What is Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol abuse is categorized by a pattern of behaviors that stem from alcohol consumption, and result in damage to an individual’s physical and psychological well-being, personal relationships, and ability to work or attend school. Drinking heavily does not necessarily constitute alcohol abuse, although continual drinking can lead to abuse.

Alcohol Death and Injury Statistics

Alcohol has been around longer than any other drug in the world. It is currently the most widely used drug, with 50% of United States adults over the age of 12 reporting drinking at least once. Although most people have no trouble drinking normally, a small portion of the population are prone to alcohol abuse and addictions. The American Council for Drug Education (ACDE) reports that this population includes somewhere between 10 and 15 million people, with 4.5 million of them adolescents. Rates of alcohol abuse are more than twice as likely in men, with 17% of men abusing alcohol and only 8% of women.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) alcohol is responsible for about 79,900 deaths every year. These deaths are directly related to alcohol, and do not include accidents suffered as a result of intoxication. Among other indirect harm alcohol causes, alcohol was the cause of 4 million visits to the emergency room and 1.6 million hospitalizations in the year 2005. Each year, approximately 2,000 teenagers- who are not legally old enough to drink- are killed in alcohol related car crashes, and half of all violent teenage deaths involve alcohol. Alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States for Americans between the ages of 15 and 24 years old.

Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Because of difference in size and body fat, alcohol can have distinctly different effects on men and women. Men tend to have a higher tolerance than women, and their tolerance often decrease further with age.

Impaired judgment can result after 2 to 3 drinks during a 60 minute period. After 5 drinks, the blood alcohol level can generally rise to around 0.10%, which is above the legal limit in most states.

Along with lowering inhibitions, alcohol can disrupt normal sexual functions. Long term alcohol abuse can interfere with the production of the male hormones responsible for hair growth, specifically on the chest or face. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) alcohol California alcohol addiction is often found in conjunction with sexual violence. By impairing judgment, someone under the influence of alcohol can mistake friendliness for flirtation, and be unaware of their resulting aggressive and inappropriate sexual behavior.

Treatment for Alcohol Abuse

If someone in your life is abusing alcohol, then Northbound Treatment Services can help. our clinical staff creates an individualized treatment plan based on the specific needs of each our clients, and offers a wide range of inpatient residential treatment programs. In addition to inpatient care, Northbound offers gender specific treatment, faith based programs for our Christian clients (LINKS), and programs dedicated to assisting our clients with their career or education.

Please contact one of our professionals by filling out the contact form on our website, or calling us at (866) 538-4356.