Category Archives: Alcohol Abuse

changes in alcohol abuse

Physiological Changes in Alcohol Abuse

Physiological Changes in Alcohol Abuse

When it comes to all of the addictive substances available in the United States, alcohol is the one that is most commonly used. Statistics from the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence show that one in every 12 Americans suffer from alcohol abuse.

When someone is dealing with alcohol abuse, he or she is also dealing with the physiological changes in alcohol abuse. These can have devastating effects on different parts and functions of the body. Statistics show that 88,000 deaths a year are attributed to excessive alcohol abuse.

The effects alcohol can have on the body over time can impair everyday functions and impact vital organs. These include damage and functions involving the:

  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Brain
  • Heart

Let’s take a closer look at the physiological changes in alcohol abuse when it comes to these vital organs.

Changes in Alcohol Abuse & Your Liver

The liver helps to break down and remove harmful substances from the body. This includes alcohol. When someone abuses alcohol, the liver can become inflamed, leading to disease. This inflammation leads to scarring on the liver referred to as cirrhosis. This destroys the liver, making it more difficult for the body to rid itself of toxins. When toxins and waste build up in the body, the consequences can be life-threatening.

Changes in Alcohol Abuse & Your Pancreas

Alcohol abuse can also have damaging effects on the pancreas. The pancreas helps to regulate the body’s insulin levels and how it responds to glucose. When someone drinks too much alcohol, it can lead to an abnormal activation of digestive enzymes that the pancreas produces. This can cause an inflamed pancreas or a condition called pancreatitis.

When the pancreas isn’t working properly it can also prevent the body from making enough insulin to use sugar. This can cause extremes in blood sugar levels that range from levels either too high or too low. Either case harms the body and can lead to diabetes or other medical conditions.

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changes in alcohol abuse

Changes in Alcohol Abuse & Your Brain

Excessive drinking and alcohol abuse impair a person’s judgment and reasoning. But, the effects on the brain go much deeper. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to frontal lobe damage in the brain. This is the part of the brain that controls emotions, short-term memory, and judgment, among other things. When there is chronic alcohol abuse, there is also the risk of permanent brain damage.

Change in Alcohol Abuse & Your Heart

Alcohol abuse also puts life-threatening pressure on the heart. When a person drinks too much they put themselves at greater risk for:

  • Stroke
  • High-Blood Pressure
  • Irregular Heartbeats
  • Cardiomyopathy (stretching & drooping of the heart muscle)

Long-term alcohol abuse weakens and thins the heart muscle. This prohibits the body from pumping blood effectively, leading to the problems mentioned above which can be life-threatening.

Other Physiological Changes in Alcohol Abuse

Besides the impact alcohol can have on the organs, it can also lead to other health issues because excessive drinking lowers the immune system. This impacts your body’s ability to fight off disease and makes it more susceptible to illnesses like tuberculosis and pneumonia. Drinking excessively even just one time slows your body’s ability to fight disease, even 24 hours after being intoxicated.

The effects of alcohol abuse can also be seen in reproductive health. Alcohol abuse in men can lead to erectile dysfunction and a lowered libido. Women may experience irregular menstruation cycles or may stop menstruating altogether, leading to fertility problems.

Alcohol abuse can also increase the risk of developing certain types of cancers like:

  • Breast cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Oral cancer
  • Throat cancer

It can also take its toll on bones in the body, making bones even more fragile and at greater risk for fractures in the event of a fall. Muscle weakness, cramping, and even muscle atrophy can occur with long-term excessive drinking.

Seeking Help from Arizona Alcohol Treatment

For those who may be abusing alcohol, realizing the need for help may be most difficult.  Desert Cove Recovery, Arizona alcohol treatment facility, is here with a variety of treatment programs. For more information, contact us and one of our highly trained staff members will contact you. Let us help you get on the path to recovery and better overall health.

