The hidden dangers of alcohol abuse

The hidden dangers of alcohol abuse-2

Table of Contents

The World Health Organization says nearly 2.3 billion people worldwide are avid drinkers. In the American and European regions, it is estimated that almost half of the respective populations are addicted to alcohol.


Consuming alcohol is considered a social habit in many countries across the globe. But some people take it further than a polite social gesture. Some people engage in alcoholism for its sheer ability to intoxicate. More and more people worldwide are developing alcohol consumption to the level of addiction.


As soon as alcohol intake changes into an addiction, its negative implications start showing in and around the drinker. From the deterioration of physical health to a loss of social relations, there is so much that alcohol and substance abuse can cause.


It is estimated that in the US alone, about 178,000 deaths are yearly caused by alcohol problems and binge drinking. It is undoubtedly high time to control alcohol misuse. The people with alcohol use disorder must understand the risk of alcohol consumption.


The following sections try to bring to light the health problems that excessive alcohol use can cause. It is in the hope of opening the eyes of the addicts to limit themselves from drinking too much, identify the signs and symptoms of alcoholism in them, and get the necessary treatment for alcohol addiction.


Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at a Glance: A Close Study on the Harmful Effects of Alcohol Addiction and Alcohol Use Disorder

It is a known fact that having an occasional alcoholic drink does not cause much of a problem in the physical and mental well-being of a human being. It is when the amount of alcohol consumed every day goes beyond the standard limit that you need to start worrying. High blood alcohol levels need to be put in check to avoid future complications of alcohol and a potential risk of alcohol use disorder.


To understand whether you are struggling with high blood alcohol concentration or a wrong pattern of alcohol use, it is essential first to understand the ideal levels of alcohol consumption. It helps to trace problematic alcohol use and help reduce alcohol consumption before it gets excessive.


Alcohol Dependence: Different Levels of Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol overdose has significant negative implications. The social and economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption can be very high. This is why people refer to as alcohol lovers should understand the proper limits of alcohol drinking. There are three different levels in which a person can consume alcohol. They are as follows.

  1. Normal drinking
  2. Moderate drinking
  3. Excessive drinking

Although normal drinking levels are considered ideal for the health of a human being, moderate levels can also be accepted. However, as excessive alcohol can cause permanent changes in the brain and cause a gradual dependence on alcohol, it is crucial to avoid this level.


Normal Drinking

Normal drinking is considered the lowest level of alcohol drinking. At this level, the drinker is expected to consume a single drink with about 14 grams of pure alcohol content. As per this permitted amount of pure alcohol, you can consume about twelve ounces of regular beer or five ounces of regular wine. When it comes to distilled liquor like whiskey, rum, or vodka, you can drink up to 1.5 ounces.


Moderate Drinking

Moderate alcohol drinking level features a healthy amount of alcohol consumption for both men and women. It is important to remember that all these drinking levels are advised for adults only and not children. Only the adults who have crossed the legal age to consume alcohol are supposed to drink.


Generally, moderate drinking refers to up to two drinks for men and up to a single drink for women a day. By limiting the consumption of alcohol, moderate drinkers are saving themselves from chronic alcohol misuse or heavy alcohol use.


Even though moderate drinking is advisable, specific categories of people should altogether avoid consuming any form of alcohol. Alcohol intoxication results can be very dangerous for these people. Some of the people who should refrain from consuming a lot of alcohol are as follows.


  • Pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant
  • Children or young adults under the legal age of drinking
  • People suffering from grave health issues
  • People who regularly take serious medications
  • People undergoing treatment for alcoholism
  • People with potential alcohol use disorder relapse
Excessive Drinking

Excessive drinking can always lead to the condition, which is referred to as alcohol abuse or addiction. Addiction is a chronic condition, which is also known as alcohol dependence. Signs of alcohol addiction or symptoms may widely vary in individuals, and the only solution to this condition is treatment of alcoholism.


Excessive drinking is categorized into two:

  1. Binge drinking
  2. Heavy drinking

Binge Drinking

A woman can be considered binge drinking if she consumes more than four alcoholic drinks in a single stretch. Likewise, a man can be considered binge drinking if he consumes over five drinks in a single stretch. At this stage, the drinker will be exhibiting a high tolerance to alcohol and several other problems associated with alcohol.


Heavy Drinking

Another stage of drinking related to alcohol consumption is heavy drinking. A woman can said to be heavily drunk if she has at least eight drinks within a week. A man can said to be heavily drunk if he has at least 15 drinks within a week.


During the heavy drinking stage, it might be difficult for the drinker to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social conditions. They will be too preoccupied with alcohol that substance abuse and mental health and physical health problems will not bother them much.


Heavy drinkers will drink too much alcohol whenever they get a chance. It is advisable to observe the symptoms and causes of heavy drinkers and take them to an expert or someone with an alcohol treatment to offer.


Heavy drinkers might experience various alcohol withdrawal symptoms whenever they stop drinking or do not consume more alcohol.

The hidden dangers of alcohol abuse
Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Addiction, and Alcoholism Health Problems: How Alcohol Affects People With Alcohol Use Disorder?

People who drink alcohol beyond the permitted levels always stand a chance of health risks. From Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Syndrome to Kidney Malfunction, the problems with alcohol can be countless. Individuals with alcohol addiction are supposed to seek professional help for the diagnosis of alcohol use disorder.


Some of the most common effects of alcohol addiction are as follows.

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • High blood pressure
  • Low immunity
  • Mental health problems
  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Dementia
  • Social problems
  • Sexual incompetence

Pregnant women using excessive alcohol can also cause fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol poisoning caused by alcohol misuse is a significant reason for numerous deaths every year, as the Alcohol Drug Information Service reports.


Alcohol use among children can cause severe behavioral problems. Alcohol also causes brain development issues in children and young adults. It is always advisable to use alcohol in moderation. Once a drinker identifies that their drinking tolerance has gone much higher, it is advisable to opt for professional treatment plans under the Centers for Disease Control, like SMART recovery.


Effects of Alcohol, Signs of Alcohol Addiction, and Treatment for Alcohol: Final Word

Alcohol and drug addiction can pose several health issues. From physical problems to mental problems, alcohol may destroy a human completely. Early diagnosis, seeking professional medical help, etc., are essential for alcohol addicts to return to their everyday lives. Using advanced solutions like the NIAAA alcohol treatment navigator can help you find suitable sources for alcohol treatments.


The significant symptoms of alcohol addiction are high alcohol tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, anxiety, weight loss, social awkwardness, etc.

NIAAA alcohol treatment navigator can help treat alcohol addiction, its signs and symptoms. The navigator can find the correct information and sources of help to take care of any problem associated with alcoholism.

Contributing Editor

Troy Wakelin – Co-Founder and Contributing Editor

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