Facts About Alcohol
03/05/19: Addiction Recovery \ Alcohol Addiction
In this blog, we will discuss some facts about alcohol that you may or may not know. That being said, here is some information on alcohol to help you better understand what it does to you, who abuses it, why it is so widely abused, and what it does to a society:
Alcohol Is Easily Obtained
One of the biggest reasons why alcohol has become such a social norm is because it is can be easily obtained. People over the age of 21 (in the U.S.) are able to freely buy the substance just like they could buy a loaf of bread at the store, as long as they have their I.D. on them. In other countries, the legal age for drinking can be as low as 16 years old, sometimes even younger. Though the substance is illegal for the younger demographics, it can still be easily obtained from parents, older friends, or stores that don’t check I.D.s often enough.
Since alcohol is so easily obtained, it has become widely abused, thus bringing about the binge-drinking culture. Binge-drinking is the act of having 4-5, or more, drinks in one sitting. This results in a person being inebriated or ‘drunk’. This phenomenon became widely accepted in the early 2000s and has influenced new generations, like college students, to continue this addictive behavior. Unfortunately, this trend has resulted in numerous accounts of alcohol poisoning and even fatalities (i.e. drunk drivers). This trend has also been linked to a sharp rise in alcoholism in young people. The problem with alcoholism is it can be hereditary; this addictive behavior can carry on to a person’s offspring and continue the addictive cycle.
Short-term & Long-term Effects
Alcohol can be easily obtained, but some people do not know the short-term and long-term effects that abuse entails. Here are what the short term effects look like when it comes to alcohol abuse:
- Injuries - Car accidents, motorcycle accidents, risky activities that can cause injuries.
- Violence - Crime, aggressive behavior, sexual assault, suicide, domestic abuse.
- Risky sexual behaviors - Unprotected sex = unwanted pregnancy or STD
- Alcohol poisoning - Blackouts. Too much of the drink can poison your body and cause it to shut down. People frequent emergency rooms for alcohol poisoning.
- Costly - Booze isn’t cheap, it can lead to serious debt if a dependency forms
Not only does alcohol pose some serious short-term effects, but it also poses some serious long-term effects for a person. Here are the effects you should be able to see after long-term alcohol abuse:
- General health issues - Heart disease, stroke, liver disease, digestive problems, high blood pressure.
- Cancer - Breast, mouth, liver, colon, esophagus.
- Memory problems - Dementia, trouble remembering/learning things, poor school performance.
- Mental health - Depression, suicide, other mental health issues.
- Social issues - Loss of relationships, poor social skills, and even unemployment.
- Alcoholism - Dependency on the substance, withdrawal, and other issues that come along with addiction.
Alcohol and Crime
You may not realize it, but alcohol plays a huge role in criminal behavior and violence. Like we discussed earlier, alcohol can cause a person to start to have social issues, violent behaviors, and mental health problems. Issues like these can cause a person to do something they normally wouldn’t do which may result in criminal behavior. Excessive drinking has the ability to lower inhibitions, impair a person’s judgment and increase the risk of aggressive behaviors. Often times, you may see criminal cases like child abuse, domestic abuse, robberies, sexual assault, aggravated assault, and even homicide involving some alcohol abuse. Not to mention, it is one of the biggest things that cause impaired driving accidents. Prolonged binge drinking can easily be connected to violent criminal behavior.
A Solo & Social Activity
Alcohol can be easily obtained which means that anyone can get a hold of it and use it whenever they see fit. Alcohol is relatively affordable too when you buy it for yourself compared to buying it at a bar or restaurant. You can buy as much as you want without fear of repercussions. People can drink on their own or in a group setting. Alcohol is often associated with group settings, but many people who abuse the substance will do so in the comfort of their own home. When you have the ability to buy and consume as much as you’d like, alcoholism starts to take form.
The same thing can happen if alcohol is abused in group settings. Some people use it in group settings because they believe it makes themselves more entertaining to others. If a person starts to think they are only interesting when they are under the influence, alcoholism starts to take shape once again. People should be more conscious of the amount they consume on a regular basis. A glass of wine or two every now and then is far more reasonable than 4-5 mixed drinks on a single occasion. Unfortunately, binge drinking has taken over and caused many people to desire 4-5 drinks in one sitting whether they’re on their own or in a group setting.
The People Vulnerable To Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol is a way for some people to escape certain things in their life. Whether it be stress, relationships, jobs, any sort of thing that may cause distress in a person’s life, alcohol is often seen as a short-term escape to all of it. Some people are more susceptible to these kinds of issues and, thus, become more susceptible to abuse. Here are some of the most vulnerable demographics, the reasons are pretty much self-explanatory:
- Mentally Ill
- Abuse Survivors
- College Students
- LGBT Members
These demographics often deal with stress, depression, and other things in life that feel out of their control. When a person is overwhelmed with stress and a lack of control in life, they are more likely to resort to alcohol abuse in a sort of ways to cope with it all.
Considering all these facts about alcohol, it is no wonder the substance is so often abused. Binge drinking has snuck its way into our society, making it out to seem like a social norm. Alcohol abuse has unknowingly become a socially acceptable activity in this world, but it doesn’t need to be that way.
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