DUI in arizona

Effects of DUI in Arizona & Beyond

Effects of DUI in Arizona & Beyond

Among the most alarming displays of alcohol abuse is the problem of driving while under the influence. There is potential for devastating self-harm, but also the staggering loss of innocent lives taken by someone who simply tried to drive while inebriated is hard to bear. The effects of DUI in Arizona and across the country are a national tragedy, resulting in an average of 28 deaths per day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But the costs are staggering from financial, social, and interpersonal perspectives as well.

Frequently, the costs of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) are listed as direct costs and indirect costs, also being referred to as “hidden” costs. Those hidden costs are hard to quantify when you factor in some of the most damaging repercussions of alcohol abuse. These can include the erosion of family trust, higher divorce rates, the loss of friends or promotions at work that never came because management began to have doubts about an alcohol abuser’s abilities to handle the job.

DUI in Arizona

Straight off the books, a DUI in Arizona for a first offense under a “standard” conviction results in a 10-day incarceration, fines of about $1,500 and an $80 monitoring fee. Screenings for substance abuse diagnosis and counseling are required and licenses can be suspended 90 days or revoked for a year. An interlock device is also attached to the driver’s car for 12 months.

The so-called “standard” offense in Arizona is the term used for a DUI offense in which the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than 0.08 percent, but less than 0.15 percent. If the BAC is between 0.15 percent and 0.2 percent – termed an “extreme” DUI incident – the penalties go up accordingly. There is also a “super extreme” category for BAC levels above 0.2 percent and an increase in penalties for repeat offenders.

Furthermore, a driver convicted of a DUI in Arizona can also be charged with endangering the welfare of a child, reckless driving and other traffic offences that depend on the circumstances and on the level of alcohol in the driver’s bloodstream.

Among the direct costs, a conviction of DUI invariably results in significantly higher insurance rate among those convicted. This factor hits teenagers the hardest, given the risk pool they are thrown into. Arizona has a zero-tolerance rule that results in a DUI conviction for a teenager found driving with any alcohol in their system.

Commercial drivers in Arizona are also subjected to stiffer rules with a DUI conviction available for drivers with just 0.04 percent BAC levels.

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Effects of DUI in Arizona

“Sobering Stats”

In 2015, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention calculated their list of hidden costs related to alcohol abuse. The Washington Post reported on these, calling the list “a pile of sobering stats.” This list totaled $249 billion per year and included early mortality, which was given a value of $75 billion. It also included loss of work productivity ($82 billion), health-care costs ($28 billion), crime ($25 billion) and car crashes ($13 billion).

But what about those attorney fees, insurance rate hikes and other costs? According to BACtrack, a maker of blood alcohol detection devices, the effects of DUI or DWI convictions vary from state to state, averaging around $20,000 for a first time offense. This doesn’t include the possible loss of a job or harm done to property or to a person.

In Texas, the effects of DUI, excluding harm to property or people, range from $9,000 to $24,000. In Illinois, the state government estimates an average cost of $14,660 for a first-time offence.

Some organizations have gone as far as calculating the effects of DUI as including the costs of taking bus, train or taxi to work given the loss of driving privileges.

Off the charts, how can you put a price on the damage done to personal relationships, the effects of unpredictable and self-destructive behavior has on children in the household or the increased divorce rates? And how can you calculate the cost of the emotional damage done to the survivor of an alcohol-related traffic accident?

MADD Applauds Arizona

According to the highly respected MADD organization (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), “on average two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetimes.”

The good news for Arizona also comes from the MADD organization, which unsmilingly rates each state according to their efforts to control drunk driving. In their five-star rating system, only four states merit a 4.5 star rating: Maryland, Mississippi, West Virginia and Arizona.

According to MADD, Arizona earns a full star for their use of interlock monitoring for all those convicted with alcohol-related driving offences, a full star for the use of sobriety checkpoints, a star for child endangerment laws and a star for their zero-tolerance on those drivers who refuse to take a breathalyzer test.

