Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are a big problem everywhere. Almost everyone knows someone who has suffered with this disease or who may have struggled with it themselves. It’s common knowledge that alcohol abuse is bad for your health, but do you know the facts?Listed below are seven facts about alcohol abuse:
- Nearly 14 million Americans—one in 13 adults—abuse alcohol. Fewer than 25% of those who need treatment get it in a given year.
- Health risks of drinking include increased chance of cancers of the liver, esophagus, throat, and larynx, as well as cirrhosis, immune system problems, brain damage, and heart problems.
- Nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
- Drunk driving accounts for more than 10,000 deaths annually.
- One-quarter of all emergency room admissions, one-third of all suicides, and more than half of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence are alcohol-related.
- Alcohol consumption may not be consistent across time. Some people may increase their consumption as a response to age-related stresses, such as the loss of employment, widowhood, or bereavement.
- The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that drinking alcohol while on medications, such as antihistamines, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, or aspirin, can be potentially fatal.
If you’re fighting alcohol addiction, or if you want to help someone you care about, call the 100% confidential National Helpline at 1-888-882-1456 or find a treatment center in your area.