April has been designated Alcohol Awareness Month by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. The organization has been working to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol abuse since 1987 with this annual event. This year, we would like to recognize Alcohol Awareness Month with a few concerning facts about alcohol use in the U.S.
Deaths Related to Alcohol Use
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 88,000 deaths in the U.S. between 2006 and 2010 could be attributed to excessive alcohol abuse. Alcohol was linked to one in 10 deaths in adults between the ages of 20 and 64 years during that same time frame. This makes alcohol the fourth-highest cause of preventable deaths, behind smoking, poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle. While most people think of cirrhosis of the liver when they think of alcohol-related sickness and deaths, other conditions related to excessive alcohol use include heart disease and some types of cancer.
Risky Behaviors Associated with Alcohol
People who drink too much alcohol may engage in or become victims of the following risky behaviors:
- Injury – includes falls, drownings and injuries related to car crashes
- Sexual behavior – sex with multiple partners or unprotected sex
- Sexual abuse – alcohol use increases the risk of a sexual assault
- Violence – those who abuse alcohol are also more likely to be victims of other types of assault or are more likely to abuse another person
Risky behaviors tend to be more prevalent in younger drinkers. However, anyone who drinks to much raises the risk for some type of accident or assault.
Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse
When alcohol is consumed, it is absorbed into your bloodstream, which means it can impact your body in a number of negative ways. Some of the more common results of long-term alcohol abuse include:
- Liver disease (includes cirrhosis, hepatitis and cancer)
- Cancer (breast, stomach and liver are some of the most common)
- Heart disease (hypertension and heart attack risk also increase)
- Digestive problems (such as pancreatitis or gastritis)
- Neurological disorders (memory problems, dementia, stroke)
Another health risk of alcohol abuse is alcohol dependence or addiction. When a person develop an alcohol addiction, professional treatment is usually required to turn the individual from their drinking and to a healthier life of sobriety.
Alcohol abuse is a serious problem in the U.S. and around the world. If you are struggling with an inability to control your alcohol consumption, help is available. At Pasadena Recovery Center, we help individuals overcome their addiction and maintain sobriety. To learn more about our treatment programs, contact Pasadena Recovery Center at 866-663-3030.