Alcohol is big business. Over 60% of adults report drinking at least once a week. Up to 25% acknowledge to binge drinking on a regular basis. Binge drinking can cause serious problems in a variety of ways.
Here are some facts that you should know about alcohol abuse:
Binge drinking has a huge cost on society
Excessive drinking costs hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide. These costs come from losses in workplace productivity, health care spending, justice system costs and others. It is estimated that binge drinking was responsible for the majority of these costs.
Alcohol abuse carries many serious risks
Binge drinking is closely linked to car crashes, falls, alcohol poisoning, violence, sexual assault, mental problems, chronic diseases and a variety of cancers. In extreme cases, alcohol can cause breathing to stop altogether, resulting in serious injury or even death.
Alcohol affects men and women in different ways
Men and women absorb alcohol differently due to differences in physiology. Women tend to absorb more alcohol and metabolise it slower. This puts them at a higher risk of long term damage. Men are 5 times more likely to drink excessively and engage in high risk activities, leading to greater numbers of alcohol related deaths and injuries.
Alcohol alters our brain function
Some studies have suggested that alcohol forces our body to adapt to it. These changes affect nerve cells and brain connections. When a chronic binge drinker abstains from drinking, the brain might struggle to adapt back to the previous state and be unable to function properly.
In low doses, alcohol might be beneficial
In very small doses, alcohol can relieve emotional and physiological stress responses. Some believe this is responsible for cardiovascular benefits – such as reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Studies show that those positive benefits only appear in moderate drinking in the middle-age to senior year age groups and not in other age groups.
Alcohol kills many people every year
Alcohol kills more than 6,000 people a year in Australia alone. This number is over 80,000 in America. Binge drinking also causes long term health issues, including many types of cancers of the digestive system. The research shows that one person is killed every 90 minutes on average, and one person is hospitalised every 3.5 minutes.
Alcohol is closely related to mental health issues
Alcohol increases the risk of developing depression. Those who are suffering or prone to depression should avoid alcohol as it is a depressant by nature. Alcohol abuse can disrupt work, relationships and personal health. This can create a downward spiral and lead to a multitude of mental health issues.
Alcohol abuse and binge drinking can result in serious issues for individuals and society as a whole. Drinking excessively over a long period of time can lead to physical and psychological dependency on alcohol. Drinking in moderation should be observed by everyone.