When does alcohol consumption turn into an alcohol problem?

When does alcohol consumption turn into an alcohol problem?

People do not set out to become an alcoholic or develop an alcohol use disorder. Most people who develop alcohol-related problems progress through specific stages of drinking before developing into an alcohol use disorder. Reasons for increased alcohol consumption fall into experimental or societal reasons for consuming alcohol. We often see increased drinking associated with holidays, sporting events, weddings, and other celebrations across America.

The reality is drinking alcohol has now developed into an acceptable social activity for those who are 21 years or older. However, the national campaign advertisement from many alcohol manufacturers will insist that a person drink responsibly. This is not an easy task for many people who develop alcohol-related problems, in some cases for these individuals the idea is counterintuitive.

While the idea sounds great for those who can drink one alcoholic beverage and leave it alone, many people with an alcohol-related problem do not have the ability to stop drinking once they begin consuming alcohol and therefore the alcohol problem begins to develop.

The problem is the inability to stop drinking alcohol or leave the substance alone. This is because alcohol by its very nature is an addictive substance. So, when a person is consuming alcohol into their body they are knowing and willingly ingesting an addictive substance into their body. However, the surgeon general warning does not mention on the bottles that it’s addictive.

There are only two warnings that must be placed to consumers on an alcoholic beverage required by law. The Government warning must-read “According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because the risk of birth defects or Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery and may cause health problems.

I know “May cause health problems” is the warning that should indicate the warning for consumers to be careful. If the warning read “Can cause addiction” or Prolonged usage of alcohol has been associated with developing alcohol-related problems would more people avoid the substance? I guess we will never know until the Surgeon General requires it to be on the products or our legislators begin to require the alcohol beverage industry to add another label to their products.

So, is it true that a person knowingly and willingly ingested alcohol into their system, and they know the risk associated with the fact that they could become an alcoholic or develop health-related problems as of result of drinking alcohol? I don’t think it’s that clear to people that they could develop an alcohol-related problem.

What is an alcohol-related health problem?

Alcohol-related problems are involved in excessive alcohol drinking. Those that develop more serious alcohol-related problems can develop alcohol use disorders. Here are the most common alcohol-related health problems.

Alcohol-Related Problems with Health

  • Brain’s communication with behavior, ability to think clearly, and motor coordination problems
  • Damage to the heart
  • Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of the heart muscle
  • Arrhythmias – Irregular heartbeat
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver Inflammations
  • Steatosis, or fatty liver
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Immune system issues
  • Various Cancers

The above alcohol-related health problems are all associated with prolonged alcohol consumption. People don’t begin drinking and think these problems can develop in their lives as a result of drinking alcohol. However, we see people whose drinking develops into alcohol use disorders with these problems more than any other population of drinkers.

Why do people use alcohol if it’s so dangerous?

People begin experimenting with alcohol for all kinds of reasons. Some begin before the age of 21 years of age while others begin drinking in college or high school or after they are out on their own with families and well-developed careers. People of all ages drink alcohol at different times during their lifetime. So why is it that some people develop alcohol-related problems while others seem to get away with minimal health-related consequences?

The simple answer is they stop using the substance before alcohol-related health problems begin to develop so they never experience the long-term consequences. Many go longer periods of time in-between drinking episodes and therefore their bodies are re-bound from the physical effects of the substance before major alcohol-related health problems develop.

However, others drink so much and so often that their brain chemistry in the brain changes to the point that their neurochemistry begins to require the substances. Since alcohol is an addictive substance for those with the neurochemistry change caused by excessive alcohol usage this neurochemical change or demand causes a person to desire or crave more alcohol to satisfy the brain changes. This is what causes a person to develop an alcohol use disorder.

Alcohol Use Disorders

An Alcohol Use Disorder or AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using. An estimated 16 million people in the United States have AUD.  Approximately 6.2 percent or 15.1 million adults in the United States ages 18 and older had AUD in 2015. This includes 9.8 million men and 5.3 million women. Adolescents can be diagnosed with AUD as well, and in 2015, an estimated 623,000 adolescents ages 12–17 had AUD. Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

If you or a loved one believes they are suffering from an Alcohol Problem Summer Sky Treatment Center can help you break free from an alcohol use disorder. Our alcohol medical detox program and alcohol use disorder treatment programs have been helping people break free from an addiction to alcohol for over 37 years. Here are some of the alcohol treatment programs we offer people in Texas and across the United States.

Summer Sky Alcohol Treatment Programs

Need Alcohol Treatment Today?

Summer Sky is a Texas-based Alcohol & Drug Rehab that is licensed by The Texas Department of State Health Service (DSHS) and accredited by The Joint Commission. You can reach our admissions department 24 hours a day 7-days a week by calling us at 1-888-857-8857. Let us help you break the cycle of your alcohol use disorder.

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