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Alcohol Abuse Info

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Alcohol Abuse, Alcoholism, and Binge Drinking

Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in negative effects such as the following:

  • Ongoing alcohol-related relationship problems

  • Failure to attend to important responsibilities at home, school, or at work

  • Drinking situations that can result in physical injury and health problems

  • Recurring alcohol-related legal problems (such as receiving one or more DUIs)

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse such as binge drinking affect 14 million individuals in the United States and millions of other people throughout the world.

Consequently, the negative effects of alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction present all developed and industrialized countries with major societal and personal alcohol drinking problems.

Indeed, it would appear that millions of people in industrialized countries are in need of professional alcoholism and/or alcohol abuse treatment.

Clearly, educational, medical, and technological advancements have taken place throughout the world regarding alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

Why then haven't more people learned how to avoid the adverse alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects and alcohol drinking problems they exhibit?

Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse Statistics

Unfortunately, the dangers of alcohol abuse and alcoholism do not make a major impact on some people until relevant alcoholism and alcohol abuse statistics are presented.

As a result, the following alcohol facts and statistics will be articulated.

According to a study undertaken by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University in 2005, the following alcoholism and alcohol abuse statistics were discovered:

  • Alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse cost the United States an estimated $220 billion in 2005. This dollar amount was more than the cost associated with cancer ($196 billion) and obesity ($133 billion).

  • Every day in the U.S. more than 13,000 children and teens take their first drink.

  • The 25.9% of underage drinkers who are alcohol abusers and alcohol dependent drink 47.3% of the alcohol that is consumed by all underage drinkers.

  • Every year in the U.S. more than 150,000 college students develop health problem that are alcohol-related.

  • The 9.6% of adult alcoholics drink 25% of the alcohol that is consumed by all adult drinkers.

  • American youth who drinking before the of age 15 are four times more likely to become alcoholics than young people who do not drink before the age of 21.

  • Every year, 1,400 American college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related inadvertent injuries, including motor vehicle accidents.

  • In the United States during 2004, 16,694 deaths occurred as a result of alcohol-related motor-vehicle crashes. This amount was approximately 39% of all traffic fatalities. This amounts to one alcohol-related death every 31 minutes.

Based on these alcohol abuse and alcoholism statistics, it is apparent that drinking problems are widespread in developed and industrialized nations.

Clearly, a focus on relevant alcohol statistics can be helpful in highlighting the essential issues that need to be addressed.

What is Alcohol Abuse?

Many people think that alcohol abuse and alcoholism are the same.

This is misinformation that is not a reflection of accurate facts and research.

Indeed, although both concepts are similar, they are not the same.

Alcohol abuse, unlike alcoholism, does not include physical dependence, loss of control due to drinking, or necessarily an extremely strong desire for alcohol.

A Definition of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse is defined as a pattern of drinking that results in one or more of the following alcohol abuse effects in a twelve-month period of time:

  • Drinking in situations that can result in physical injury. Examples include driving a vehicle or operating machinery.

  • Failure to attend to important responsibilities at work, home, or school.

  • Experiencing recurring alcohol-related legal problems. Examples include getting arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, for damaging someone's property, or for physically hurting someone while drunk.

  • Continued drinking in spite of ongoing relationship problems that are the result of drinking.

It is important to point out that if you observe your friends or family members exhibiting any of these alcohol abuse effects or alcohol abuse problems, consider them as alcohol abuse symptoms or signs of alcohol abuse.

And if your friends or family members exhibit some of these alcohol abuse problems or signs, they may need professional alcohol abuse rehab.

More specifically, your family members or your friends may need treatment for alcohol abuse, alcohol abuse counseling, or they may need to enter a treatment center for inpatient alcohol abuse rehab.

What is Alcoholism?

According to alcohol info and substance abuse research, alcoholism, also known as "alcohol addiction" or alcohol dependency, is a disease that includes the following symptoms:

  • Craving: A strong and continuing compulsion or need to drink.

  • Physical dependence: Withdrawal symptoms when a problem drinker stops drinking after a period of excessive drinking. Such symptoms include: anxiety, sweating, nausea, and "the shakes."

  • Loss of control: The inability to limit one's drinking over time or on any given occasion.