The state falls short on their license revocation policy, where MADD awarded Arizona half a star. Under the MADD rating system, the lowest rating is 1.5 awarded to one state: South Dakota. No states, according to MADD, are currently earning a five-star rating.

If you or someone you know engages in excessive drinking, contact our staff at Desert Cove Recovery today. Our accredited rehab facility will work alongside you as you start your recovery.

Deep Brain Stimulation May Treat Severe Alcohol Addiction in the Future

Despite all the attention that has been paid to the current opioid crisis, alcohol addiction hasn’t gone anywhere. According to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, rates of alcohol use disorder rose by just over 49 percent in the US population in the years 2001-2013. One in eight adults meets the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Mild Electrical Current Used

Researchers at Stanford University have found that deep brain stimulation (DBS) could be a possible treatment for even the most severe cases of alcoholism. The results of the study, which were published in the journal Neurosurgical Focus, involves sending a mild electrical current through the affected person’s brain.

How Body Responds to Alcohol

When alcohol is consumed, the brain naturally releases dopamine. This is the body’s “feel good” neurotransmitter, which is released during pleasurable activities, like watching a movie, eating a good meal, exercising or having sex. When the brain becomes overstimulated by drinking alcohol, it associates alcohol with pleasurable experiences.

If that person continues drinking regularly and consumes large amounts of alcohol, the brain becomes desensitized to the release of dopamine. Alcohol no longer provides the same level of enjoyment it once did. The person needs to drink more alcohol to feel pleasure from the experience.

The Slide Toward Addiction

The slope toward addiction starts at the point when the brain compensates for alcohol’s depressant effects by increasing its glutamate function. Glutamates cause cells to increase their level of activity. In the case of someone with AUD, being around alcohol feels exciting and this feeling continues when alcohol is no longer present. He has to continue drinking to feel normal and less excited.

The longer someone has been drinking, the harder it is to stop. Regular, high-level consumption of alcohol rewires the brain and affects the decision-making process that tells an alcoholic not to drink.

Deep Brain Stimulation Technique for AUD

Deep brain stimulation is already being used to treat Parkinson’s Disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Scientists have also noticed that this type of therapy also reduced alcohol cravings in patients.

Dr. Casey Halpern, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University, stated that DBS is a minimally invasive form of brain surgery. When treating Parkinson’s, doctors place deep brain stimulators to restore normal functioning to dysfunctional parts of the brain. Patients improve right away when a small dose of current is applied to these areas. Dr. Halpern went on to say that a similar treatment should possibly be able to treat alcoholism.

This may sound like an extreme method of treating AUD. Researchers point out that DBS is one of the least invasive and safest procedures performed by neurosurgeons.

To date, DBS has not been approved as an AUD treatment by the US Food and Drug Administration. This status may change at a later date as more positive evidence is gathered by researchers.

“No Safe Level” of Alcohol Consumption, New Study Finds

A number of reports in the media have touted the possible health benefits of drinking alcohol in moderation. The findings of a new study warn the public that the potential harms associated with alcohol consumption significantly outweigh any potential benefits. Researchers analyzed data compiled on 28 million people living at various locations worldwide. They concluded that there is “no safe level” of alcohol consumption, once the risks were considered.

Alcohol Played Role in 2.8 Million Deaths

The researchers’ analysis showed that alcohol played a role in 2.8 million deaths worldwide annually. Close to seven percent of men and just over two percent of women on the planet die from alcohol-related health issues every year. The results of the study were published in the journal, The Lancet.

Drinking alcohol regularly can negatively impact the body’s tissues and organs. Binge drinking (defined by the Centers for Disease Control as a man consuming five or more drinks in two hours or a woman consuming four or more drinks in two hours) can lead to injuries and alcohol poisoning. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) puts those living with it at higher risk for committing violence and harming themselves.

