I was prompted to write this post from an article I read on CNN Health’s The Chart website, “Studies link alcohol to early death, memory loss” in January 2014. I thought it would be beneficial to pull a couple facts and truths about alcohol use from the article to bring them to your attention. Some you may already know and some may shock you. Either way, it begs for more attention to be paid to the issue of alcohol abuse and the widespread need for counseling and rehabilitation.
1.“Nearly 80,000 people die as a result of drinking alcohol each year in North and Latin America”
I am not sure about you, but in my opinion this is a stifling number, especially when you take into account that this is just North America and Latin America.
2. “Men accounted for 84% of alcohol-related deaths.”
While I don’t claim to be a medical expert who understands a physiological or psychological reason for this trend with alcohol abuse, this is frightening. Especially because with all the diseases and causes for death that we really have no answer for in today’s medical landscape, this is one that is preventable and treatable.
3. “Heavy drinking is defined as consuming more than one drink per day for women and two drinks for men. ”
Did you know this? Is alcohol part of the nightly routine in your house? Some people may be considered “heavy drinkers” without even knowing it. With that said, do you realize the detriment to your body that your ‘routine’ may have? While many consider themselves ‘social’ alcohol consumers, if you’re drinking more than one or two drinks a couple nights a week, you are considered a heavy drinker. By the way, this information is a result of research from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who spends time daily with heavy hitting, well-known diseases like cancer, which tells me that alcohol addiction is considerable player in the mind of a very legitimate medical source.
4. “Only about 30% of doctors in the United States ask patients about their drinking and have a conversation about it. ”
Given the statistic above about the number of deaths from alcohol abuse every year, this fact is stifling. This may be related to the fact that the subject of addiction is still slightly taboo in our culture. People are afraid to talk about the truths of their alcohol use, especially with a medical professional they only see once or twice a year. If we’re honest, many people won’t even talk about addiction with their closest friends.
5. “Researchers followed 5,000 men and 2,000 women for 10 years and found those who had 2.5 drinks of wine, beer or hard liquor daily accelerated memory loss by up to 6 years. This was not seen in those who do not drink or who drink moderately.”
Once again we revisit the topic of ‘heavy drinking.’ Especially if drinking alcohol is a part of your routine or social schedule, this is frightening to think about. Growing old has its dangers and problems of its own, why would you want to speed up the process? More than anything, the point of this post is to call attention to our daily alcohol consumption habits. We need to be intentional about monitoring our consumption to prevent long-term effects. In addition, many alcohol addictions start innocently with social drinking or drinking as apart of our daily routine.
What statistic above surprised you the most?