Alcoholism Facts – Alcohol is the most common form of addiction. Almost 18 million people in the United States either abuse alcohol or are considered alcoholic. However, even with so many people being affected either directly or indirectly by alcohol, many do not understand the alcoholism facts.
What is alcoholism? Alcoholism is a disease that destroys lives. Not only does it affect the life of the person who is suffering from the disease, but also their family and friends.
What are the Alcoholism Facts?
Alcoholism facts can give people a statistical picture of the effects of alcohol on society as a whole. Alcoholism facts let us know hoe alcohol and its abuse are the cause of many lost days of productive work, health issues, incarcerations, and death due to accidents or illness. Not to mention the many deaths and injuries that can be attributed to drunk driving accidents.
Some alcoholism facts are:
Excessive alcohol use can lead to serious health issues. Excessive drinking can be either binge drinking, which is consuming five or more drinks on a single occasion for men, four or more for women; or heavy drinking, which is more than two drinks per day for men or more than one drink per day for women.
Teens that start drinking alcohol before they are 15 years old are five times more likely to either abuse alcohol or become an alcoholic than adults who start drinking when they are 21. Teen alcoholism is becoming a big problem as well.
Alcoholism Facts About Health
Most of the time when people think about alcoholism facts and the consequences of alcoholism and alcohol abuse, they think of things like legal issues, accidents, losing a job, etc. People don’t often take time to consider the health related alcoholism facts.
The truth is alcoholism can lead to many serious health issues. A person who suffers from alcohol addiction is very likely to have health problems such as:
- Heart problems, including high blood pressure
- Stroke and dementia
- Increased risk for cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, and liver
- Intestinal problems including pancreatitis
- Liver disease such as cirrhosis of the liver, fatty liver, and alcoholic hepatitis
In addition to physical health problems, an alcoholic is more likely to suffer from emotional and social issues. The alcoholism facts about these issues are:
- Alcoholics can suffer from emotional and psychiatric problems such as anxiety and depression. These problems can also lead to increased incidents of suicide.
- Alcoholics can have problems socially such as losing their job, becoming less productive in their work and personal lives, problems interacting with family and friends and social isolation.
Alcoholism Facts and Myths
There are many stereotypes about the alcoholism definition is and what makes a person an alcoholic. Many people have an image of a bum on skid row and who is homeless, jobless, and has lost their family. We think of this person as living on hard liquor and little else. However, only a very small fraction of the alcoholics in the world fit this mold.
The alcoholism facts about the stereotypes are this: There is no stereotype! Alcoholics come from all walks of life. They are from all socio-economic groups. They are male and female, young and old. There is no mold. The only thing that connects them is their drug of choice and the behaviors that they assume after addiction has them in its grips.
Someone can become an alcoholic where their drink of choice is beer, wine or hard liquor. The only difference between the drinks is how many ounces are considered a ‘drink’. The alcoholism facts on what is considered one drink are:
- 12-ounces of beer or wine cooler
- 8-ounces of malt liquor
- 5-ounces of wine
- 1.5-ounces or a ‘shot’ of hard liquor or distilled spirits such as vodka, rum, gin, etc.
The bottom line is, no matter what type of alcohol is used a person can still become an alcoholic.
Alcoholism is a serious condition that can create havoc with lives. For both the person who is suffering from the disease and the family and friends of the person. If you or a loved one is struggling with this addiction, take a look at these alcoholism facts and then seek help from a medical professional or AA.