  • Tolerance: The need to drink increasing amounts of alcohol in order to "feel the buzz" or to "get high."

As stated above, alcoholism and alcohol abuse are similar, but not identically the same concepts.

Perhaps the best way to explain this is to make the following statement: whereas all instances of alcoholism involve the abuse of alcohol, not all instances of alcohol abuse can be called alcoholism.

In other words, all forms of alcoholism involve the abuse of alcohol, but not all those who engage in the abuse of alcohol exhibit alcoholic behavior.

The key difference in the two concepts is this: those who abuse alcohol, unlike alcoholics, are not necessarily physically dependent on alcohol, they do not necessarily crave alcohol, they are not necessarily out of control regarding their drinking, and they do not necessarily develop tolerance.

Perhaps an example will help. A person who only drinks once per year and gets drunk on his or her birthday is clearly not an alcoholic and does not have an alcoholism problem because he or she does not exhibit a strong and continuing need to drink, he or she is not physically dependent on alcohol, and he or she has not developed a tolerance for alcohol.

He or she has definitely exhibited an inability to limit his or her drinking this one time (i.e., a loss of control), however, but the other three aspects of alcoholism necessary to call him or her an "alcoholic" are missing.

In this example, the person who gets drunk only once per year has exhibited alcohol abuse or binge drinking but not alcoholic behavior.

In the truest sense of the word, however, this person still could be labeled as having a drinking problem due to the fact that he or she engaged in abusive drinking that resulted in adverse alcohol abuse effects (that is, getting drunk).

What About Willpower and Self-Control?

Many times, people who do not drink, people who do not abuse alcohol, or people who are "moderate" drinkers do not understand why an alcoholic or a problem drinker can't simply use self-control or willpower to refrain from drinking.

What these individuals lack is basic alcohol info.

For instance, in most situations, alcoholism has relatively little to do with willpower or self discipline.

Alcoholics are caught in a negative downward spiral that is characterized by a powerful and uncontrollable need for alcohol that takes priority over their ability to think rationally and to stop drinking.

Indeed, this need to drink for the alcoholic can be as strong as survival needs such as the need for food, water, or shelter.

Even though some individuals and problem drinkers are able to attain sobriety without medical or personal assistance, many, if not most, alcoholics need professional treatment in order to get sober and stay sober.

The positive news, however, is this: through treatment, rehab, training, education, and support, many alcoholics are able to stop drinking, sustain their sobriety, and rebuild their lives.

Causes of Alcohol Abuse

A question that has been raised by numerous individuals is the following: why can some people drink alcohol without experiencing any negative alcohol abuse effects, negative alcohol-related outcomes, major difficulties, or alcohol drinking problems while others cannot?

One answer to this question involves genetic make-up. More specifically, substance abuse researchers have found that having an alcoholic family member increases the risk of developing alcoholism and manifesting an alcoholism problem.

In fact, alcohol info and research show that there may be a genetic predisposition for certain individuals to become dependent on alcohol.

In addition, alcoholism scientists have discovered that different environmental factors can interact with one's genetics, the result of which is a complex system of dynamic variables that can lead to alcoholism or to alcohol abuse.

Examples of these environment factors include the following: an individual's family and friends, an individual's culture, the relative ease of getting alcohol, where and how an individual lives, and peer influence.

Binge Drinking Statistics

According to alcohol abuse info, binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks at one sitting for men and four or more drinks at one sitting for women.

Interestingly, when binge drinking and binge drinking statistics are looked at a little closer, it can be determined that binge drinking is actually a form or type of alcohol abuse.

Not only is binge drinking extremely unhealthy and unsafe, but it significantly increases the possibility of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and the risk of serious injury, and it can also result in alcohol poisoning.

In fact, almost 50,000 people experience an alcohol overdose each year in the United States.

Due to the fact that most cases of alcohol poisoning are from binge drinking, it is not surprising that the alcohol poisoning statistics are highly correlated to the binge drinking statistics.

Though alcohol poisoning fatalities do not happen all that often in the U.S., according to the binge drinking statistics and to the research literature, roughly 52 people every year needlessly lose their lives from alcohol poisoning.

