Whether you choose hard liquor, wine, or beer, a lack of awareness could hurt you when consuming alcohol. However, learning more with these alcohol abuse facts could save your life.
Important Alcohol Abuse Facts
According to research, more than half of adults in the United States drink alcohol within a 30-day period. Most of these people never experience alcohol abuse or alcoholism symptoms. Likewise, you might never develop a drinking problem either. However, you should consider these facts before assuming, “It won’t happen to me.”
Men and Women Metabolize Alcohol Differently
Alcohol contains ethanol, which is the ingredient that causes intoxication. It’s the result of fermenting starches, sugars, and yeast from fruits, grains, plants, and vegetables. Although it comes from various sources, all alcoholic beverages contain this ingredient.
Your liver can metabolize moderate amounts of alcohol with no problem. However, excessive drinking makes it work much harder. This excessive alcohol amount circulates through your other organs and brain, leading to intoxication.
This process occurs differently in men and women. For example, hormones, muscle-to-fat ratio, stomach enzymes, and water concentration all affect how the body metabolizes alcohol. Thus, men tend to metabolize it faster, so they don’t absorb as much. Although this reduces their risk of long-term damage, they drink excessively and engage in high-risk activities more often than women do.
Alcohol Changes the Brain
When you repeatedly drink alcohol, your brain acclimates to the substance’s constant presence. Thus, it changes brain connections and nerve cells to improve basic functions when you drink. However, it doesn’t undo these changes when you stop drinking. For this reason, people with alcohol abuse or addiction often have serious health problems for the rest of their lives.
In addition, tens of thousands of people die from alcohol-related incidents every year. Not to mention, heavy drinking raises your risk for colon, esophagus, mouth, rectal, and stomach cancers. Liver disease is also common for those with alcohol use disorders.
Alcohol Abuse and Addiction Aren’t The Same
Alcohol abuse differs greatly from alcohol addiction. For example, alcohol plays a destructive part for those with drinking problems. However, those who abuse it don’t always depend on it to function, and therefore, they can limit how much they drink. On the other hand, people with addiction have no control over their drinking, and their lives often revolve around alcohol.
Binge Drinking Increases Addiction Risk
You put yourself at a higher risk for developing an addiction when you binge drink. For women, binge drinking means having four drinks within two hours. However, for men, it means having five drinks in two hours.
Alcohol slows your breathing because it’s a sedative, so drinking too much can actually make you stop breathing. Thousands of people die every year from alcohol poisoning. It can also cause dehydration from vomiting, seizures, and blackouts, which is dangerous. Not to mention, going through alcohol withdrawal becomes far worse if you frequently binge drink.
Get Help for Alcohol Abuse Now
If these alcohol abuse facts hit home, seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one is merely a phone call away. 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida can help. We offer several alcohol rehab programs and services, including:
- Inpatient and outpatient treatment
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Relapse treatment
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Holistic therapy
Don’t wait for your alcohol use disorder to develop into an addiction. Seek help to overcome this obstacle now. Call us today at 866-319-6126 to begin.Article posted on November 10, 2017