Alcohol Harms Increase with Amount Consumed

The lead author of the study, Dr. Max Griswold, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, explains that previous studies have found that alcohol has a protective effect from some medical conditions. However, the “combined health risks” associated with alcohol increase with the amount of alcohol consumed. Dr. Griswold explains that the “strong association” between drinking alcohol and the risk of infectious diseases, injuries and cancer offset the protective effects for heart disease in women. He said that having one alcoholic drink daily is associated with a small level of health risks, rising quickly as people drink higher levels of alcohol.

The study authors looked at data gathered from 694 studies to determine how common drinking is worldwide. They looked at 592 studies with data collected in 195 countries to study health risks associated with alcohol.

Alcohol was one of the leading risk factors for premature deaths and disease in 2016. For people in the 15-49 age group, alcohol was the leading risk factor: 12.2 deaths for men and 3.8 deaths for women were connected to it. Alcohol-related deaths in this group included road injuries, self-harm and tuberculosis.

The risk of developing all other health issues increased along with the number of alcoholic beverages consumed daily. The number of harms outweighed the potential benefits, according to the study’s authors.

baby boomers' drinking patterns, alcohol treatment center in arizona

An Alcohol Treatment Center in Arizona Reports on Baby Boomers’ Drinking Patterns

An Alcohol Treatment Center in Arizona Reports on Baby Boomers’ Drinking Patterns

A recent survey conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism revealed several alarming trends in Baby Boomers’ Drinking Patterns.

High-risk drinking increased almost 30 percent over the past decade and alcohol use disorder jumped a whopping 49.4 percent.

Around 40,000 adults participated in the study. There were increases across all demographic groups, but those among baby boomers were the most dramatic.

Baby Boomers and Alcohol Abuse

Adults born between 1946 and 1964 consume 45 percent of the nation’s alcohol supply. The number of boomers who engage in high-risk drinking shot up 65 percent in a decade. High-risk drinking is defined this way:

  • For men, having five or more standard drinks per day, at least weekly, over the past year
  • For women, having four or more standard drinks per day, at least weekly, over the past year

The NIAAA survey also revealed that 3 percent of older people have alcohol use disorder, which encompasses mild, moderate or severe abuse. Given that alcohol problems are compounded by dual diagnoses such as depression and anxiety, this is nothing short of a public mental health crisis.

If you’ve noticed a tendency to drink more as you age, you could be at risk for addiction, poor health and a shortened life expectancy.

Alcohol abuse is a challenging brain disease, but it’s not insurmountable. The more you know about it, the less likely you are to spiral into addiction. Keep reading to learn more and find out how you can get help at a top-rated alcohol treatment center in Arizona.

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Baby boomers drinking, alcohol treatment center arizona

Why Are Baby Boomers Drinking More?

The researchers couldn’t offer concrete reasons for the spike in late-life drinking, but some concluded that the Great Recession of 2007 played a role. Anxiety over long-term unemployment, foreclosure or bankruptcy may have tempted many Americans to drink more.

Some experts pointed out that people in their 60s and 70s are more active and healthy than in past generations. Boomers might think that they can continue drinking as they always have — or drink even more — without consequences. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In older people, every drink causes blood alcohol levels to rise higher than they would in younger drinkers. This is because people lose muscle mass as they grow older. An aging liver metabolizes alcohol more slowly. Aging brains are more sensitive to alcohol’s sedative properties.

In other words, alcohol’s effects are more pronounced in a 60-year-old than in a 40-year-old.

There may be a generational explanation for the spike in older-adult drinking. Many Americans who grew up during Prohibition embraced abstinence as a value and continued to let it guide them. Boomers came on the scene long after drinking became socially acceptable.

Some theorize that the popularity of wines and winery tours is partly to blame. It’s more common for people to stock up on wine and drink at home every night.

Are Baby Boomers Drinking Themselves Into Poor Health?

Alcohol exacerbates chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes that could easily be managed with a healthy diet, frequent exercise and medication. It is strongly linked to higher risk of stroke, heart disease and several types of cancer.

