Alcohol has been linked to over 200 diseases and health issues, including:
Even small amounts of alcohol can cause:
Denial is often a byproduct of alcohol or other drug abuse. At best, denial is a convenient means to protect the substance abuse, but at worst, it can lead to negative health consequences. Drinking is associated with both short-term and long-term health consequences. Although illness and disease can manifest, there is a host of health troubles that can arise from alcohol-involved accidents or violent attacks.
Unfortunately, alcohol has the ability to quickly separate people from their intentions. For instance, although some people may drink simply to socialize, a rise in their blood alcohol content (BAC) can invite numerous unintended consequences.
In the case of prolonged drinkers, such as people who have alcohol use disorder, alcohol abuse can cause certain diseases to develop. The more educated Americans are about the physical impact of alcohol, the more opportunity they have to make smart decisions about alcohol consumption. If addiction is in play, alcohol use isn’t a matter of willpower; in these cases, alcohol abuse treatment is needed.
The acronym BAC is most often heard in the context of a DUI arrest. In general, states consider a BAC of 0.08 or greater to be the legal intoxication amount. BAC can also help to clarify the relationship between the volume of alcohol in the blood and the effects the individual drinker experiences. The following is an overview of different BAC levels and known side effects:
In terms of BAC, a rate of 0.30 percent or greater is a serious dangerous zone, and death can even result. Men who weigh at least above 140 pounds can generally have as many as 10 drinks before they reach this hazardous point. Depending on a woman’s weight, six drinks can present a major danger to life. For instance, a 90-pound woman may reach a 0.30 percent BAC at the six-drink mark while a 120-pound woman would require only two more drinks to reach this critical state. The sample BAC information provided demonstrates that physical impairment does not require a high number of drinks (if you think about how much drinking can occur, for example, in a party setting). Further, the health risks associated with ongoing alcohol consumption over a limited period of time (like a party) can increase significantly drink to drink.
Individuals who are concerned that they may have an alcohol use disorder may consider their specific experiences in view of DSM-5 criteria. Although a qualified clinician, therapist, or other addiction specialist should make a diagnosis, it may be a helpful starting point to consider these criteria. It is important to keep in mind that alcohol use disorder can be treated with effective rehab services. A diagnosis is an important first step in recovery.
A person who binge drinks/drinks heavily may or may not have an alcohol use disorder. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking is defined as excessive drinking, generally in a confined period of time.Binge drinking is a common practice in American culture. Approximately 75 percent of the alcohol American adults consume is taken in via binge drinking. Americans under 21 years of age are especially prone to this behavior. Approximately 90 percent of the alcohol taken in by young individuals is via binge drinking. Unfortunately, binge drinking and driving under the influence are closely associated activities.Binge drinking carries both short-term and long-term effects. Short-term effects of binge drinking include:
Binge drinking produces such dramatic increases in BAC that a person can suffer alcohol poisoning. The symptoms associated with alcohol poisoning include but are not limited to irregular or slow breathing, low body temperature, paleness, and seizures. Medical attention should immediately be sought as alcohol poisoning can rapidly escalate in intensity. In some cases, a person can slip into a coma. For some individuals who binge drink, it is a more of a party-specific activity than an ongoing practice. However, there are some individuals who binge drink repeatedly, and this behavior can cause long-term negative health effects. The following are some long-term side effects associated with repeated binge drinking:
Although the short-term and long-term effects of binge drinking provide enough of an incentive to avoid this activity, consideration should also be given to the host of possible social, personal, and legal consequences that can result. For instance, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol is a contributing factor in 40 percent of all violent crimes. Based on reports from victims, alcohol played a role in 37 percent of sexual assaults, 27 percent of aggravated assaults, 15 percent of robberies, and 25 percent of simple assaults.
Certain chronic diseases and conditions have been shown to be causally linked to alcohol consumption. Some conditions are 100 percent attributable to alcohol consumption. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the following are some of the conditions that alcohol use can directly cause:
Alcohol is cited as a component cause in over 200 diseases and conditions, which means these health outcomes can develop without the presence of alcohol, but there is still an association with alcohol. In general, these diseases and conditions relate to the total volume of alcohol that the afflicted individuals have consumed over their lifetimes. The following is a partial list of some of the diseases and conditions associated with alcohol abuse:
Chronic heavy drinking is also associated with well-known conditions such as anemia, dementia, seizures, and gout.
Alcohol use can exacerbate a variety of conditions to which it is neither a component nor casually related. For instance, alcohol can cause a flare-up of common maladies like irritable bowel syndrome, restless leg syndrome, and anxiety. Some individuals suffer from an allergy to alcohol and may develop a skin rash and stuffy nose immediately after consumption. Alcohol is not a reaction-free substance.
Most Harmful Drinking Games
A main way for individuals to avoid unwanted side effects is to understand the various conditions or reactions that can occur based on mild, moderate, or heavy use.