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How Dangerous is Alcohol?

The ubiquity and legal status of alcohol may cause one to falsely believe that alcohol is less harmful than drugs. Excessive alcohol use and alcoholism are extremely dangerous and responsible for countless deaths and major health complications. The way that alcohol interacts with the brain and body makes it one of the most dangerous and potentially lethal substances that a person can use.

According to the Center for Disease Control, “Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years. Further, excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years.” Alcohol disrupts an individual’s decision-making process, which can lead to injuries such as motor vehicle crashes, falls, drowning, and burns. The CDC explains that immediate effects of intoxication can lead to “Violence, including homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence; Alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels; Risks sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners. These behaviors can result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV; Miscarriage and stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) among pregnant women.”

The health effects of alcohol are just as harmful in the long-term as the short-term.  The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains that can lead to major long-term health problems in the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, and increase the risk of developing cancers in the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breasts. Drinking also compromises the immune system. The NIAAA explains, “Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease.  Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much.  Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.” Chronic alcohol use can also increase the risk of cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, high blood pressure, and stroke.

You do not have to suffer from diminished health as a result of addiction and alcoholism. Recovery is possible, and you can build a happy, healthy future by making the decision to seek help today. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers adult programs for men and women that ensure a safe location where clients can relate to staff and other clients in similar walks of life and learn to rebuild their relationships and roles within their communities. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431