According to the most recent CDC statistics, there are approximately 80,000 alcohol related deaths in the United States each year. Alcohol abuse is considered one of the most preventable causes of death in the US, alongside tobacco use and poor diet and lack of regular exercise.
Alcoholics Aren’t Always Easy to Spot
The most prolific stereotype surrounding alcohol abuse is that every addict is destined to end up in a drunken, slovenly heap in a back alley. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Sadly, the reality of alcoholism in today’s society often looks like the people we know, respect, love and depend on in our daily lives.
Sure, we tend to think of college keggers and hole in the wall dive bars when we consider alcoholism, but studies have shown that a large majority of Americans struggling with alcohol abuse have become so adept at hiding their addiction, the disease may be overlooked until some event brings it to light.
Short-term and Long-lasting Effects of Alcohol on the Body
The physical effects of alcohol abuse are devastating to the human body, and this is apparent in all alcoholics’ bodies on some level. However, the more blatant tells like a rosy nose or shaking hands are easier to cover than deeper physiological changes that occur from within. When the body cannot process alcohol properly, it inevitably leads to a breaking down of internal organ function.
Whether a person staggers, stumbles, falls, or passes out cold; alcohol is no friend to equilibrium. Not only does one’s balance suffer, but impaired judgement, slow reaction time, and even death is possible when over-indulgence of alcohol occurs.
It’s the long-term effects of alcohol accumulation in the body that result in organ failure such as cirrhosis of the liver, heart diseases, and even some cancers.
Alcoholism is on the Rise in Women
Historically, binge drinking has been perceived as a male inclination, but newer studies that women are quickly catching up to their counterpoints in this area of alcohol addiction. Beverages marketed toward women are only partly to blame for this increase, and data shows that the rise in female alcoholism is likely to continue without major changes in societal standards.
Aside from the effects that alcoholic beverages have on the body, the dangers to women involving sexual assault, driving accidents, domestic abuse, and are amplified empirically the more a female drinker imbibes.
Moms Got MADD, and Drunk Driving Deaths Decreased
If you have ever been in a situation where a friend or family member insisted they were sober enough to drive, there is no better way to avoid tragedy than by assigning a designated driver or calling a ride or taxi for that person.
Not only will you help them arrive home alive, but you have the peace of mind that they won’t be endangering others sharing the road. Thanks to programs like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) deaths by drunk drivers have decreased immensely. Please, don’t drink and drive.