The Dark Side of Alcohol Abuse
“Drink in moderation” is a popular caveat frequently dispensed to teens and adults with a preference for alcohol. However, the dynamics surrounding the consumption of this substance can make it difficult, even for those with the best of intentions, to follow that advice. The fact that drinking is legal for adults, accessible in a wide range of formulations and rejecting a drink at a social event is more an anomaly than the norm, encourages rather than support alcohol moderation management.
The dark side of recreational drinking is the potential it presents for alcohol abuse. In fact, some addiction experts suggest that recreationally drinking alcohol is akin to playing Russian roulette. Once a concerning issue for teens, college students and young adults, researchers are now reporting a steady rise in binge drinking and alcohol use disorder among baby boomers with a heightened risk for women in any demographic. The most concerning aspect of excessive drinking is its contribution to 88,000 deaths each year in the United States according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also attributes half of those deaths to binge drinking.
Although the consequences of alcohol abuse are well documented, binge drinking increases the risks associated with alcohol abuse. The CDC defines binge drinking as a pattern of consumption that quickly spikes blood-alcohol concentration levels to 0.08 or more. A man who consumes five or more drinks within a two-hour period is considered to be binge drinking. Binge drinking occurs in women who consume four or more drinks in the same time frame. The following risk factors are also significantly increased for women who engage in this activity.
- Alcohol poisoning
- Oxidative stress
- DNA damage
- Breast cancer
- Neurological impairment
A significant concern for people who binge drink even recreationally is that it causes rapid breakdown of the body’s systems which can lead to toxic overload and death. Other risk factors associated with alcohol abuse or binge drinking include:
- Blacking out
- Slip and fall injuries.
- Asphyxiation caused by puking and inhaling vomit into the lungs.
- Irreversible brain damage resulting from alcohol poisoning.
- Heightened risk of causing a vehicular accident. CDC data show binge drinking is a primary factor in more than 11,000 fatalities that occur in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes.
- The accelerated build-up of tolerance levels which is a significant contributor to alcohol dependence and/or alcoholism.
- Increased risk of experiencing one of 60 illnesses related to alcohol abuse disorders such as high blood pressure, stroke, liver dementia or cardiovascular disease.
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome if binge drinking or alcohol abuse occurs during pregnancy.
Neurological research reveals that habituated alcohol abuse can disrupt the normal function of neurotransmitters in the brain. Early treatment can stop reduce the risks associated with routine alcohol abuse or binge drinking and prevent the progression into full-blown alcoholism.
We at Ebb Tide Treatment Centers believe alcoholics and addicts can and do recover. Recovering from active addiction (Substance Abuse Disorder) does not have to be a long, painful process. With the help of Ebb Tide’s caring and experienced staff, you and your loved ones will learn, and take proven steps necessary to achieve success by maintaining lasting sobriety. The goal of Ebb Tide Treatment Centers is to restore lives and families. With our help, you can regain control of your life from addiction and start living happily again. Your new life is just a phone call away. Call us today at 561-508-8330 or visit us at.
Ebb Tide Treatment Center
400 Executive Center Dr. Suite 209
West Palm Beach, FL 33410