Alcohol abuse

alcohol abuse death

Last Updated February 21st, 2019

Overview of alcohol abuse

Addictions in more than one way are devouring the world. The primary targets of addictions in different forms are the youth, and so are the primary victims. The reason behind this is very obvious. Among all kinds of addictions, alcoholism is the greatest menace to the society. It’s destructive effects impact not only the alcoholics but also the society they dwell in. Statistics show that in the year 2012, 5.9 % of deaths all over the world were caused by alcohol.

 

What is alcohol abuse?

alcohol abuseAlcoholism refers to the aggressive inclination towards alcohol consumption and a gradually growing an extreme dependency on it.

Due to this dependency, alcoholism is always associated with mental and physical disorders and compulsive behavior.

Limited alcohol consumption, even on a regular basis does not count as alcoholism.

It is only when the threshold is exceeded that a person falls into the alcoholic category.

 

Under what circumstances can alcohol abuse become a habit?

There are various social, economic and environmental factors that determine the risk of becoming an alcoholic. The social influence plays a major role here. Half of the alcoholics start drinking when they continuously watch people around them drinking and enjoying its effects. So alcohol consumption begins primarily as a venture and enjoyment. With time, it depends solely on the individual how he can manage the balance between low-risk drinking and high-risk drinking. In most cases, this balance is not maintained and the person tends to become an alcoholic.

A person’s mental conditions partly contribute towards alcoholism. Usually, when a person is depressed or has recently been subjected to traumatic circumstances, he hunts for means to come out of the grave mental state, and during under such pressing circumstances, alcohol seems to be the quickest and effective means of respite. Finally, brain structure and wiring also determine the possibility of a person becoming an alcohol addict. A particular portion of the brain called lateral habenula is involved in making decisions and analyzing right and wrong. The improper functioning of this section increases the risks of susceptibility.

 

What are the primary symptoms of alcohol abuse?

During the first few benign stages, people are not aware of harboring any ill-addiction. The symptoms manifest themselves gradually, especially when things become uncontrollable. Here are few of the alarming symptoms:

  • Alcohol craving, which causes a dire need to consume alcohol at any time of the day
  • Nausea, constant quivering, perspiration, and anxiety when forced to stop alcohol consumption. Combined together, these are called “withdrawal symptoms”
  • Physical and mental dependence on alcohol
  • Lack of tolerance towards people around and their activities
  • Lack of control over one’s activities
  • Frequent hangover and laziness
  • Frequent blackouts
  • Insomnia
  • Irritation about trivial things
  • Losing interest in normal activities of life

 

What are the long-term effects of alcohol abuse?

alcohol abuse deathAlcoholism when allowed to persist for a long span, leads to some permanent damages within the body and mind. Following are few critical and long-term consequences of alcoholism:

  • General effects: Constant tremor occurs which is associated with hyperventilation and anxiety, leading to disturbed sleep cycle. Damage caused to liver results in disturbed bile secretion which might end up in jaundice. Abnormal swelling of parotid gland occurs leading to secretion of sticky saliva. Seborrheic Dermatitis occurs causing dry, reddish and itchy skin.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders: Nausea and frequent vomiting occurs, accompanied by stomach ailments and abdominal pain, which might be an indicator of gastritis. Dyspepsia occurs in many cases due to improper digestion and metabolism. Diarrhea and acute pancreatitis might follow soon. But the major damage is caused due to Liver Cirrhosis.
  • CardioVascular ailments: Nearly 3% of the alcoholics are diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy that might finally lead to congestive heart failure. Palpitations occur in few patients due to arrhythmic heartbeats. Dilation of blood vessels occurs that causes disruption of temperature control within the body.
  • Respiratory diseases: Repetitive chest congestion and bronchitis is observed due to dried-up lung tissues and bronchi. Alcohol also causes severe damage to lung alveoli that in turn causes Chronic Obstructive Airway Disease.
  • Central Nervous System: Seizures and blackouts occur more often that leads to impaired memory at some later point. Peripheral Neuropathy results due to hampered Vitamin B absorption. This further leads to Ataxia or “Loss of balance”.
  • Muscular System: Muscular Atrophy is a common occurrence among alcoholics that causes acute muscle pain in upper arm and pelvic region.
  • Renal Failure: Acute inflammation of kidneys leads to Nephritis which results in blood in urine.

 

Is alcohol a gateway drug?

Detailed research has revealed that alcohol not only causes irreversible damage to the body due to its own effects but also pushes the victim towards more harmful and toxic drugs like cocaine and heroin. It is, therefore, necessary to focus on the victim’s present pathological conditions as well as his possible future addictions when he is deprived of alcohol.

 

Role of Heredity

Recent research findings reveal that children of alcoholic parents are four times likely to drink than children with non-alcoholic parents. There is a particular gene variant present in Asian people that impact their “alcohol metabolism” causing them to experience nausea and palpitation while drinking. These genes govern the functioning of the lateral habenula which determines the extent of alcoholic inclination of an individual.

