About Alcohol Use and Abuse
Drinking alcohol is an inherent part of American culture as baseball and apple pie. There is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol legally, in moderation.
When excessive drinking results in problems such as physical or mental addiction, it is considered alcohol abuse. Individuals who abuse alcohol may not drink every day but might find that once they begin to drink, they cannot stop at an appropriate amount. Consuming alcohol in such high quantities has numerous negative side effects.
Understanding alcohol abuse begins with accepting the fact that alcoholism is a disease. Both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) state emphatically alcoholism is a treatable medical condition.
“Alcohol use disorders are medical conditions that doctors can
diagnose when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm.”
-National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Signs of a Drinking Problem
- Craving – A strong need, or urge, to drink
- Loss of control – No real ability to stop once you start to drink alcohol
- Physical Dependence – Withdrawal symptoms – such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and negative emotional states such as anxiety, after stopping drinking
- Tolerance The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to feel the same effect
Why Some People Become Alcoholics
It is more a question of the risk of becoming an alcoholic. According to the latest research, there is some genetic hereditary connection that is not consistent.
The findings indicate children of alcoholics are about four times more likely than the general population to develop alcohol problems. Alcoholism is not determined only by the genes you inherit from your parents. More than one–half of all children of alcoholics do not become alcoholics. Research shows that many factors influence your risk of developing alcoholism. Certain aspects of family life also affect the risk of alcoholism. Researchers believe a person’s risk increases if he or she is in a family with the following difficulties:
- a parent is depressed or has other psychological problems
- parent abused alcohol and or other drugs
- parents abuse alcohol
- conflicts lead to aggression and violence in the family
Side Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol can have very serious side effects on the body. It can have significant negative effects on these parts of the body;
- Immune System
Alcohol Use Statistics
Here are some 2019 statistics about alcohol use (18 and older), according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:
- 85.6 percent of adults drink alcohol
- 69.5 percent have had a drink in the past year
- 54.9 percent have had a drink in the past month
- 25.8 percent have had a drink a binge-drinking episode (5 or more drinks) in the past month
- 14.5 Americans have an alcohol use disorder
- 95,000 deaths per year are alcohol-related
- alcohol-related problems cost $249 billion/yr in the US
- Over 10% of the children in the US live with a parent with an alcohol problem
Many people may not know about the alarming numbers of individuals suffering from alcohol addiction or abuse in America today. Approximately 4% of the U.S. population suffers from alcoholism, which translates to 14.5 million people. Another 4% are alcohol abusers who are likely unaware of the dangers and risks they pose both to themselves and others if the condition is left unchecked. In each category, there exists alarming health and behavioral consequences. What’s more, only about 10% of alcoholics seek treatment while the remaining 90% often die prematurely. There are many reasons for the small numbers of treated individuals, not the least of which is the specific fear of painful or fatal alcohol detox, along with the uncertainty of an alcohol detox program in general. Addressing these fears while incorporating a wide array of non-12-step treatment modalities is what sets Inspire Malibu’s alcohol addiction program apart from others. We are proud to offer a safe environment for alcohol detox combined with over 27 different methods for addiction treatment that is customized and updated regularly as conditions warrant.
- medications to help treat alcoholism
- screening for an alcohol problem
- why alcohol detox is so important
If you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence, it’s important to seek help.