For most adults, relaxing with a glass of alcohol is a great way to unwind after a stressful day. Many people enjoy drinking occasionally while socializing with family and friends. However, since drinking is so common and widely accepted in society, it is not always simple to define when someone crosses from moderate drinking into the area of problem drinking.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has defined alcohol as the most common addictive substances in the United States affecting one in 12 adults by either making them dependent on it or abuse it. The NCADD also states that at least one parent of more than seven million children is severely affected by alcohol; it is estimated that more than half of the adult population has a family history of alcoholism (physical dependence on alcohol) or problem drinking (alcohol use disorder or AUD).
Because social drinking is so common, often people who begin abusing alcohol don’t realize the hidden dangers. If a person’s pattern of drinking hampers their life and put their health and safety at risk, it is possible they have AUD or are at risk for alcoholism. According to the Mayo Clinic, “AUD is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.”
Symptoms of alcoholism and its effects
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that each year, approximately 2,200 deaths (or six per day) happen due to alcohol poisoning. As the tolerance level of the body to alcohol rises, the drinker needs to consume increasing amounts to get the same ‘buzz.’ Because people usually do not understand how much alcohol their body can absorb, the onset of alcohol poisoning can be quick and effects irreversible. Uneven breathing, vomiting, irregular or slow breathing, blue-tinged or pale skin, low body temperature, unconsciousness and seizures are all potential symptoms of alcohol poisoning. If the person does not immediately receive medical help, alcohol poisoning can lead to death.
A person may also have AUD if he/she drives while under the influence, feels the need to drink every day, drink large amounts of alcohol in social settings and be unable to control the urge to drink even while realizing that he/she should stop. Despite the risks and health warnings, the CDC figures depict that 38 million adults in the U.S. report binge drinking at least four times a month. Typically, when a man consumes five or more drinks or a woman gulps down four or more drinks on a single occasion, he or she is labeled as a binge drinker.
Road to recovery
The number of people developing addiction to alcohol is on an unprecedented rise across the globe making it the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. and a significant global economic burden. It is important to identify risky behaviors and health effects associated with it and seek help from well-managed alcohol addiction treatment centers in USA that offer a holistic approach to helping people embrace sobriety. If you, or someone you know, is suffering from any alcohol-related problem, call our 24/7 Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline at 866-281-3014 to find out more about the best alcohol addiction treatment centers.