Drinking is especially dangerous for people who take medication. Alcohol either interacts or interferes with hundreds of prescription drugs. Even conscientious people make a common mistake: thinking that it’s safe to have wine with dinner because they’ve completed the prescribed dosage for the day.

Medications are designed to work 24/7. At best, your pills simply won’t perform as well. At worst, the combination of pills and alcohol will wreak havoc in your system.

The health consequences of late-life drinking are starting to show up in statistics. Cardiovascular disease and stroke, which had long been on the decline as Americans became more health-conscious, are holding steady. Deaths from liver cirrhosis are on the rise for the first time since the ‘60s. Emergency room visits for alcohol-related falls and accidents have increased.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 88,000 deaths are attributed to excessive drinking every year. Around half of them are the result of binge-drinking. For women, binge-drinking is consuming at least four drinks in about two hours. For men, binging is having at least five drinks in two hours.

Alcohol Treatment Center Arizona

Some of your friends can have a drink or two now and then and suffer no ill consequences. They observe their limits. They don’t have cravings when they’re not drinking. They don’t feel like they have to lie about their alcohol consumption. If they decide to swear it off altogether, they can easily do it.

If you’re drinking more as you age, we’re glad that you’re reading. You will have less and less control as time goes on. It’s not about willpower; it’s about an insidious disease that takes even the most careful drinkers by surprise.

Contact Desert Cove Recovery today. Our caring, experienced staff can help you make the coming years the best of your life.

detoxing from alcohol dangers

Alcohol Rehabilitation Arizona Takes Look at the Dangers of Detoxing from Alcohol

Alcohol Rehabilitation Arizona Takes Look at the Symptoms and Dangers of Detoxing from Alcohol 

Detoxing from alcohol can cause a variety of symptoms in the person who is experiencing withdrawal. People who consume alcohol often develop a dependency that is both physical and psychological. Even when the user understands the physical aspect of this substance, the psychological effects of withdrawal will often come as a surprise. Consider the value of using the services offered at an alcohol rehabilitation Arizona facility. You can always call the help desk for assistance when you need access to reliable information about alcohol withdrawal. This is a great way to learn about the services offered at Desert Cove Recovery. This will also allow you to get the answers to any questions you might have about how the rehabilitation process works.

Disorientation and Confusion

Withdrawing from alcohol can cause temporary disorientation or confusion. It can be difficult to think clearly or make decisions. However, getting access to reliable information is very important. The first step to recovery is learning about the problem, and it can take some time to sort through the information. This is a necessary part of the process of rehabilitation, which is why there are places to go for help. For example, people who are interested in getting professional help for their drinking problem can find resources at a facility for alcohol rehabilitation Arizona. This is an important option to consider because of the physical and mental effects that can take place when you are detoxing from alcohol. Some addicts try to detoxify alone, but this can be dangerous in many cases. The effect that the symptoms can have on family members, friends or co-workers should also be considered.

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dangers of detoxing from alcohol

Detoxing from Alcohol, Common Problems

There are a variety of symptoms that can accompany the withdrawal of alcohol. These may include night sweats, insomnia, headaches, tremors, nausea, appetite problems and mood swings. There are many other symptoms that can occur as well, so you should understand that there are many ways that the withdrawals can manifest in the human body. The individual differences between one person and another can also make it difficult to tell if a particular problem is happening because of the withdrawal from alcohol. This is an excellent example of how the professional services that are available at an alcohol rehabilitation center can help. In addition to providing the psychological support necessary to get through the withdrawals, these centers also provide access to resources, networks and other social services. This can help a person to learn how to live without drinking, which can be difficult for many alcoholics.

