ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — You hear a lot about the dangers of tobacco and an unhealthy diet, but alcohol use is the third leading cause of preventable death in the US. Now, a report shows 32 people in the United States are killed every day in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 45 minutes. Alcohol deaths
Americans are not strangers to alcohol. But a new report from the CDC shows too much drinking may be even more harmful than some realize!
The four-year study found that one out of every eight deaths that occurred in adults ages 20 to 64 was due to injury or illness caused by excessive alcohol use. And, among those aged 20-34, one in four deaths were attributable to drinking! Over-use of alcohol can increase the risk of harmful events, such as motor vehicle crashes, drownings, falls, violence, suicide, alcohol poisoning, and risky sexual behaviors. It’s also been linked to illnesses like liver disease, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive issues, memory problems, and depression. But quitting isn’t always easy.
Veronica Valli, Sober Coach and Author of Soberful says, “We can see through the research that people can spend 10 years from the moment they wake up and think ‘ugh is there something wrong with my drinking’ until actually stopping.”
According to Harvard Health, if you’re trying to curb your drinking habits, you might want to: set a drinking limit goal, write down all the benefits of cutting back, eliminate all alcohol from your home, and keep a diary of your behaviors. And, most importantly: get support!
“The number one thing is don’t do it alone. Community is so important.” Explains Valli.
Helping you stay healthy – and sober.
The largest recent study in England found that 16-to-25-year-olds were the most likely to not drink at all. However, according to the 2019 national survey on drug use and health, about 70 percent of people of all ages reported that they drank alcohol in the past year and 55 percent reported that they drank in the past month.
Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.
ALCOHOL DEATHS ON THE RISE
BACKGROUND: Alcohol use disorder is considered a pattern of drinking that involves problems controlling the drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, or continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems. It can also involve having to drink more to get the same effect or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking. Unhealthy alcohol use includes any alcohol use that puts your health or safety at risk and causes other alcohol-related problems, which can include binge drinking. Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking where a male has five or more drinks within two hours, or a female has at least four drinks within two hours. If the pattern of drinking results in repeated significant distress and problems functioning in your daily life, you most likely have alcohol use disorder.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Studies have revealed that 29.1 percent of the U.S. population has experienced an alcohol use disorder at some point in their lifetime, and only 19.8 percent of those seek treatment or ask for help. Signs that a person’s behavior has progressed to an alcohol use disorder typically involves their nutritional habits. As alcohol misuse occurs, people often neglect their nutritional health. They may show signs of malnutrition, such as a gaunt appearance, hair loss or thinning, and dark circles under the eyes. The brain and all the tissue in the body need thiamine (B1) for healthy functioning. Individuals with an alcohol use disorder may be suffering from a thiamine deficiency, among other nutritional deficits. Alcohol has immediate effects on the body that include slowed reaction times, blackouts, trouble with motor coordination or an inability to walk properly, impaired judgment and risk-taking without full consideration of the consequences (such as drunk driving), memory impairment or memory lapses, and slurred speech.
POTENTIAL TREATMENT: According to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, a medication for heart problems and high blood pressure may also be effective for treating alcohol use disorder. The study presents joint evidence from experiments in mice and rats, as well as a cohort study in humans, suggesting that the medication, spironolactone, may play a role in reducing alcohol drinking. Previous research has shown that mineralocorticoid receptors, which are located throughout the brain and other organs and help regulate fluid and electrolyte balance in the body, might play a role in alcohol use and craving. The current study sought to expand this line of research by testing spironolactone, a medication with multiple actions, including blocking mineralocorticoid receptors. “Just like for any other medical condition, people with substance use disorders deserve to have a range of treatment options available to them, and this study is an exciting step in our effort to expand medications for people with alcohol use disorder,” said Nora Volkow, MD, director of National Institute on Drug Abuse.
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