In our society, we often downplay the risks and dangers of alcohol consumption until tragedy strikes: a drunk-driving car accident, disease brought on by long-term alcoholism, and more. Understanding those dangers before it’s too late with these 10 things you need to know about drinking.
Fact #1: Alcohol is the Most Widely Used Addictive Substance
We don’t often stop to think about the fact that alcohol is an addictive, illicit substance. It’s use is widely accepted and sometimes expected in certain circumstances like celebrations. We depict alcohol abuse as an acceptable means of dealing with grief and pain- it’s not. Excessive drinking only allows deeper issues to fester. But because of the social acceptability of alcohol use and abuse, it’s the most widely used addictive substance.
Hard liquors have a higher concentration of alcohol than beers and ciders. It breaks down to:
- Beer: 4.5 percent average
- Wine: 11.6 percent
- Liquor: 37 percent
To put that into perspective, one 12 oz beer has the same alcohol content as 5 oz of wine and 1.5 oz of liquor- about a shot. Because of these varying alcohol content levels, certain drinks cause intoxication more quickly than others. Not feeling the effects immediately is often the cause of overindulgence and irresponsible drinking. If one is not conscious of this fact or drinks recklessly, poisoning can quickly set in and become life threatening.
Fact #3: How Alcohol Affects Men and Women Differently
Alcohol’s effect on the body differs between males and females due to differing water levels and metabolism rates. Due to these differences, females tend to have greater concentrations of alcohol in their systems after consuming the same amount of alcohol as male counterparts. However, women typically process alcoholic drinks more quickly than men, breaking it down and expelling it from their systems at a faster rate.
Hollywood loves to romanticize the recovery process. A few shadowy scenes showing a sweaty, trembling but still beautiful actress, an emotional outburst, then everything is sunshine and looking up. The reality is that unmonitored and non-medically assisted withdrawal can be a life threatening condition, and alcohol withdrawal is among the most dangerous. Excessive drinking can cause heart distress, seizures, and death.
Fact #5: Alcoholism is the 3rd Lifestyle-Related Causes of Death
Fear of facing withdrawal is a leading cause of hesitation when it comes to alcoholism- but did you know long term alcohol abuse is the 3rd leading cause of lifestyle related deaths? Diseases such as cirrhosis, liver disease, and multiple cancers connected to alcohol abuse ruin your health and future. Treatment can be a lifelong endeavor, costing millions and hindering you from meeting your life goals- if they’re caught early enough. Others, if not detected with enough time for intervention, come with devastating consequences including death.
Drinking alcohol may seem like a good way to ensure some fun, but being mindful of the risks and dangers involved could save your life.