Within American society, a widespread acceptance of drinking can be seen within celebratory traditions, college campus traditions, and even daily mealtime beverages. While those who drink in moderation face little to no risk, individuals most susceptible to alcohol’s effects can easily enter into dangerous territory.
An estimated 88,000 American adults die from alcohol-related causes within any given year.
To date, alcohol ranks fourth as a leading cause of preventable death. In effect, alcohol’s widespread acceptance coupled with its highly addictive potential has created a cycle of abuse within families and communities.
Under these conditions, stopping the cycle of alcohol addiction requires a deliberate effort that acknowledges alcohol abuse behaviors at every turn.
Alcohol Abuse Practices
Whether a person binge drinks on occasion or engages in excess drinking on a daily basis, the effects of alcohol slowly but surely tear down the body. Over time, the likelihood of alcohol addiction death develops out of the damage done to the brain and body.
Binge drinking can easily lead to alcohol poisoning and death. Likewise, excess drinking that takes place on a daily basis can also lead to death due to the brain’s ongoing tolerance for larger and larger amounts.
For women, binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in rapid succession. For men, its five or more drinks.
While the term “excess drinking” most definitely includes bingeing practices, in general terms, women who have eight or more drinks per week and men who have 15 or more drinks per week are also drinking in excess.
Alcohol Addiction Deaths
Alcohol addiction deaths take any number of forms due to the widespread damage alcohol inflicts on the body’s systems over time. Alcohol-related deaths can result from one or more of the following conditions:
- Delirium tremens, a severe form of alcohol withdrawal
- Injuries brought on by alcohol’s effects on coordination
- Violence-prone behavior resulting from impaired brain functioning
- Lung disease
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
Stopping the Cycle
Alcohol abuse takes on a life of its own once the brain becomes dependent on alcohol’s effects. From there, rising tolerance levels and withdrawal episodes pave the way for compulsive drinking behaviors to take root. In the absence of needed treatment help, the likelihood of alcohol addiction death looms closer and closer with each passing day.
Stopping the cycle of alcohol addiction death starts with confronting alcohol abuse early on. Seeing a drinking problem for what it is or helping someone else see the problem entails taking one or more of the following steps:
- Acknowledging the negative effects of alcoholism in a person’s life (e.g. job loss, family dysfunction, divorce, money problems, health problems)
- Conducting an intervention
- Making the choice to stop drinking
- Getting help when you can’t stop on your own
If you or someone you know struggles with a drinking problem and are considering getting treatment help, please don’t hesitate to call our helpline at 800-654-0987 to speak with one of our addiction counselors.