Regrettably, this is a statistic that is compounded by the fact that fatalities from alcohol poisoning are totally preventable.

The differences between the abuse of alcohol and alcoholism were explained above in detail.

Now with the additional input regarding binge drinking, we can add one more bit of critical alcohol abuse information to the discussion.

Unfortunately, the repeated and excessive abuse of alcohol (such as binge drinking) can eventually change from alcohol abuse to alcohol dependency.

And when this happens, the person not only has alcohol abuse problems but also alcoholism problems.

The bottom line is this: if you engage in binge drinking and you cannot manage to drink in moderation, you probably need professional alcohol abuse rehab. 

The Abuse of Alcohol by Teenagers

When people think of alcohol abuse, alcoholism problems, and adverse alcohol abuse effects, many of them invariably key on adult alcohol abuse.

Such a view excludes a major group of problem drinkers who actively engage in the abuse of alcohol, namely teenagers.

How extensive is teenage alcohol abuse in the United States?

According to the alcohol abuse statistics compiled by substance abuse researchers, more than 3 million American teenagers between the ages of 14 to 17 exhibit drinking problems and are "problem drinkers."

Assuming that the above statistics on alcohol abuse are accurate, if the 13-year-old and the 18-year-old and 19-year old teens who engage in the abuse of alcohol are added to this figure, it can be concluded that far more than 3 million U.S. teens are involved in abusive drinking behavior.

Learning about alcohol abuse and adverse alcohol abuse effects, however, is especially important concerning teenage alcohol abuse because this is the age at which much, if not most alcohol abuse commonly starts.

There is, however, some room for optimism.

That is, if today's teenagers can read about and comprehend some of the key alcohol abuse statistics and alcohol facts regarding abusive drinking, such as binge drinking, and then respond to this alcohol abuse information in a healthy and positive manner, many may be able to significantly reduce or avoid the damaging effects that are correlated with alcohol abuse at work, in school or college, or in the community.

A result of this kind of "proactive thinking" for many teenagers may well be that teenage alcohol abuse rehab will be avoided before it ever becomes a concern.

Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse Videos

So that you can better understand the path to alcoholism that many who abuse alcohol will follow, we have included some alcoholism and alcohol abuse videos.

We feel that it is important for people who are interested in learning more about the abuse of alcohol and negative alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects to see and hear directly from various people about their struggles with alcoholism and alcohol abuse.

If you, a family member, or one of your friends has "alcohol drinking problems," seeing what others have gone through and how they attained successful recovery is much more "real" than just about any alcohol abuse information you can read about.

Furthermore, watching these videos may help you uncover various alcohol abuse statistics, alcoholism statistics, information about alcohol facts, alcohol info, and statistics on alcohol abuse that can facilitate further understanding regarding what others with a drinking problem are experiencing.

So make sure you look at these top-quality videos so that you can discover some new alcohol abuse information.

Conclusion: Alcohol Abuse Info

Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in adverse alcohol abuse effects and alcohol abuse problems such as the following:

  • Failure to attend to important responsibilities at school, home, or at work

  • Drinking situations that can result in physical injury or health problems

  • The experience of recurring alcohol-related legal problems

  • Ongoing alcohol-related relationship problems

Unfortunately, alcohol abuse, in most instances, adversely affects every important aspect of an individual's life.

There is a lot of alcohol abuse statistics and facts that need to be examined in order to understand the complex phenomenon that we call alcohol abuse.

It is clear, however, that many people are better able to understand the scope and destruction of problem drinking after they are first exposed to various alcoholism and alcohol abuse statistics.

It can be concluded with a sense of irony, however, that the behavioral, emotional, physical, and social aspects of alcohol abuse that lead to the abuse of alcohol also result from alcohol abuse.

For instance, a person who drinks due to his or her depression may exhibit alcohol abuse problems that in turn further his or her sense of depression.

This is essential alcohol information that needs to be acquired by all the teenagers, pre-teens, and adults in our society if they are to avoid the drinking problems that are linked to alcohol abuse.

For people who already exhibit alcohol abuse problems, however, professional alcohol abuse rehab may be needed to stop the abusive drinking before it becomes even worse and leads to even more destructive and debilitating alcohol-related drinking problems.

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