Alcohol is one of the most popular recreational drugs available in the United States. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse occur when an individual drinks excessive amounts on a regular basis. Several factors play a role in the development of alcohol dependency, including one’s genetics, social environment, emotional health, and early childhood discipline. Read this helpful about the effects of alcohol abuse and options for recovery.
Alcoholism vs Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse starts when an individual fails to draw the line between social and binge drinking. A night out with a few beers over conversation may turn into an intoxicating blackout. In fact, it does not take much alcohol to cause problems.
Understanding Alcohol Intoxication
In the United States, a standard drink contains about 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol. This greatly differs between the different types of beer, wine, and liquor offered for consumption. For instance, many light beers have almost the same amount of alcohol as regular beer, which contains about 5% alcohol by volume. A 5-ounce glass of wine typically contains about 12% alcohol by volume. A 1.5 ounce shot of liquor contains about 40% alcohol by volume. It is recommended to read the labels on any canned or bottled beverage before drinking it.
The effects of alcohol abuse increase with each consecutive beverage that an individual consumes. Its effects vary among users. However, the amount consumed stays within an individual’s blood stream. An individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the percentage of alcohol found in the blood. It is used as a common measurement of intoxication for medical or legal purposes. An increase in BAC levels drastically lowers the perception of the drinker.
Most U.S. states have very strict drinking and driving laws and officers incorporate the use of breathalyzer tests to measure a person’s BAC. If it is determined that a driver has alcohol in their system, they are subject to arrest for a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge. A BAC level higher than .10 can lead to loss of motor coordination, good judgment, and reaction time. In fact, BAC levels in excess of 0.16 may cause disorientation, sensory impairment, coma, and even death. Blood alcohol concentration levels are subject to various factors, including an individual’s age, weight, and gender.
Why Alcohol Abuse Is Dangerous
Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug among teens in the United States, even more so than tobacco, or other types of drugs. Oftentimes, teens will binge drink and lose control. Studies have proven that teens consume more drinks per occasion that adult drinkers, putting them at an increased risk for issues like alcohol poisoning or blackouts. Other risks associated with underage drinking include higher risk or problems in school, legal problems, sexual or physical assault, and many others.
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse tend to go unnoticed at first. One of the first signs of alcohol abuse is feeling guilty or ashamed. Family and friends may express concern over a user’s drinking habits. Substance abusers may lie to friends and family about their problem. Another sign of alcohol dependency is feeling the need to drink in order to feel relaxed or feel better. This may lead to drinking more than one intended. In severe cases, one might start to forget what they did while they were drinking. All of these serve as indicators that a potential drinking problem exists.
Overcoming the Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Long-term alcohol abuse can cause serious health complications if left unchecked. It can cause severe damage to every vital organ in the human body, including the brain. Problem drinking can also damage one’s reputation, emotional stability, financial security, career, and relationships. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse can have a negative impact on family, friends, co-workers, and especially children. Not to mention the endless social consequences that could lead to disastrous conclusions, such as domestic violence, unemployment, and poverty. The burden that this has on one’s family is endless.
Alcoholics and alcohol abusers who seek out help can receive the proper treatment. A plethora of opportunities await those who wish to conquer their demons. Some treatment options may include self-help programs, group therapy, detoxification, and inpatient rehabilitation. The most important aspect to recovery lies in admitting the existence of a problem. The following steps require time, patience, and dedication to abstain from alcohol for good. The journey is easier when others offer their encouragement, comfort, and guidance. Without the proper support network, it can be easy to fall back into the same old patterns when things get tough.
Morningside Recovery Can Help People Overcome the Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Located in Irvine, California, Morningside Recovery provides transformative alcohol addiction treatment for individuals in search of sobriety. Our accredited addiction rehab programs feature numerous treatment options, including:
- Residential addiction treatment
- 12 step recovery program
- Non 12 step recovery program
- Rehab for men
- Rehab for women
Stop letting the effects of alcohol abuse control your life. Call Morningside Recovery now at 855-631-2135.