Although alcohol is acceptable in today’s society, there are some people who are unable to keep its consumption to a minimum. Although there has been a decline in the number of people with alcoholism, alcohol-related deaths remain at the same level. This indicates that alcohol abuse is still very much a problem in America today.
However, because we now have a better understanding of addiction, there are numerous routes to recovery from the illness. Around 15,000 alcohol addiction recovery centers including Elevate San Francisco offer varying approaches to alcohol and drug rehab treatment so that help is easily accessible to everyone requiring it.
Possibly due to alcohol being commonplace, many people are unaware that they have a problem. Because it isn’t unusual for someone to drink socially or even to excess on occasion, there is a certain degree of enablement for those with the propensity for addiction. There is also a widespread lack of awareness of just how damaging alcohol can be or the risk factors involved in misusing and abusing it.
Here we examine four serious health conditions that are strongly linked with alcohol consumption:
Cancer accounts for the biggest proportion of alcohol-related deaths in America. Among female drinkers, breast cancer is the principal cause of death followed by liver cancer and for men; the leading cause is liver cancer.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), alcohol is a group one carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer. What many people are unaware of is that this is the same rating as tobacco. Although it is now common knowledge that smoking causes cancer, there is not the same level of awareness that alcohol does as well.
The risk of developing cancer as a result of alcohol consumption increases the more volume and length of time a person continues to drink. Other factors to take into consideration are a family history of alcohol abuse and genetic vulnerability to cancer. When seeking alcohol or drug rehab treatment, patients will be requested to give any relevant details of their family history that may affect their own mental and physical health.
- Heart Disease
Although there are some strong claims that alcohol is beneficial if taken in low doses, there is little evidence to support this view. Alcohol has been shown to increase blood pressure which places stress on the heart. This is supported by medical evidence which also attributes heart disease and strokes to alcohol consumption. Heart disease is another risk for drinkers and has been identified as a major contributor to alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations in America.
Alcohol consumption is known to affect people in very characteristic ways. When under the influence, a person’s judgment and reaction times are affected. This means they can place themselves in risky situations without having the ability to respond well if they face danger. Driving under the influence of alcohol is common among people who have become addicted, which can lead to serious and very often fatal road traffic accidents.
Injury to themselves and others is a big risk for anyone when they are intoxicated by alcohol. Falls and assaults represent around 20% of alcohol-related hospital admissions, with many reported injuries affecting innocent bystanders and family members.
When someone has been drinking heavily for a prolonged period of time, their judgment becomes even more significantly impaired. Risk-taking behaviors become the norm as alcohol abuse continues to infiltrate their daily lives. They are also likely to experience blackouts making it impossible for them to remember the danger they placed themselves in. Ultimately, inpatient alcohol rehab is the only option available to a person with this level of addiction as they become a danger to themselves and others around them.
- Mental Health Disorders
There are some people who turn to alcohol in response to a difficult time in their lives, a stressful lifestyle or the loss of a loved one. However, others start drinking as a way of reducing the symptoms of a mental illness like depression or anxiety. Whatever route a person takes to become dependent on or addicted to alcohol, dual-diagnosis patients require specialist inpatient alcohol rehab.
There is a strong link between alcohol consumption and mental health, with depression, self-harm, and suicide among the conditions associated with alcohol abuse. There is now evidence to suggest that adolescents using alcohol risk causing injury to their developing brains and subsequent mental health problems.
Guidelines to Help Drinkers Understand Risk
Key factors in understanding an individual’s risk of developing alcohol dependence or addiction include vulnerability and also the context in which the person drinks. However, generally speaking, low-risk drinking is considered to be two or fewer drinks a day, with drinking at a social event kept to a limit of four.
The most vulnerable groups for developing serious illness as a result of alcohol consumption are individuals under the age of 18, pregnant women and those planning pregnancy. For these people, the risk is so high that they are recommended not to consume alcohol at all.
Attending inpatient alcohol rehab allows people to find a way of recovering from alcohol abuse. At Elevate, we offer holistic alcohol and drug rehab treatment with programs personalized to the specific needs of the individual.
An alcohol rehab center should always assess each individual entering the facility to identify any factors playing a part in their addiction issues. Although outpatient alcohol rehab centers offer a recovery route to people with mild or moderate issues with alcohol, those with more severe problems are generally recommended to attend inpatient alcohol rehab.