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ALCOHOL ADDICTION

Alcohol Addiction & Abuse

Alcoholism, also known as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is one of the most prevalent addictions in America. An estimated 1 in 8 Americans struggles with alcohol abuse1.

Alcohol is an organic substance, with ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol being the kind that is used in alcoholic beverages. It is derived from fermenting sugar with yeast. Once alcohol is digested into the human body it is converted into a sugar-based fuel. Alcohol alters human brain chemistry and acts as a depressant, which means that is can effects one's mood, thoughts, feelings, and actions. Many times people use alcohol as a solution to relieving their anxiety, depression, or stress in their lives when in reality the opposite occurs.

DEFINITION OF ALCOHOLISM AND ALCOHOL USE DISORDER

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine2, alcoholism is defined as a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. Alcoholism is a progressive disease that is often fatal. One of the key traits of alcoholism and alcohol abuse disorder is the denial of the individual to recognize they have a disease and are self-inflicting harm.

TYPES OF ALCOHOL

There are several different types of alcoholic beverages that are commonplace in today’s society.  Beer, wine, and alcohol are all produced differently and have various effects on the body.

BEER ADDICTION

Beer has roughly a 2 – 6 percent alcohol content and is typically made from water, barley, and yeast. In comparison to wine and alcohol, beer has a lower alcohol content ratio known as alcohol content by volume (ABV). Many of the most famous beer companies in the United States are well-known brands such as Budweiser, Coors, Miller Light, Corona, Samuel Adams, Anheuser-Busch, Guinness, and Heineken.

Recently, there has been an evolution in the beer industry with the rise and expansion of craft beer. By 2025 it is estimated that the craft beer market will be worth $502.9 Billion3. However, the downside to craft beer is that the average ABV is about 6%, meaning that there is much more alcohol content per beer.

Beer drinking is a societal norm in today’s culture. It is prevalent at all American sporting and entertainment events as well as across college campuses. In cities across America, happy hour following the end of a workday consists of consuming a beer or some sort of alcoholic beverage.

It is important to recognize the difference between being able to drink in moderation and that of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Drinking beer can lead to excessive alcohol consumption, alcohol It is important to recognize the difference between being able to drink in moderation and that of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Drinking beer can lead to excessive alcohol consumption, alcohol abuse, and alcohol poisoning. Try to recognize the signs of alcohol addiction associated with beer drinking. If you feel you have a problem, GET HELP NOW.

Alcoholism Statistics

WINE ADDICTION

Wine is an alcoholic beverage that is made from grapes without additional additives. The history of wine has long been chronicled and is one of the oldest types of alcohols. It is often thought to be consumed with dinner as a complimentary beverage. However, like other alcohols, addiction to wine can develop and lead to serious adverse health effects. The wine has been known to have positive health benefits, such as those with red wine and resveratrol. It is important to know that wine is only healthy in moderation. If you feel you have a problem, GET HELP NOW.

LIQUOR ADDICTION

Liquor, also known as a distilled beverage, is an alcoholic beverage, which is made by distilling a drink that is made from grains, fruits, or vegetables that have already gone through the alcoholic fermentation process. Liquor is also known as a spirit, hard liquor, or hard alcohol. The alcohol by volume (ABV) in liquor is much higher than that of beer or wine and can be much more dangerous when consuming for that reason. The five main liquors or spirits as they are known are Vodka, Gin, Tequila, Rum, and Whisky. There are also additional spirits such as Brandy, Mezcal, and Baijiu.

Liquor addiction can often be the most progressive and fatal due to the alcohol content. Many individuals who suffer from alcoholism may feel as though they cannot even start their day without consuming some amount of alcohol. Consuming alcohol in this nature is extremely dangerous and should be treated. If you feel that you may suffer from alcohol use disorder please take the next steps to treat your addiction. You can speak with a treatment center representative or CLICK HERE to get help now.

IS ALCOHOL AN ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCE?

Alcohol is the single most commonly used addictive substance in the United States. In a new study, which was published in JAMA Psychiatry, 1 in 8 adults meets the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder. The authors of the study actually feel as though the results of the study conclude that alcoholism is a seriously overlooked public health crisis. The negative health effects associated with alcohol addiction include but are not limited to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, liver cirrhosis, type 2 diabetes, pancreatitis, several types of cancer and various forms of infection.

According to WebMD, Scientists have conducted several studies to determine why alcohol is an addictive substance. The results from the study were conclusive in that they affect the reward centers of the human brain. By doing so, dopamine and endorphins are released which creates a natural ‘high’ for the individual. The more endorphins are released, the more a person wants to continue to drink alcohol.

If you or a loved one has been struggling with an alcohol abuse issue, treatment options are available for you. Many people try to detox from alcohol at home or recover on their own. As is often the case, most individuals need professional assistance to truly recover from alcohol abuse and addiction. Thankfully, there are options and caring individuals who can help to assist in the recovery process from alcohol addiction. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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WHO IS AT RISK FOR ALCOHOL ADDICTION

According to a study funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism4, there is a belief that genetics can be a contributing factor to the risk of alcohol dependence. Research has shown that there is a close link between alcoholism and biological factors, in particular, an individual’s genetic background as well as their physiology.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF ALCOHOLism

There are many risk factors in the potential for developing alcoholism. Below are some indicators for alcoholism and warning signs associated with alcohol abuse disorder.

l Family History of Alcohol Abuse
l Drinking Alcohol at an Early Age
l Frequent Alcohol Consumption over an Extended Period of Time
l Social Drinking at Every Opportunity
l High Tolerance to Alcohol
l Physical appearance change or withdrawal symptoms

There is also the CAGE questionnaire, which is a widely used screening test for problems associated with alcohol drinking as well as potential alcohol problems.

The CAGE Questionnaire5 asks the following questions:
1. Have you ever felt you needed to cut down on your drinking?
2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
3. Have you ever felt guilty about drinking?
4. Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

ALCOHOL & Drug Use

Alcohol is a dangerous substance in its own right due to its ability to impair an individuals motor skills and judgment, as well as potential dependency. However, mixing alcohol and drugs can lead to potentially fatal consequences as the effects can be compounded. Regardless of whether an individual is mixing alcohol with prescription or illicit drugs, the results can be deadly and it is extremely risky.

Alcohol is a known depressant, but mixing alcohol with another substance can have complicated chemical effects on the body. If you combine alcohol with another drug, for instance, a stimulant such as cocaine, the adverse effects of each drug may lead to a greater intake of each. Below is a list of drugs that have various effects when taken together with alcohol.

Illicit Drugs:
l Marijuana
l Cocaine
l Crack
l Heroin
l Opium
l Methamphetamine
l MDMA
l Ecstasy
l Ketamine
l PCP
l LSD
l Mescaline
l Psilocybin
l Inhalants

ALCOHOL ADDICTION STATISTICS

1. 6 people die every day from alcohol poisoning. 76% of them are aged 35 to 64. Deaths are largely tied to binge drinking. Averaging 8 drinks per binge.
2. 38 million U.S. Adults report binge drinking an average of four times per month.
3. 88,000 Annual deaths associated with alcohol
4. More than 15 million people struggle with an alcohol use disorder in the United States, but less than eight percent of those receive treatment.
5. Estimated that 95% of people who need treatment for alcoholism do not feel they need treatment

l View Hide Sources:

1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/2647075?redirect=true
2. https://www.asam.org/advocacy/find-a-policy-statement/view-policy-statement/public-policy-statements/2011/12/15/the-definition-of-alcoholism-(ncadd-asam)
3. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/craft-beer-market
4. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh40/64-75.pdf
5. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/394693?redirect=true