The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism warns us against the negative effects of excessive alcohol use, stating that even the occasional heavy drinking can have very serious consequences on our health.
It can easily interfere with the functionality of our brain, it can do damage to our hearts (stroke, cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure or arrhythmias) or it can lead to inflammations of the liver, such as steatosis, fibrosis, hepatitis, cirrhosis. Moreover, it can mess up our immune system or it can lead to toxicity in our pancreas.
Therefore, it is no wonder alcohol abuse is associated with various forms of cancer, such as cancer of the liver, mouth, esophagus, throat or breast tumor.
Many people are totally unaware of these devastating effects and they believe a hangover is nice from time to time. Furthermore, there are a lot of people who have drinking problems without having the courage or the sensibility to seek medical help.
It seems that the number of U.S. adults who tend to abuse or misuse alcohol has gone up to 33 million, according to a study whose findings have been recently published in the journal JAMA.
This was the first study carried out ever since the term “alcohol use disorder” has been implemented. There are eleven symptoms checked before establishing if a person suffers from this disorder or not. These symptoms might refer to unusual cravings for alcohol, the inability to concentrate or fully perform at work or at home, frequent hangovers and being unsuccessful in the person’s attempts to limit the intake of alcohol.
A person might suffer from alcohol use disorder if he or she has at least two such symptoms. In that case, it is considered that the person has mild disorder, since it has been classified into mild, moderate and severe.
The research looked at the surveys carried out on 36,000 adults in 2013-2013. These were asked questions related to how much they drank and how it affected their life. The results showed that 14 percent of the people surveyed had a drinking problem at the time, while almost a third (30 percent) had one in the past.
What is most worrying for the researchers is the fact that this number is constantly growing. This means more should be done to help these people out.
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