12 Facts About Alcohol Consumption

All you should know about alcohol abuse

Although a list of frightening facts about alcohol may seem like clickbait meant to discourage drinkers, the significance of the information is evident to those who understand the actual costs associated with alcoholism. This post is intended for those who are in recovery from alcohol addiction, are concerned about someone who is in that battle, or are just an occasional drinker who wants to learn more about the long-term effects of alcohol consumption. Our goal is to dispel widespread myths regarding alcohol consumption and provide quick information about the dangers.

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Let’s examine these 12 crucial, startling facts about alcohol:

  1. Men Should Drink Less Than Once Thought, According to Science 

Men Should Drink Less than Once According to the USDA’s (United States Department of Agriculture) dietary guidelines, many people who do not consider themselves to be addicted to alcohol overindulge daily. The USDA is the regulatory body for food and drink products. They recently modified their recommendations, which said that women should only have one drink per day on days when alcohol is consumed, while men could regularly drink up to two drinks per day and still lead healthy lives. These days, they advise that men and women should aim for no more than one drink. Even though it is a scientific fact that individuals assigned to the male gender at birth metabolise alcohol more effectively than those assigned to the female gender, drinking more than one drink a day is still associated with numerous health risks, including earlier death.

2. More People Than They Believe Engage in Binge Drinking

Like the first fact, binge drinking regulations are far stricter than the general public may think. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) defines heavy drinking as eight to ten drinks for women and fifteen for men per week. As few as three drinks consumed in one sitting are commonly used to characterise binge drinking. Even though there is no one-size-fits-all set of diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders, many people indeed overindulge in alcohol without realising it.

3. You Might Be Aware of What Counts as “A Drink”

Many people might not even be aware that they are exceeding the recommended intake because of larger serving sizes or a lack of clarity regarding what constitutes one drink. It’s crucial to understand what these official guidelines define as “a drink” in terms of the quantity of alcohol consumed:

It is recommended to consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, spread out over three days or more. That’s approximately 6 medium (175ml) glasses of wine or 6 pints of 4% beer. There is no completely safe level of drinking, but adhering to these guidelines reduces your chances of harming your health.

According to this reasoning, having ‘one drink’ at the bar that consists of three shots of hard liquor is more like having three drinks in one and could be considered a standalone ‘binge’, especially for a woman or a smaller person. The crucial lesson is that, much more often than they realise, people binge drink and may consider a Long Island Iced Tea “a drink.” There is often a difference between what appears to be binge drinking and actual binge drinking.

4. Most Likely Not “Good for You,

You may have heard that having a moderate drinking habit is beneficial. This idea is particularly well-liked when paired with red wine. However, the evidence suggests that the small cardiovascular advantages are probably due to a decrease in stress rather than the alcohol’s constituents. Furthermore, a drink like red wine would need to be consumed in much larger quantities than advised to benefit from antioxidants. That is not to argue that moderate drinking cannot benefit certain people. Still, for those who overindulge in alcohol, the advantages are not nearly as significant as the risks.

5. The Cost of Addiction Is High

Although the majority of people are aware that drinking is costly, the expense doesn’t end there. Alcohol addiction, both Individuals and Society is expensive. Alcohol is estimated to cost UK society more than £27 billion per year, including costs associated with health, crime, and lost productivity. Even if you do not drink alcohol and do not live with a drinker, you are still responsible for the costs of alcohol-related harm.

6. Alcohol-related deaths rank among the most preventable causes of death

Depending on the source, alcohol-related deaths are either the third or the fourth most common preventable cause of death in the world, following medical errors, tobacco use, and obesity. These fatalities include alcohol-related overdoses and fatal drinking-related accidents. However, the estimate may still be conservative due to deaths associated with alcohol use that are not directly related to drinking, such as those resulting from drunken domestic abuse.

7. Alcoholism and Abuse Are Not the Same Thing

Alcohol abuse is not always indicative of alcoholism, which is an actual chemical addiction to alcohol. Any use of alcohol that harms you or someone else—for example, causing hangovers, poor performance at work, or a noticeably worse demeanour when drinking—is considered abuse of the substance. The brain’s neurons that lead to obsessive drinking and compulsive drinking are altered in observable ways in alcoholism. Alcoholism is regarded as a lifelong disease, but alcohol abuse is also a serious issue that can be treated with addiction recovery or behavioural health therapy.

8. In the End, Alcohol Puts Stress on the Healthcare System

Even though it was mentioned earlier, statistics indicate that 40% of hospital beds in the United States are occupied at any given time for reasons related to alcohol, particularly illnesses aggravated by or brought on by excessive alcohol use.

9. Alcoholism Has a Genetic Predisposition

The two most significant indicators of an individual’s likelihood of becoming an alcoholic are their upbringing and genetics. Experts are nevertheless unsure of the precise proportion of nature versus nurture in the context of growing up in a household where someone (particularly a parent or guardian) battled with an SUD. They can confirm that it is unrelated to any single gene, but they think the influence of the developmental environment and genetics may be split 50/50. The behavioural and psychological factors that are associated with an increased risk of alcoholism require further investigation.

10. All in All, Alcohol Is a Major Cause of Death

In 2021, there were 9,641 deaths in the UK from alcohol-related causes, which equates to 14.8 deaths per 100,000 people. This was 667 more deaths (a 7.4% increase) than in 2020, when there were 8,974 deaths, equating to 14.0 per 100,000 people.8 Dec 2022 Each year, alcohol-related causes account for 88,000 deaths, and alcohol is also known to exacerbate several other deaths and chronic illnesses. It’s also important to remember that an adult can be killed with just 8 ounces of 100-proof alcohol, which is 4 ounces less than a can of Coke.

11. How Gender Affects Risk

The gender of an individual influences how their body reacts to alcohol. Even though some guidelines apply to both men and women, the effects are different. Due to their slower metabolism of alcohol, women are more vulnerable to long-term health hazards. Because they metabolise alcohol more quickly, women are more likely to abuse it and engage in risky drinking habits.

12. Alcohol Withdrawal and Detox Are Risky

Alcohol detoxification is an essential component of recovery from alcoholism, but it should never be done on one’s own without medical supervision. Even though giving up alcohol “cold turkey” seems like a simple task that anyone can accomplish, it is a risky process. This is because alcohol consumption has neurological effects, and alcohol withdrawal affects the brain and body as a whole. Alcohol-dependent, agitated nerve cells can result in delirium tremens, a condition that can cause uncontrollable, potentially fatal seizures and necessitate emergency hospitalisation. When starting an alcoholism recovery programme, getting professional help is crucial.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol-related issues, call Freephone at 0800 140 4044

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