 

Treatment and prevention

alcohol abuse accidentThere are several recovery and intervention programs that are designed to help individuals overcome alcohol addiction. The amount of time one needs to devote to the recovery center depends upon the severity of the addiction disorder.

A proper medical Detox, prescribed by medical professionals should be taken by instead of taking an informal approach.

Not seeking proper help can result in relapse and even fatal withdrawal symptoms.

Rehabilitation programs are also proven to be effective in case of severe alcohol abuse problems and/or in cases of frequent relapses.

The following preventive measures can help an individual steer clear of alcohol addiction:

  • Learn to cope with peer pressure instead of falling into its trap. One must learn how to say no to such addictive habits, regardless of how pressured he/she feels to conform to social norms.
  • Be well- informed and aware regarding the adverse effects of alcohol on human mind and body. Have more control over your lifestyle and dietary habits.
  • Maintain a safe, nurturing, and abuse-free environment at home/school/work. If someone is showing signs of any mental condition, seek immediate medical help before the person indulges in addictive habits.
  • Establish healthy communication channels with the youngsters and make sure that they are able to communicate about addictive patterns openly.

 

Facts

  • The human brain physically adapts to alcohol consumption. It treats alcohol as a new environment and changes brain connections to perform effectively in the presence of alcohol. But the brain cannot un-adapt from this which results in addiction.

Facts

  • Women absorb alcohol more and their bodies process it slower as compared to men. Thus there is a greater risk of bodily damage in women.
  • In the USA, almost 17 million adults have an alcohol abuse disorder. This is roughly 7% of the entire population.

Facts

  • Similarly, in the USA, around 7 million children live in households where at least one parent is a heavy drinker.
  • Heavy alcohol consumption is the 3rd most preventable cause of death in the USA. It kills almost 88,000 individuals annually.

Related Conditions

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Seek medical help if one has been diagnosed with an alcohol abuse disorder. It is important to openly address this issue with the doctor and with the friends and family members of the affected individual.
  • Rehabilitation and addiction recovery centres are great for chronic alcohol abusers. Seek their services for a long-term treatment.
  • Encourage healthy physical and mental habits of the patient and celebrate small milestones achieved during the process of quitting.

Don'ts
  • Encourage the idea of quitting alcohol suddenly. This will lead to unmanageable withdrawal symptoms and will eventually lead to a relapse.
  • Indulge in shaming the affected person or involve in emotional/aggressive dialogues with him/her regarding the alcohol problem. Discuss matters calmly and with the help of professionals.

 

 

 