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may vary a lot from one individual to another. There are many differences between people who consume alcohol, and the degree of dependency may also be affected by things like the person’s body weight, muscle mass and any other medical conditions that exist. In addition, the psychological effects of withdrawal are also related to the individual history. This may include domestic violence, childhood traumas and other serious events. Substance abuse is often used to mask pain, and the symptoms can be much worse for people who have untreated traumas that are driving the addiction. If you begin to experience symptoms during the first day after you quit drinking alcohol, then that is a sign that you could need professional help. Making the transition into sobriety is difficult for anyone, but this can be a critical period for certain people.

Severity of Symptoms

Severe cases may require additional intervention, and the rehabilitation process would start later in these cases. For example, some people will experience auditory or visual hallucinations within the first 24 hours after quitting. Existing medical conditions might also be aggravated during this period, which can be dangerous for people who already have heart conditions or high blood pressure. In addition, there is often a good amount of mental disorientation that can occur when you are in the withdrawal period. This can make it difficult to communicate effectively with other people, make good decisions or handle your daily responsibilities. Excessive emotions often accompany the withdrawal period, and this can become dangerous. In serious cases, domestic violence is likely to happen unless there is some kind of intervention.

Alcohol Rehabilitation Arizona

Learn how to get the help that you need in order to deal with the effects of withdrawing from alcohol. There are people who are trained and ready to help you recover from this difficult problem. Protect your family and friends by relying on the services provided by trained and experienced professionals. Dependency on this substance can create symptoms that are uncomfortable, and family members or friends might not be able to understand what is happening. If you are concerned about your safety, and the well-being of the other people in your life, consider using the services provided at a facility for alcohol rehabilitation Arizona at Desert Cove Recovery.

Number of Addiction Recovery Programs Increasing on College Campuses

For many young people, experimenting with drugs and alcohol starts during their teen years. By the time some of them get to college, they have already developed an addiction and been to treatment. Some college campuses are responding to this need by offering specific programs for students in recovery, including sober housing.

A college education is considered part of finding one’s self as a young adult and a necessary step to prepare for certain career paths. For some students, it’s their first taste of freedom in an atmosphere where there are multiple opportunities to party and no one to stop them.

Alcohol Use and Binge Drinking Among College Students

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that approximately 60 percent of college students in the 18-22 age group had consumed alcohol in the previous month. Almost two-thirds of those surveyed had engaged in binge drinking during the same time.

Students living with an addiction or those who are currently in recovery may be reluctant to seek help from their school, even though college counseling centers do offer services for substance abuse. This topic is not one that is usually highlighted in information provided to prospective students and their parents.

Time to Provide Help for Students with Substance Abuse Problems

Recovery professionals feel that it’s time to move past the stigma against people living with addiction, along with the perception that hard partying is simply part of going away to college. Providing help for the students who need it can make a difference between moving on to living well and having life cut tragically short.

College recovery programs vary in philosophy, size and staffing levels. Many of them have specific requirements for how long a student must be clean before enrolling; some of them will make exceptions for students who stay clean once enrolled.

Rutgers University, Penn State and Slippery Rock University are among the schools offering recovery housing to students. The University of Pittsburgh and Temple University are considering implementing the idea.

Perks of Giving up Alcohol for Good: Sobriety Perks

Perks of Giving up Alcohol for Good: Sobriety Perks

While the thought of giving up alcohol might seem overwhelming to some people, doing so can offer numerous long-term benefits. Some sobriety perks include such things as better sleep, better skin and hair, and a reduction of risk for such conditions as diabetes, cancer, liver disease and others. You may also enjoy better relationships with your friends and family. If you are thinking about giving up alcohol, it may be easier when you think about the sobriety perks that you will enjoy instead of focusing on not being able to drink.

Sleep More Without Alcohol

Drinking alcohol disrupts your sleep. In one study that was published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, a peer-reviewed journal, the researchers found that people who drink alcohol before they go to sleep show an increase in alpha waves. Alpha waves are most common when people are awake but in a resting state. This means that your sleep is disrupted. A meta-analysis of 27 studies of alcohol’s effect on sleep found that while alcohol might help people to fall asleep faster initially, it causes them to toss and turn at night and interferes with their REM sleep. This results in fatigue, lower concentration and problems with focusing during the day. When you give up alcohol, you can look forward to better sleep, less fatigue and a better ability to concentrate during the day.

