Are you aware that the use of alcohol is associated with certain cancers? Every year alcohol problems cost our country around $235 billion dollars. Did you know that around eighteen million people in the U.S. either suffer from alcohol abuse or alcoholism and sadly, 1 out of every 4 children today are growing up in a home environment that has an alcohol problem?
The use of alcohol and alcoholism is among the ten leading causes of disability and death worldwide.
In the United States, eleven percent of women and eighteen percent of men drink more alcohol then recommended by the federal dietary guidelines "on any given day" according to a Medline Plus report. Eight percent of men and three percent of women according to a new study are considered to be "full-fledged heavy drinkers." This shows that a huge majority of Americans are staying within the recommended guidelines of 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men but, the abuse of alcohol still remains highly problematic in the United States.
Adolescents and Alcohol
Alcohol use among young people has decreased but not nearly enough. Unfortunately alcohol isn't just a problem among adults. Alcohol is also used by young people more than marijuana or tobacco today. Alcohol is a preferred drug of choice among adolescents which is worrisome. The earlier a young person drinks alcohol, the higher the risk of becoming dependent in the future is. The good news is that Monitoring the Future survey results show that the use of alcohol among eighth, tenth, and twelfth grade students is lower now than it was in 1975. Even though underage drinking is lower now than it was in 1975, the use of alcohol among young people is still way too high.
Alcohol Use to Relieve Pain Discomfort
Alcohol relieves pain and many people suffering from chronic pain drink to relieve their discomfort. Current research results suggest that up to 28% of individuals suffering from chronic pain drink alcohol to reduce their suffering. There are several risks involved with using alcohol for the relief of pain though.
In order for a person to receive the maximum pain relieving effects from alcohol, they have to consume more alcohol than what's considered to be daily moderate alcohol use. Eventually they become tolerant of the amount of alcohol needed to receive pain relief and have to increase their consumption. Moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with 1 drink a day for women and up to 2 drinks a day for men. A standard drink in the United States is 12 ounces of beer or 8 ounces of malt liquor or 5 ounces of wine. 1.5 ounces (shot) of 80 proof distilled spirits or liquor, for example gin, rum, whiskey or vodka.
Mixing Prescription Medicine and Alcohol
Mixing pain medications with alcohol carries harmful risks. There are serious risks a person takes when they mix alcohol with medications that relieve pain and most people don't realize they're even putting their life in danger. Many people suffering from pain take acetaminophen (Tylenol) and when mixed with alcohol can cause acute liver failure. Mixing aspirin with alcohol increases a person's risk for gastric bleeding. Opiate pain medications are commonly prescribed to people suffering from pain but when combined with alcohol, can lead to an overdose. Combining alcohol with most drugs can be dangerous, possibly even lethal.
Cancer and Alcohol Consumption
Most people don't realize that the consumption of alcohol can contribute to cancer. According to a new report, one out of thirty cancer deaths in the United States is associated with alcohol and the connection is highest with breast cancer. Fifteen percent of breast cancer deaths each year are related to the consumption of alcohol. You may think you can reduce your risk of cancer by reducing your alcohol intake but there isn't really any 'safe alcohol consumption limit'. 30 percent of all alcohol related deaths according to a report were associated with consumption of 1.5 drinks or even less than that a day.
Most people don't realize that alcohol is a "cancer-causing agent". Studies that have been done in the past show that alcohol consumption "is a risk factor for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and rectum and breast cancer in women. Six thousand cancer deaths related to alcohol each year are associated with cancer of the mouth, throat, and esophagus in men and breast cancer in women.
Fetal Alcohol Exposure
Fetal alcohol exposure is very serious because alcohol is passed from the mother's bloodstream to the developing baby's bloodstream. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy interferes with the development of the unborn child's brain, critical organs and body parts. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), fetal alcohol exposure is the "leading cause of birth defects" in the U.S. but, it's also a 100 percent preventable too.
The excessive use of alcohol can result in very serious medical conditions. Liver disease, heart disease, pancreatitis, short term and long term harm to the brain, as well as cancer. It may surprise you to know that among the heaviest women drinkers, twelve percent were between the ages of fifty one and seventy and for men the heaviest drinkers were thirty one to fifty years old. Most people that abuse alcohol don't receive help which is unfortunate because today, there are many different options available to help a person successfully overcome their use.