It’s no secret that alcohol is a staple among many Americans. To some degree, alcohol is associated with happy feelings and positive events. Partying with friends, for example, usually involves casual drinking. A promotion at the office can call for a celebratory toast. Alcohol consumption also plays a standard role in socializing and building camaraderie, especially in an office setting. And while drinking alcohol seems fun, harmless, and normal, it can quickly and unexpectedly become a larger issue—one that can require intervention and outside support. There are numerous ways alcohol ruins lives and it’s important to always identify the negative traits associated with alcohol abuse.
Experiencing first-hand how alcohol ruins lives is difficult for family members or friends. AspenRidge Recovery offers support to individuals that need assistance with alcohol misuse. Our alcohol addiction treatment programs make it easy for loved ones to find effective treatment without giving up family and work obligations. Contact us 24/7 directly at (855) 281-5588.
The public, by and large, views alcohol abuse as a minor issue. For one, it’s legal and widely used. As a result, alcohol is viewed differently than other dangerous illicit drugs like heroin or methamphetamine, though death tolls suggest it’s just as dangerous if not more so. In fact, nationwide, alcohol is a leading cause of death. In fact, alcohol has been linked to overdose, fatal accidents, disease, and much more. In short, alcohol ruins lives.
Alcohol Abuse is Steadily Climbing
Rates of alcohol-related deaths have skyrocketed over the last couple of decades. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 1999 alcohol-related deaths totaled 36,000. The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that in 2019, there were over 95,000 deaths directly caused by alcohol. Additional studies continue to see a rise in alcohol abuse.
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) accounts for 7.2% (17 million individuals) of the U.S. population. The National Insitute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism identified five subtypes of alcoholics that are commonly referred to when researchers and medical professionals address AUD:
- Young Adult – 31.5% of U.S. alcoholics, young adult drinkers, with relatively low rates of co-occurring conditions, low rate of family alcoholism, and rarely seek help for patterned drinking
- Young Antisocial – 21% of U.S. alcoholics, mid-twenties, early onset of regular drinking, more than half have a history of family alcoholism, diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder, more than one-third seek help for treatment
- Intermediate Familial – 19% of U.S. alcoholics, are middle-aged, 50% have a history of family alcoholism, 50% with clinical depression, 25% seek help for treatment
- Chronic Severe – 9% of U.S. alcoholics, middle-aged, early-onset drinking issues, high rates of co-occurring disorders, 80% have a history of family alcoholism, two-thirds seek help for treatment
- Functional Alcoholic – 19.5% of U.S. alcoholics, middle-aged, well-educated, stable jobs and families, and less than 25% seek help for treatment
The prevalence of alcohol abuse is astounding. The ramifications for continued abuse are clear; alcohol is closely linked to deadly diseases. But what are some other ways alcohol ruins lives? Can alcohol abuse treatment help people recover? Below are 7 ways in which alcohol ruins lives and treatment options that may prove to be critical for tens of thousands.
How Does Alcohol Ruins Lives?
For most, the onset of addiction doesn’t happen overnight but rather is gradual. Although it’s easier to spot the major problems that are linked to alcohol abuse, the smaller tell-tale signs can go unnoticed. In fact, alcohol may be impacting health, personal relationships, and wellness sooner than signs may indicate.
Alcohol Use & Physical Side Effects
Most people don’t choose to have a debilitating disease like alcohol addiction. Rather, an innocent distraction can quickly morph into a dependency issue. Unfortunately, there are serious physical issues that can cause a lifetime of suffering. Over time, alcohol can impact bodily functions in the heart, liver, and even the brain. Alcohol has been identified as the cause of more than 60 different diseases including throat, liver, heart, and brain. Heavier alcohol use, for all conditions, means a higher risk of disease or injury.
Even with the physical side effects of alcohol abuse, those battling with AUD can find it difficult if not impossible to stop. When someone develops a chemical dependence, the body’s tolerance builds up and it, then, requires more alcohol to achieve the same effects. Alcohol can easily ruin lives simply by its long-term health issues.
Job Performance – Risks of Alcohol Abuse & Addiction
One primary way alcohol ruins lives are its impact on job performance. Drinking, when it transitions into a daily habit, can inevitably impact job performance. According to the statistics above, a good percentage of American’s with AUD are considered high functioning addicts. However, functional addiction doesn’t mean employees are productive. Workers may be going into work hungover or trying to operate while intoxicated. These can lead to deadly workplace accidents, underperformance, and even loss of employment. Inevitably, alcohol addiction can lead to people neglecting responsibilities and taking dangerous risks at a place of employment. According to the American Addiction Centers, workers with alcohol-related problems are nearly three times as likely to have injury-related absences.
Finding signs of alcohol abuse is critical and can include:
- Tardiness on a consistent basis
- A number of unexplained absences
- Lower levels of productivity
- Behavioral indications like hyperactivity, weight loss, slurring words, and odd behaviors
- Inconsistent performance
- Signs of paranoia or being defensive to criticisms or suggestions
- Dishonest behaviors like stealing, taking frequent unauthorized breaks
- Bloodshot eyes, hygiene issues, or personal appearance
Alcohol Ruins Finances
Addiction is a disease that slowly consumes a person. It can wreak havoc on the most unsuspecting victims and spiral out of control before treatment is even considered. One way alcohol ruins lives are its high cost. Consumption of alcohol is not a cheap habit to maintain, in fact, it’s been known to easily drain bank accounts. The financial toll may indicate a steady increase in spending on booze. Eventually, it may represent a disproportionate amount compared to income. For those suffering from heavy substance abuse, individuals may be spending half or more of their monthly income earnings.