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Alcohol is the intoxicating ingredient in alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, and liquor. Alcohol is produced via fermentation and can be legally purchased and consumed in the United States by anyone over the age of 21. Other than tobacco, alcohol is the single most commonly abused drug in the world.
Alcohol is consumed by drinking beer, wine, liquor, or other alcoholic drinks. The amount of intoxication is directly proportional to the amount consumed. A person’s body can metabolize a certain amount of alcohol at a time; consuming more than that leaves the substance free to circulate throughout the body and produce its effects, inducing intoxication and drunkenness. Unlike many other drugs, alcohol affects every organ in the body at once.
In most users, alcohol produces a warm, pleasant “buzz” that can leave a person feeling more confident and sociable. It enjoys regular use as a so-called social lubricant. At higher doses, alcohol use can cause impaired decision making abilities, loss of coordination, memory loss, aggression, and unconsciousness.
The standard teaching in the United States is that one unit of alcohol, or “drink,” is equivalent to consuming one 12oz beer, one 5oz glass of wine, or one 1.5oz shot of liquor. The amount of alcohol required to get a person drunk depends on their body mass and tolerance. To get drunk is essentially to intentionally produce a minor overdose on alcohol.
Even if a person doesn’t drink enough to induce alcohol poisoning or overdose, they can still pose a danger to themselves and to others. Excessive alcohol use is responsible for about 95,000 deaths each year in the United States, accounting for 1 in 10 deaths among adults.
Excessive alcohol use includes binge drinking and heavy drinking. The CDC defines these terms as follows:
Binge drinking: Consuming 5 (for men) or 4 (for women) or more drinks at once.
Heavy drinking: Consuming 15 (for men) or 8 (for women) or more drinks in a week.
Both forms of excessive drinking are associated with increased risks for numerous health problems, including liver disease, multiple types of cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, mental illness, cirrhosis, and alcohol-related accidental injury, such as motor vehicle crashes. Alcohol use is also tied to violence, child neglect, fire injuries, and falls.
If you fear yourself or a loved one may be suffering from a mental health or addiction disorder, our assessment tool may be of use. Although our assessments cannot replace a diagnosis from a trained medical professional, they can help determine how many symptoms a person is experiencing for any addiction or mental health disorder.
There is no reason to wait. If you have any reason to suspect you or someone around you may be dealing with a severe addiction or mental health disorder, take our assessment and reach out to us today!
Most people who consume alcohol do not struggle with severe alcohol use disorder, also known as alcohol dependence or alcoholism. This disease is marked by an inability to stop or limit one’s drinking, even despite negative consequences, and needing an increasing amount of alcohol to produce the same effects.
Even if you don’t have an alcohol use disorder, if your body and brain are accustomed to the presence of alcohol in your system, suddenly cutting off your supply will result in withdrawal symptoms. The intensity of these symptoms will depend on your individual body and depth of habit, but are likely to include:
Based on your test results we are sending you this notification in order to better assist you. Please feel free to reach out with no strings attached and speak with one of our live representatives today.