Alcoholism 7Alcohol is such a commonly used substance in this country that it is easy to assume that it must be relatively harmless. But it is important to keep in mind that alcohol is a highly addictive substance. It is all too easy to transition from light drinking to something far from healthy.

Heavy drinking increases a person’s risk for many kinds of problems including physical, medical and psychological.

Physical Alcohol Risk
Alcohol is responsible for a large number of physical injuries in the U.S.

  • 60 percent of deadly burns and drowning
  • 50 percent of traumatic injuries and sexual assaults
  • 40 percent of deadly falls, fatal car crashes and suicides

Medical Alcohol Risk
Drinking too much damages the body in ways that lead to many kinds of serious health concerns. Overdrinking increases a person’s risk for:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Liver disease
  • Multiple forms of cancer
  • Stroke
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Birth defects

Psychological Alcohol Risk
Around 18 million Americans have a diagnosed alcohol misuse disorder. Many more live with alcohol abuse and dependency without ever being diagnosed or seeking help. People who have developed a psychological dependency on alcohol face greater chances of:

  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Relationship problems

Misusing and abusing alcohol is also linked to legal problems. Heavy drinkers are more likely to be arrested or have their driver’s license suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol. They also miss more days at work and have trouble keeping up with demands on the job.

It is hard to pinpoint the moment when alcohol consumption transitions from a matter of light, social use into an area of misuse and associated alcohol risk. There are diagnostic tools which can assess your current alcohol use. If people around you are concerned or if you feel unable to curb your current level of drinking, contact Family Guidance center and request a simple evaluation.