any substance let alone alcohol, you are highly mistaken. When you are dependant on any drug or alcohol and suddenly stop using it, nerve cells become so agitated that they can induce aggressive and violent traits in the addict. Severe withdrawal symptoms may also lead to a condition called delirium tremens (DTs), which causes unstoppable seizures in its most serious form.

Statistical Facts About Addiction

The primary reason why alcohol is the most abused substance is that it is legal and is readily available at the stores. The notion that 2-3 drinks a day won’t do any harm has also pushed many people around the world into alcohol abuse. Let’s try to understand how alcohol addiction is affecting the world as we know it:

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) in 2018, approximately 14.4 million adults aged above 18 years were found to have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Of that group, around 9.2 million were men and 5.2 million were women.
  • According to the same survey, around 401,000 adolescents aged between 12 to 17 years had AUD. Out of these, 173,000 were males and a whopping 227,000 were females.
  • Approximately 7.9 percent of adults with AUD receive treatment whereas only 5 percent of young teens with AUD receive proper medical care.
  • Women who are alcohol-dependent are 50 to 100% more likely to die from alcohol use disorder as compared to men who are dependent on alcohol.
  • Alcohol-related deaths in the United States alone are around 89,000. It is the third-leading cause of death in the country that can be avoided. The first two are tobacco and poor diet.
  • Every year, alcohol-related incidents such as car crashes, accidents, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other health conditions cause the death of around 5,000 people under the age of 21 in the United States.
  • Men are more likely to develop an alcohol addiction as compared to women. Also, men are twice as likely to be involved in a car crash when drunk than women.
  • Of all the age groups, people aged between 18 and 34 are more likely to binge drink. This practice may cause unintentional sexual activity, unplanned pregnancy, violence, or even fatal accidents.
  • Approximately 70% of 18-year old teens reported drinking at least once. Whereas, around 80% of college-going students reported consuming alcohol.
  • Almost two-thirds of the college students who drink do so until the point of intoxication.
  • Alcohol abuse can not only affect the liver and the brain but also has tons of other ill-effects. Long-term alcohol use can result in cancer of the throat or mouth, cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression, aggressive behavior, organ damage, and much more.

Conclusion

Drinking moderately may seem okay, but that doesn’t make it suitable for everyone. People with already existing health conditions or with women in cases of pregnancies, alcohol intake can do some serious damage. There are many misconceptions around alcohol that people often use to justify their drinking behavior. However, it is important to understand the limits and our responsibility while consuming alcohol. Avoiding at all, if you could, is still the best possible way to save your health.

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