Many people consume alcohol during recreational activities. Consumed infrequently, it may have few or no health effects. However, it is also associated with an extremely wide variety of dire health conditions, many of which are chronic and/or can be fatal.
About 15 million Americans suffer from an alcohol abuse disorder.
What’s more, only about 6.7% of people who have a drinking problem seek professional help. About 88,000 people die of alcohol-related causes every year. Problem drinking can result in physical dependence on alcohol.
Since alcohol consumption leads to reductions in reaction time, judgment, and decision-making, any episode of drinking can lead to harmful accidents or injury. However, most health risks of alcohol come from problem drinking, including binge drinking.
Conditions associated with long-term alcohol misuse include:
For many years, research around alcohol focused on the idea that it had health benefits if used in moderation. However, recent research is casting doubt on these long-held assumptions.
Over the last five years, scientific studies have confirmed the connection between even moderate alcohol use and premature death, cancer, stroke, and high blood pressure. Some studies also suggest that abstaining from alcohol can improve mental health.
In general, a scientific consensus is forming around the idea that zero alcohol consumption is the best approach for individuals who want to safeguard their overall health.
Likewise, further research is necessary to support the anecdotal conclusions of treatment organizations, especially faith-based organizations, about the best way to provide social support during long-term treatment.
Alcohol has been part of human history for thousands of years. However, modern medicine still has a long way to go in managing the serious health risks associated with it. More alcohol clinical studies are crucial for discovering the alcohol clinical resources millions of people need to stop drinking.