Alcohol is legal, which means it’s readily available and the potential for abuse is high. Alcohol dependency is on the rise in the United States, especially when it comes to teens and women. In the past, men made up the majority of alcohol abusers. Alcohol abuse continues to spread, impacting the individuals, their families and other loved ones, and society as a whole.
Understanding alcohol dependency
Alcohol in the United States
Statistics show that around 75 percent of adults drink alcohol at least occasionally. 50 percent of these drink alcohol on a regular basis, while it’s estimated that around 30 percent of these individuals are alcoholics and presently abuse alcohol.
Why is it on the rise?
It’s not possible to pinpoint a single cause for the increase of abuse. Significant factors known to contribute to the disease include stress and the current state of the economy. Alcohol temporarily reduces stress and allows you to relax, but it gets to a point where it stops working, and you need more and more to get the same effect. This is how alcohol abuse starts. Parents also play a part in determining whether children drink, as 73 percent of teens stated that their decision to drink or not depended on whether their parents consumed alcohol.
Understanding abuse and alcohol dependency
Alcohol abuse occurs when an individual continues to drink even though they are experiencing negative consequences from drinking. These can include missing work, traffic infractions, a strain on relationships with friends and family, and financial difficulties among others. Another form of abuse is binge drinking. Physical dependence can also occur, making tolerance continuously increase and experience withdrawal symptoms if the person stops drinking alcohol.
Impact on health
Alcoholic beverages adversely impact health with alcoholics being ten times more likely to get infections, cancer, or blood disorders. Employees miss work due to alcohol issues and statistics show around 95 percent of alcoholics eventually die directly due to causes associated with use. Issues alcoholics can experience include liver disease, weakened immune system, stroke, brain damage, pancreatitis, issues with the nervous system, and osteoporosis.
Drunk driving costs the country approximately $50 billion in direct costs and lost productivity. Drunk and impaired driving accidents cause almost half of total traffic fatalities, while more than 1/3 of pedestrians killed on the roads were drunk at the time of their death.
Recovering from Addiction
If you’re struggling with alcohol dependency and abuse, it’s not too late to take control and get help. The counselors at Kolpia aid in an individualized treatment plan that suits your situation and provides a path to sobriety.
Don’t become another statistic. Reach out and get help if you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol dependency in Oregon and want to reclaim your life. Contact us today for help, because there is no day better than today to get started.