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Editorial Policy | Research Policy
Alcohol abuse and addiction are unfortunately all-too-common among people of all ages and from all backgrounds, in Colorado and nationwide. In any given month, about 55% of Americans drink, and around 6.3% drink heavily. Overall, 5.3% of Americans aged 12 and up have alcohol use disorder, also called alcoholism.
Drinking can have a variety of immediate effects on the body. These effects can start to kick in within 10 minutes, the amount of time it takes for alcohol to get into your bloodstream and enter your brain. Common symptoms linked to intoxication include:
You may still be suffering effects from drinking alcohol, even if you no longer feel drunk. Alcohol is removed from the body via the liver, which can process about one drink an hour. One drink equates to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of whiskey.
Drinking, especially heavily and over time, can cause a variety of long-term physical effects on the body. A recent survey showed that 61% of Western state drinkers, including Colorado, stated that drinking negatively impacted their physical health. The long-term consequences of drinking on the body include:
Drinking sometimes gets a reputation for helping people to feel relaxed or more social. However, alcohol can quickly cause a series of short-term effects on the mind, including changes in mood and poor decision-making skills. Poor decision-making, in turn, can lead to many dangerous situations, including violence, injuries and risky sexual behavior.
Over the long term, heavy drinking can cause multiple mental health and neurological problems. These include:
Alcohol poisoning is a serious, sometimes fatal, health consequence borne of excessive drinking. Nationally, about six people die every day from alcohol poisoning, with most deaths occurring in adults and men.
Alcohol overdose can vary in severity depending on the person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The higher the BAC, the more symptoms a person can have and the more severe their symptoms may be. In general:
The risk of having an alcohol overdose can be reduced by avoiding heavy drinking and avoiding mixing alcohol with energy drinks or caffeine, which can mask the alcohol’s content. If you suspect a loved one has alcohol poisoning, you should seek emergency medical attention. Even if you are underage, you will not get in legal trouble for seeking help to save someone’s life.
Alcohol poisoning is a big problem in Colorado. In fact, Colorado has one of the highest rates of alcohol poisoning in the United States. In Colorado alone, there are 14.4 deaths from alcohol poisoning per one million people annually.
Drinking not only impacts your body, brain and mental health. It can also have a significant impact on your relationships, career, school and finances. This is true both for those who drink heavily and those who do not. A recent survey showed that alcohol could impact multiple areas of your life; among Westerners who drank alcohol:
Drinking carries a risk of abuse, dependence and addiction. However, it can sometimes be hard to know if you have a problem with alcohol and are at risk. Certain behaviors serve as red flags to let you, your loved ones and your doctors know that you may be struggling with drinking.
Ask yourself these questions about your drinking this past year. Have you:
If you find that you have answered “yes” to two or more of these questions, you may be struggling with an alcohol addiction. Fortunately, help is available.
If you struggle with drinking, it can be overwhelming to think about how to stop. Fortunately, help is here. Our alcohol recovery experts at The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake can assist you in overcoming your alcohol addiction through treatment. Don’t wait: contact us today to learn more.
Because alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous – and even kill you – make sure you have medical advice from your doctor or a rehab facility when you decide to stop drinking.
There are many misconceptions about alcoholism that make it sound like an alcoholic is an easy person to spot, however, many alcoholics function effectively and lead relatively normal lives.
An alcohol abuse problem can include binge drinking, having negative consequences such as hangovers with your drinking but continuing anyway, and drinking despite the desire to stop.
In a recent study by The Recovery Village, 44% of respondents reported abusing alcohol in an attempt to ease uncomfortable feelings that stem from underlying anxiety.
Drinking more than three drinks in a single sitting will temporarily cause your blood pressure to rise, but extended binge drinking or regular alcohol consumption can cause a permanent increase in blood pressure.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” March 2021. Accessed April 28, 2021.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “Overview of Alcohol Consumption.” Accessed April 28, 2021.
Maier, Scott. “Alcohol Abuse Increases Risk of Heart At[…]on and Heart Failure.” University of California San Francisco, January 2, 2017. Accessed April 28, 2021.
Bishehsari, Faraz; Magno, Emmeline; Swanson, Garth; et al. “Alcohol and Gut-Derived Inflammation,” Alcohol Research Current Reviews, 2017. Accessed April 28, 2021.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Alcohol Use and Your Health.” February 23, 2021.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Alcohol Poisoning Deaths infographic.” January 6, 2015. Accessed April 28, 2021.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Alcohol Poisoning Deaths.” January 6, 2015. Accessed April 28, 2021.
LaHood, Anthony J.; Kok, Stephanie J. “Ethanol Toxicity,” StatPearls, April 17, 2020. Accessed April 28, 2021.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “What are symptoms of alcohol use disorder?” Accessed April 28, 2021.
The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.
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