Without Alcohol Your Hair and Skin will Shine

Since alcohol is a diuretic, it can cause you to become dehydrated easily. This may also cause your skin to become less hydrated, leading to complexion problems. When you give up alcohol, you’ll notice that your skin looks fuller and less dry. Ruddiness around your nose and on your cheeks may also fade, and other skin issues may improve. your hair is also likely to improve. It may become shinier and fuller when you give up alcohol for good.

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perks of giving up alcohol

Lessen the Risk of Disease When You Give up Drinking

A huge benefit of giving up alcohol is that you can enjoy substantially lower risks of developing certain diseases. The National Cancer Institute reports that quitting drinking can reduce your risk of developing seven different types of cancer. In a study that was reported in the National Institutes of Health’s Report on Carcinogens, 19,500 cancer deaths in 2009 were alcohol-related, which accounted for 3.5 percent of the total.

In addition to reducing your risk of cancer, quitting alcohol can also help to reduce your risk of diabetes and liver disease. Your liver is responsible for processing liver. When people drink too much alcohol, the liver is unable to keep up and stores glucose as fat. If you have a fatty liver, stopping drinking may allow it to heal so that you can lower your risk of developing liver disease or cirrhosis. Moderate amounts of alcohol may cause your blood sugar to rise while excessive amounts of alcohol may cause it to fall dangerously. This may raise your risk of developing diabetes. Quitting drinking can help you to get your blood sugar under control.

Relationships Improve Without Alcohol

There is no question that alcohol can negatively impact relationships with your family and friends. When you quit drinking, you can concentrate on rebuilding these relationships. Remaining sober may help you to learn how to deal with disappointments and stress in a healthier way.

Lose Weight When You Give Up Alcohol

A great benefit of quitting drinking is that you may find that you lose excess weight almost effortlessly. There are quite a few calories in alcohol. When you stop drinking, you give up those excess calories. As long as you don’t replace the calories with desserts or snacks, you may begin to lose the excess weight that you have wanted to for a long time.

More Money When You’re Not Buying Alcohol

Drinking costs a lot of money, especially if you have been a moderate or heavy drinker or have indulged in expensive liqueurs or wines. Sitting down with a calculator and a pen and paper can be eye-opening. Tally up how much you drank each day both at home and while you were out and look at the cost. It can be very motivating for most people to remain sober when they see exactly how much their former alcohol use cost them each month. A fun thing to do is to put the money that you used to spend on alcohol in your savings and reward yourself for your sobriety with a fun trip.

Embracing sobriety for the long term may seem like a daunting idea, but you may enjoy numerous benefits when you do. Keep reminding yourself of these sobriety perks, and make certain to talk to people in your support network when you experience cravings. Soon, you will be on your way to a healthier and happier life that is alcohol-free.

Sources
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acer.12621/abstract

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/alcohol/alcohol-fact-sheet#q2

http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/twelfth/profiles/AlcoholicBeverageConsumption.pdf

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/drinking-alcohol

alcohol consumption in young men

Alcohol Consumption in Young Men Heightens Risk of Liver Disease

The results of a published study confirm that when young men drink alcohol, they are putting themselves at a higher level of risk for severe liver disease over time. This risk factor depends on the number of servings the young men consume and affects them for up to 39 years, researchers have found.

Hannes Hagström, MD, PhD, from Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet, explained that the precise amount necessary to damage the liver is not clear. Several factors determine alcohol’s influence on an individual’s liver, such as:

• Genetics
• Drinking patterns
• Type of alcohol ingested
• Diet

Multiple Risk Factors for Alcoholism

Dr. Hagström went on to say that the new study suggests that the risks associated with alcohol consumption are already present early in life. It’s likely that the risk increases the longer a man is exposed to alcohol, and that someone with a history of long-term alcohol use is at higher risk for developing severe liver disease.

