Alcohol consumption contributes to 3 million deaths each year globally as well as to the disabilities and poor health of millions of people. Overall, harmful use of alcohol is responsible for 5.1% of the global burden of disease.
Harmful use of alcohol is accountable for 7.1% and 2.2% of the global burden of disease for males and females respectively. Alcohol is the leading risk factor for premature mortality and disability among those aged 15 to 49 years, accounting for 10%of all deaths in this age group. Disadvantaged and especially vulnerable populations have higher rates of alcohol-related death and hospitalization.
Both the volume of lifetime alcohol use and a combination of context, frequency of alcohol consumption and amount consumed per occasion increase the risk of the wide range of health and social harms. The risks increase largely in a dose-dependent manner with the volume of alcohol consumed and with frequency of drinking, and exponentially with the amount consumed on a single occasion. Surrogate and illegally produced alcohols can bring an extra health risk from toxic contaminants.
WHO has identified that the most cost-effective actions to reduce the harmful use of alcohol include increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages, enforcing restrictions on exposure to alcohol advertising, and restrictions on the physical availability of retailed alcohol. In addition, enforcing drink driving countermeasures and securing access to screening, brief interventions, and treatment are effective and ethically sound interventions. The most cost-effective interventions are at the focus of WHO-led SAFER initiative aimed at providing support for Member States in reducing the harmful use of alcohol.
There is a clear link between heavy alcohol use and many types of cancers. Alcohol can damage the cells in your mouth, throat, voice box, and esophagus. It can lead to cancers in your liver, breast, and intestines. Alcohol can help cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco and other sources enter your cells more easily.
This form of arthritis results from painful buildup of uric acid in the joints. You can get gout from eating too much food high in chemicals called purines, which include red meat, shellfish, and alcohol -- especially beer and liquor.
If you think you might have a problem with alcohol, get help. Talk to your doctor, therapist, or an addiction specialist. Find online support groups. Some people manage to kick the habit on their own. But if you feel you need extra help, you may want to check out your local branch of Alcoholics Anonymous. Learn more about outpatient alcohol treatment.
Alcohol in the form of ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is found in alcoholic beverages, mouthwash, cooking extracts, some medications and certain household products. Ethyl alcohol poisoning generally results from drinking too many alcoholic beverages, especially in a short period of time.
You can consume a fatal dose before you pass out. Even when you're unconscious or you've stopped drinking, alcohol continues to be released from your stomach and intestines into your bloodstream, and the level of alcohol in your body continues to rise.
One of the pathways through which alcohol increases risk for these diseases is via the immune system, which is adversely affected by alcohol consumption, especially heavy drinking (Rehm et al. 2009c; Romeo et al. 2010). As a result, although risk for infectious diseases does not differ greatly for people drinking less than 40 grams of pure alcohol per day compared with abstainers, this risk increases substantially for those who drink larger amounts or have been diagnosed with an AUD (Lönnroth et al. 2008; Samokhvalov et al. 2010c). In addition, alcohol consumption is associated with poorer outcomes from infectious disease for heavy drinkers by way of social factors. Thus, people with alcohol dependence often are stigmatized and have a higher chance of becoming unemployed and destitute; as a result, they tend to live in more crowded quarters with higher chances for infection and lower chances of recovery (Lönnroth et al. 2009).
Addiction can happen to anyone, and there is no single driving factor that leads to it. While some people turn to alcohol and other drugs to help cope with boredom or stress, others may use psychoactive substances to deal with a mental health condition. Some may even develop opioid use disorder after misusing prescribed opioids.
Substance misuse is defined as the repeated use of a psychoactive substance for purposes other than those for which they are meant to be used or using them in excessive amounts. Substance-use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school or home.