Related Conditions

Trending Topics

diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan for diverticulitis diet…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin. Find easy and…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can it protect you…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How is it linked…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the vagus nerve and…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but this was refuted…
dandelion health benefits
Dandelion: Little parachutes of health and wellness for your whole body Dandelions are not just bright looking blossoms that cheer your mind. These are powerpacked with essential nutrients that…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can second-hand smoking kill…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are find it easy…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each spoonful you are…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try CLA supplements, derived…
Top natural diuretics: The instant benefits you can get from nature’s water pills Since diuretic drugs are known to cause side effects, it is better to choose a natural diuretic that…
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin could…
diabetes symptoms in women
FBS Test – Fasting Blood Sugar FBS or fasting blood sugar test is a blood test that is used to determine the level of…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen anytime. Follow these…
back pain relief
Don’t choose pain: 10 truths about your back ache (and how to get relief) Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world. Almost 80% of the entire global…
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk of cancer, and…
What is the exact job of an OB-GYN and why should you consult one? OB-GYN; a doctor who specializes in female reproductive health. Be it pregnancy issues or menopausal problems, you can…
magnesium test
Magnesium Test The magnesium test is a blood test that is generally prsecribed when an individual starts showing signs of…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
geriatric health aging
Geriatric health: Do you still think age is just a number? Aging is an inevitable part of life. But don't let these common geriatric ailments affect you and your…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why not try the…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a tangy flavor to…
Amaranth: Why is this native Peruvian grain called the “crop of the future”? Full of healthy high proteins and gluten-free, the grain, Amaranth, the tasty and ancient pseudo cereal from Peru,…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
Green, brown, & bitter: The instant advantages of including fenugreek in your diet Did you know the earliest usage of fenugreek can be traced back to the Egyptian civilization? Find out…
Ginseng: Top reasons how this root can help you boost energy ( & libido too!) Ginseng - Read more about the complete history behind how this root powder became an indelible part of…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the potatoes) growing close…
Coconut oil woman
Coconut Oil: How one oil dominates the kitchen and the medicine kit too Coconut oil has been a favorite in many Asian kitchens. But more than a cooking oil, coconut oil…
ketoacidosis diabetes
HB1Ac Test HB1Ac test is an important blood test that is used to measure the levels of glycated hemoglobin in…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
Poop chart: Top things you didn’t you your poop could reveal about you Bristol poop chart was designed during the 1990s in order to help doctors identify various types of poops…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the dream food that…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know that pumpkin seeds…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many experts now have…
Dates: The complete list of instant health benefits this dry fruit can bestow Why you should regularly go for dates? Because, these small bulbs of healthy goodness are brimming with essential…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the most powerful antioxidant…
Goji berry: A traditional Chinese berry that packs the best of antioxidants Goji berry is an ancient berry that is considered to be power-packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Which means…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
cold flu sinus treatment
How to beat the common cold, flu, and sinus infection instantly? Can you guess some of the easiest tricks to treat cold and sinus infections? How are these different…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do antibiotics fail against…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does our poop turn…
Horny Goat Weed: Can it improve libido in human beings too? This plant got its name as Horny Goat Weed when one of the goats feeding on the plant…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that rise out of…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in professional circles. But…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You will never believe…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However, how much fluoride…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause chemical and structural…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does it harm some…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
biotin for hair
Biotin: One-stop-shop for shiny hair and an active body! What is common to bananas, eggs, sweet potatoes, and liver? These are delicious and rich in biotin ;…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a healthy mind and…
stevia side effects
Stevia: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another risky additive? Stevia is a plant native to South America.  It has been used as a natural sugar substitute and…
Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of health benefits. Discover…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn to get rid…
dandelion weight loss
Caralluma Fimbriata: How to eat this cactus to lose weight Caralluma fimbriata is a miracle cactus that can be safely consumed by most for losing weight and boosting…
Eustachian Tube : Functions and top home remedies to prevent its infection Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the three important functions…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
chia seeds weight loss
Chia seeds: How to consume this staple Aztec food to get a leaner body Chia seeds: What is the actual reason for its sudden popularity? Why are celebrities swearing by its amazing…
almonds healthy
9 reasons why almonds should be consumed daily Almonds are filled with nutrients and energy and are used since ancient times.  The bitter almonds are chosen…
Vitamin B12: The unknown repercussions of this nutrient deficiency Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamine; involved in the development of red blood cells in the bone marrow.…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is another remarkable addition.…
How cooking with CLA safflower oil can help you lose weight? Read and discover more about CLA safflower oil and how it can aid faster fat metabolism in people…
Top Natural Repellents for Mosquitoes with negligible side-effects What are the best ways to keep mosquitos away from you? Try these natural and 100% safe products…
Stye : The best natural home remedies to ease the pain Styes developing inside the eyelid tend to be more painful whereas external styes are less painful and ooze…
Beginner to Tai Chi? Find the right way to perform this exercise for best results According to the Chinese tradition, it is believed that practicing Tai chi helps in promoting self awareness and…
Helicobacter pylori IGA
Helicobacter Pylori – IgA Test The H.pylori IgA test is a blood test used to identify the level of IgA antigen in the…
folate test
Folate test The Folate test is used to measure and monitor the levels of folic acid in the blood. The…
beta 2 glycoprotein 1 IgG
Beta 2 Glycoprotein 1 IgG Beta 2 glycoprotein 1 antibody test involves detecting and measuring the presence of the IgG class of beta…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
lose pregnancy weight
5 most effective ways you can lose those pregnancy pounds! Are you looking for ways to get back into shape? Scared of crash diets? Don't let your post-pregnancy…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body in ways you…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats to burn fats…
Dunning kruger effect
Medical Mythbusters : How many of these myths did you think were true? Do vaccines cause autism? Does sugar really make kids hyperactive? Don't fall prey to these common health misconceptions!
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
essential amino acids
Amino acids: Building blocks of life for better mood and sex drive! Find out why amino acids are often called as the building blocks of life. And why should you…
CBD oil safe
Cannabidiol benefits: Evaluating the “highs” of CBD Oil The word cannabis paints a picture of addicts. But did you know that CBD oil, extracted from the…
calories healthy
Calories: How to keep a check on these for faster weight loss Did you know you can burn calories while sleeping? Calorie-burning is what causes weight loss. How much should…
Iron Deficiency: 7 major side-effects and steps to overcome them Iron is involved in many vital functions, starting from oxygen transport to healthy fetal development. But what happens…
Valerian Root: The best way to achieve tranquil sleep every night Valerian root is probably one of the oldest and safest way to cure your insomnia. Find out how…
Top 15 fat burning foods you need to start eating from today! Tired of going to gym everyday but seeing no change in your weight? Try these top fat burning…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help you combat the…
Sharpen your brain with these top brain-friendly foods! Did you know your diet could decide how razor sharp your memory is? Or that what you eat…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
PiYo (Pilates + Yoga): Bringing you the best of both the worlds PiYo exercise routine was formulated for people who find it tedious and grueling exercise regimens such as extensive…
Sore Throat: How to treat this throat infection at home? Do frequent cold and cough hamper your daily life? Are these followed by a pain in the throat?…
LFT-test
Liver Function Test – LFT LFT or Liver Function Test is a blood test used to determine the levels of hepatic enzymes which…
CORTISOL_test
Cortisol Test Cortisol test measures the cortisol levels ( produced by adrenal gland) through blood, urine, or saliva sample. The…
ANTIPHOSPHOLIPIDANTIBODY(APL)_IgG
Antiphospholipid (APL) antibody-IgG The Antiphospholipid Antibody testing is a blood test used to determine an autoimmune disorder called Antiphospholipid syndrome linked…