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We all know that excessive alcohol use can have long-term, detrimental effects on your health. Excessive drinking, including binge drinking, accounts for almost 10% of deaths among adults aged 20-64 years.

According to a study published by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 88,000 people die each year because of excessive alcohol use. Some of these alcohol-related deaths are caused by motor vehicle crashes, violence, or alcohol poisoning. Some deaths also include cancers, such as breast and liver cancer, as well as heart disease. Sadly, excessive alcohol use shortens the lives of those who died by nearly 30 years. (1)

What is excessive alcohol use?

The good news is, people who experience alcohol dependence can get treatment. Like all serious medical problems, we must first answer: What is excessive alcohol use, exactly? The CDC has a great infographic that helps us understand excessive alcohol use. Click the image to open:

excessive-alcohol-use

How can communication help?

Talking to friends and family about excessive alcohol use can help curb the problem. For example, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) reports in a recent survey, that “1 in 3 fifth and sixth graders (ages 10-11) said that alcohol was available and easy to get,” and that by age 15, approximately 50% of kids have already had one drink. Early discussion with your kids about family policies or rules about drinking has a huge effect on deterring alcohol abuse. (2)

Who is affected by excessive alcohol use?

The short answer: everyone. Kids especially are at an increased risk of verbal, physical, and sexual violence when a parent or guardian uses alcohol. According to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), children of alcoholics show increased symptoms of “depression and anxiety, and have lower self-esteem” than children whose parent or caregiver does not consume excessive alcohol. (3)

Where to find help

If you or a family member regularly consumes excessive amounts of alcohol, talk with your physician here at Horizon Family Medical Group. We can help answer questions you may have, and recommend specialists or treatment programs. Call us at 1-800-859-0085. We’re here to help.

Sources

  1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – http://www.cdc.gov/features/alcohol-awareness/
  2. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) – https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/faq/frequently-asked-questions-and-facts-about-alcohol-and-drugs
  3. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network – http://www.nctsn.org/resources/public-awareness/national-alcohol-awareness-month
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