Alcohol consumption is the second-leading risk factor for premature death in the United States after cigarette smoking, accounting for 2.3% of all deaths among women and 6.7% of deaths among men. Among those ages 15-49 years, alcohol use is the No. 1 risk factor for premature death. Leading causes of death include tuberculosis, respiratory infections, cancer, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, unintentional injuries, self-harm and interpersonal violence. Though some research suggests that low levels of alcohol consumption might have protective effects on ischemic heart disease, these protective effects are offset by the risks associated with cancer.
Megan Hays, Ph.D., associate professor and clinical psychologist in the UAB Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, notes that drinking alcohol in excess and using drugs is dangerous and can result in death.
Overdose of alcohol can occur when a person has blood alcohol content (BAC) sufficient to produce impairments that increase the risk of harm. Age, drinking experience, gender, the amount of food eaten and even ethnicity can influence BAC. Critical signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:
Hendricks recommends that those under the legal drinking age of 21 refrain from drinking alcohol. Moderate drinking (again, no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women) may be considered for those over the age of 21. Hendricks offers suggestions that may help reduce the harm of immoderate alcohol use:
Sumayah Abed, M.D. (Photography: Nik Layman)The risk of drug use has been proven to increase greatly during times of transition. Additionally, people may often turn to drugs and alcohol when something in their life is missing or not working. Sumayah Abed, M.D., assistant professor in the UAB Department of Family and Community Medicine and family medicine physician at UAB Medicine Hoover Primary and Specialty Care, say that it is important for everyone to take steps to maintain a well-balanced life. Although a well-balanced life looks different for everyone, some areas that are worth examining are the time spent between work, leisure, family and alone. The ability to prevent substance misuse begins with maintaining a proper balance between each of these things.
Those who are dealing with a mental health condition, such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder should seek the help of a trained professional for treatment before it leads to substance use. A mental health professional can help teach patients healthy coping skills that can help alleviate their symptoms without turning to drugs or alcohol.
Laboratory studies suggest that valproic acid may inhibit GABA metabolism and activate GABA synthesis (Fawcett 1989). In addition, data indicate that carbamezapine decreases the flow of glutamate into slices of the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in seizures (Olpe et al. 1985). Therefore carbamezapine and valproic acid prevent alcohol withdrawal seizures and kindling.
Acute risks are the harmful effects of drinking too much alcohol in the short-term or on a single occasion (often referred to as binge drinking or heavy drinking). If you drink too much alcohol on a single occasion, you may experience these short-term effects:
Alcohol can change the effects of other drugs and substances. For example, combining alcohol with another depressant drug that slows the nervous system, like cannabis and opioids, can increase the effect on the body. In some cases, the combination is dangerous and potentially fatal.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can seriously harm an unborn baby. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a term used to describe a range of disabilities that can affect a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy.
No amount or type of alcohol during pregnancy is considered safe. FASD is a lifelong disorder with effects that include physical, mental, behavioural and learning disabilities. These can vary from mild to severe.
Some pregnancies are not planned, and you may have been drinking alcohol before you knew you were pregnant. Once you find out you're pregnant, it's best to stop drinking alcohol immediately. Every day without alcohol makes a difference. If you're concerned about the risks to the fetus, it's best to seek the advice of a health care provider.
People who drink too much may develop a medical condition called alcohol use disorder (AUD). Like other substance use disorders, AUD is a mental health disorder. Diagnosis is made by the presence of specific signs or symptoms. The severity of the condition (mild, moderate, or severe) depends on how many of these signs you experience, such as:
To reduce alcohol-related fatal crashes among youth, all states have adopted a minimum legal drinking age of 21. NHTSA estimates that minimum-drinking-age laws have saved 31,959 lives from 1975 to 2017.
Repeat offenders who drink and drive are a very real, very deadly problem. Drivers with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher involved in fatal crashes were 4 times more likely to have prior convictions for driving while impaired than were drivers with no alcohol (8% and 2%, respectively).
For each of these cancers, the more alcohol you drink, the higher your cancer risk. But for some types of cancer, most notably breast cancer, consuming even small amounts of alcohol can increase risk. 2b1af7f3a8