People have known about the positive as well as the damaging effects of alcohol for hundreds and
thousands of years.
Then why is it that millions upon millions of people worldwide experience so many alcohol abuse and
Alcohol and Our Enlightened Society
In our more "aware" and "enlightened" world, why do so many individuals suffer from the unhealthy, destructive,
and in some instances, the fatal results of excessive drinking, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism?
Why do so many people in the developed nations suffer from alcohol poisoning, binge drinking, hangovers, the
DTs, the shakes, and alcohol-related medical conditions such as heart disease, certain forms of cancer, and liver
disease (such as cirrhosis and hepatitis)?
Do most people really pay attention to the alcohol statistics and facts that are so frequently highlighted in
the newspapers and on the evening news?
Do we really need more information about alcohol, especially when the damaging and debilitating effects of
alcohol abuse and alcoholism are so frequent and so well documented?
As with most things in life, there are positives and negatives. Alcohol, it can be added, is no exception.
In other words, alcohol effects can be positive or negative.
Stated differently, in our society alcohol use is typically associated with "positive" drinking experiences
while alcohol abuse is commonly seen as representing the "negative" aspects of drinking alcohol.
A bit of common sense, however, will show that in our society, the negative effects of alcohol seem to outweigh
positive alcohol by a wide margin.
Alcohol Related Statistics
Many of the dangers of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, that is, the negative effects of alcohol, do not really
make an impact on people until someone discusses some of the alcohol statistics and facts about alcohol abuse,
alcoholics, and alcoholism.
According to a study undertaken by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia
University in 2005, the following statistics about alcohol abuse and alcoholism were discovered:
- The 25.9% of underage drinkers who are alcohol abusers and alcohol dependent drink 47.3% of the alcohol
that is consumed by all underage drinkers.
- Alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse cost the United States an estimated $220 billion in 2005. This dollar
amount was more than the cost associated with cancer ($196 billion) and obesity ($133 billion).
- Every year in the U.S. more than 150,000 college students develop health problem that are directly or
indirectly related to alcohol use and abuse.
- American youth who drinking before the of age 15 are four times more likely to become alcoholics than young
people who do not drink before the age of 21.
- In the United States during 2004, 16,694 deaths occurred as a result of alcohol-related motor-vehicle
crashes. This amount was approximately 39% of all traffic fatalities. This amounts to one alcohol-related death
every 31 minutes.
- Every day in the U.S. more than 13,000 children and teens take their first drink.
- The 9.6% of adult alcoholics drink 25% of the alcohol that is consumed by all adult drinkers.
- Every year, 1,400 American college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related
inadvertent injuries, including motor vehicle accidents.
Linking Medical Problems to Alcoholism
Doctors in the 1950s were well aware of the correlation between alcoholism and diseases such as the degeneration
of the liver, hepatic cirrhosis, and gastritis.
Doctors now, however, are more knowledgeable about the many different ways in which the different organs of the
body are affected by long-term alcohol use and abuse and chronic alcoholism.
Modern day doctors are also more conversant with other critical alcohol-related issues such as fetal alcohol
Conclusion: Information About Alcohol
Alcohol use has been around for centuries and that alcohol has been used in a variety of ways throughout history
that can be called the "beneficial" effects of alcohol.
It is instructive to note, however, that thousands of years ago it was also known that excessive drinking and
alcohol abuse resulted in negative issues and problems.
Ironically, despite the fact that basic "alcohol information" such as the negative effects of abusing alcohol
has been known for centuries, alcoholism and alcohol use and abuse continue to devastate human lives in our "aware"
and "enlightened" society.
In short, as sophisticated and as knowledgeable as our society is, negative alcohol effects such as binge
drinking, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism are experienced by millions of our citizens.
Moreover, various alcohol abuse and alcoholism statistics and facts have been listed above that give a more
realistic picture of the destructive and devastating nature of excessive and abusive drinking.
The important point to keep in mind regarding this article is the following: The more alcohol is consumed in an
abusive manner, the more likely it is that the drinker will become an alcoholic.
If this describes you, then you need to be honest with yourself and admit that you have a drinking problem.
Once you have taken this step, consider making it a priority to talk with an alcohol abuse and alcoholism
professional about getting alcohol treatment as soon as possible.
In fact, if you are concerned about your drinking behavior, please call your local drug and alcohol treatment
center today and make an appointment.