Facts About Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

March 17, 2008

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Alcoholism is a condition in which people consume alcohol regardless of the negative consequences and health problems it leads to. Alcoholism is an addiction and, according to many people, a disease. People who are alcoholics are either physically or psychologically dependent on the substance.

Alcohol abuse is when a person drinks excessively, and this interferes with their lifestyle or health. However, they don’t experience withdrawal symptoms or unusually high tolerance levels. An alcohol abuser can stop drinking if they really want to, while an alcoholic cannot.

In the United States, there are currently around 9 million alcoholics. Abuse of this substance is the cause of more than 100,000 deaths every year in this country.

Signs that an individual is suffering from alcoholism or alcohol abuse include an increasing tolerance level, blackouts, denial, and anger or depression. This individual is more likely to drink alcohol alone and continue drinking excessively, even when there are negative consequences.

Drinking excessively can lead to psychological and social issues including the loss of a job, relationship troubles, drunk driving, legal problems, divorce, domestic violence, and social isolation.

The health risks of alcoholism over a long period of time include damage to the liver, brain, heart, and nervous system; high blood pressure, cancer, osteoporosis, stomach problems, sexual issues, and many other problems.

Five percent of alcoholics quit drinking on their own, without the help of a treatment program. One year after they finish a treatment program, approximately 33% of alcoholics are not drinking, 40% are better but occasionally drink heavily, and 25% have relapsed completely.

The primary cause of teenage deaths in the United States is alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents, and alcohol is the most commonly abused drug by teens.

The most effective form of addiction treatment for alcoholism is long-term care in a residential rehab facility.

Comments

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