Easily available across the country, alcohol has a regular presence in the American society. While consuming alcohol moderately does not do much harm, drinking too much and too often can certainly create a problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 88,000 Americans lose their lives each year due to excessive alcohol use, making the substance the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the country.
Though both consuming alcohol and smoking marijuana are known to take a toll on the user’s health, a new study suggests that Americans perceive alcohol as more harmful than the highly addictive drug marijuana. According to the report released recently by DIG Insights, a global research firm, about 27 percent of Americans view alcohol as “very harmful,” as against 16 percent who think the same about marijuana. Commenting on the findings, Rory McGee, research director for DIG Insights, told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “We’re certainly not commenting on what is and is not harmful, but those are the attitudes in America.”
The reason behind the common perception that alcohol can cause far more damage than marijuana is that the former is the most socially accepted drug in the U.S. Today, alcohol has become synonymous with American culture. Festivities, events, sports, concerts, innovative promotions and happy hours revolving around pints, pitchers, cocktails, and pegs are on the bucket list of Americans of all ages. More and more Americans are seemingly getting trapped in the immensely seductive glitz of the latest brands of spirits and alcoholic beverages for every occasion that makes one feel on top of the world.
All over the U.S., millions of people struggle with a weakness for alcohol. Whether it’s evading a problem or escaping from a crisis, simply another social occasion or coping with a tragedy, a drink seems to have the answer to all problems in life. No wonder, alcohol is the most effective antidepressant at the moment but the negative effects often show up in the long run. It is a startling fact that alcohol-related deaths claim more lives in the country than all intoxicants combined. What is even more startling is that lawmakers are questioning the legalization of marijuana but nobody seems to be wringing their hands over alcohol.
In the wake of the huge popularity of alcohol across neighborhoods and communities in America, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), in an effort to create awareness about alcoholism as a chronic disease, has declared the month of April as the Alcohol Awareness Month (AAM). Since 1987, AAM is observed every year to help the public understand the harmful effects of excessive alcohol consumption and to reduce the stigma associated with alcoholism. This year’s theme, “Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery,” aims to educate people, the youth in particular, about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism.
Unfortunately, alcoholism is a reality in US
Trevor (name changed), 27, California is a shy and self-conscious, small-town simpleton who made it to the high-rises of San Francisco’s financial district. He has found great success in his professional life but his personal life is full of self-pity and anxiety. He suffers silently from several insecurities and is never able to lead a fulfilling social life. He secretly admires his extrovert colleagues who know the art of living life to the fullest in a fabulous big city.
It was one of those depressing days when Trevor was overburdened with office work and he felt he needed to unwind. He made a spur-of-the-moment decision to join his colleagues for a drink in the next-door pub. A few shots of tequila made him feel light, leaving him with a warm fuzzy feeling. More shots made him as talkative as a magpie and in no time he ended up on the dance floor jumping around energetically.
Puzzled at Trevor’s newfound super confidence and outgoing nature, some of his colleagues even came up to him asking whether he was high on cocaine, refusing to believe that alcohol could have such an effect. He was fluctuating between jubilant to furious to heartbroken, unable to keep the last shreds of his dignity intact. Finally, he curled up in a corner of the couch, sobbing uncontrollably and confessing his deepest secrets in public.
The truth was the drinks depressed the inhibitory neurons, which caused an excitatory response in certain areas of Trevor’s brain. As a result, he didn’t know where to stop and he landed up being the annoying person he never really wanted to be. It all starts with a small peg, which, over time, triggers the urge to indulge in binge drinking, eventually resulting in dependence.
Studies suggest those who drink excessively face a greater risk of health hazards, such as liver damage, impaired brain functioning, and even cancer. Apart from depression, mood swings, anxiety and eating disorders, they are vulnerable to high blood pressure, heart disease and osteoporosis, among other ailments.
Journey to recovery
Excessive alcohol consumption endangers the body, brain and nervous system of the consumer. The accompanying problems and side effects begin to surface when a person is under the influence of alcohol or is in the process of withdrawal. The NCADD says that alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the U.S., with 17.6 million Americans suffering from the effects of alcohol abuse. But unfortunately, less than 8 percent of them ever seek the much needed professional alcoholism treatment program.
Alcoholism is a severe illness that affects millions across the U.S. Life for an individual affected by alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a constant search for the next drink. Sovereign Health understands the plight of someone who is unable to discontinue the use of harmful substances like alcohol despite the negative impact on his/her life. Our customized alcohol addiction treatment programs are tailored to individual needs in order to treat the person holistically. Sovereign Health of San Clemente can help reverse the damaging effects of drinking too much alcohol by addressing the underlying causes of alcoholism in individuals whose pain has led to such an addiction.
If you or your loved one is battling alcohol addiction, get in touch with Sovereign Health to gain access to the latest and innovative alcohol rehab programs at our state-of-the-art alcohol treatment centers in California or in other locations in the U.S. Our residential treatment facilities are well known for their alcohol detox programs.
Whether you are looking for help or information to identify the signs of alcoholism or alcohol addiction treatment centers in California or at a place closer home, call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 819-0427 or chat online to know about the most effective alcohol rehab programs at our reliable rehabilitation centers.