The researchers looked at data from a 1969-1970 Swedish national population study. All the 49,321 participants (men aged 18-20 years) had been enlisted for conscription, and 43,296 were available to answer follow-up questions in 2009.

The participants filled out questionnaires about their alcohol consumption. The results were as follows:

• 43.2 percent reported 1-5 grams per day
• 4.6 percent reported more than 60 grams per day
• 6.1 percent abstained from consuming alcohol

In the US, a standard alcoholic beverage (5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of liquor) contains 14 grams of alcohol.

Study Participants Followed for Years

During a follow-up conducted over the next 39 years, 2,661 men received a formal alcohol abuse diagnosis. Of these men, 243 were later diagnosed with severe liver disease. The average time from the participants’ conscription to the first diagnosis of severe liver disease was 25.5 years.

Compared to men who didn’t drink alcohol, the risk for an alcohol abuse diagnosis increased moderately for men who reported 1-5 grams per day. It was highly elevated for men who reported a consumption rate of more than 60 grams per day.

The researchers admit that the study has limitations: drinking at a young age is only one part of a person’s lifetime pattern of alcohol use. It didn’t take the effect of binge drinking into account, for example.

This shows that even people who may not be considered addicts, alcoholics or even heavy users are still likely to cause considerable damage to themselves over time.

teen binge drinking

Consuming Alcohol with Parents Increases Risk of Teen Binge Drinking

The results of a number of studies have revealed that underage drinking with parents can lower the risk of heavy consumption. However, Norwegian researchers say that these results don’t give a complete picture.

Health authorities have advised parents against giving alcohol to minors, and rightfully so. Some research studies have discovered a link between underage teens being allowed to try some alcohol with their parents with a lower risk of developing harmful alcohol consumption patterns later in life, but is that really true?

Study Results Vary, Depending on Data Gathering Method

Which one is right? Drug and alcohol researchers Hilde Elisabeth Pape and Elin Bye at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health point out that there is a problem with some of the research that has been conducted to date. They say some of the questions have not been clear enough when distinguishing between different kinds of drinking with parents.

One study which found that drinking with parents had a harm-reducing result asked the question, “Was the latest drinking episode together with your parents?” It didn’t ask how often these drinking episodes occurred.

Pape’s work was published in Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. In it, a number of questions were asked, and the responses led to more detailed information. For example, “How many times during the past 12 months have you been drinking with your parents?” The 15 and 16-year-olds were also asked, “Did you drink with your parents the last time you drank alcohol?”

The answer to the first question determined the effect of drinking with parents. The second one gave the researchers a more complete understanding the situation than previous studies.

More Precise Data Gathering Leads to “Striking” Results

According to Pape, the study results were “striking.” Drinking with one or both parents twice or more within the past year placed teens at a “highly increased risk” of high consumption levels of alcohol and extreme intoxication. Pape also stated that parents who drink with their children “appear to be less intervening and caring than other parents.”

The results of an earlier study found that these parents stood out because they tended to drink quite heavily themselves.

When researchers considered answers to the questions about whom they had been drinking with during their last episode, it could appear as though drinking with parents had a positive influence. The results showed a clear association between a young person having their last drinking session with a parent and drinking less. It appears that drinking with parents leads to lower drinking levels. Unfortunately, this result is misleading.

Drinking with a parent could reflect a situation where a young person had a glass of champagne at a family celebration. The research only tracks a teen’s behavior as a snapshot; it doesn’t do a very good job of monitoring behavior over time.

What this study shows backs up common sense, that more frequent alcohol consumption allowed by parents seems to be an act of endorsing the behavior. Most experts recommend reinforcing responsible drinking patterns as adults, with abstinence being the best choice.