Alcohol Abuse and Addiction in Ohio
All throughout Ohio and the entire country, alcohol is a substance that is used by people of all ages, cultural backgrounds, classes, etc. When used in moderation by people who are old enough to legally drink, it can be enjoyed responsibly. In other instances, using alcohol can quickly lead to the abuse of alcohol. For the alcoholic, a casual beer can begin an obsession to drink, which can lead to addiction and binge drinking.
Here we will take a look at an overview of alcohol addiction by exploring what makes alcohol such a dangerous and addictive substance. We will also explore facts and statistics related to alcohol abuse in Ohio as well as the entire country.
When alcohol is consumed, the central nervous system is slowed down. The overall functionality of the body as a whole is slowed down as well. This is because it is a depressant, which means it may also cause problems with coordination, slowed reaction times and slurred speech.
Because alcohol can have such a serious impact on logical reasoning and because it can lower inhibitions so much, when a person is intoxicated from consuming alcohol, he or she is likely to make poor decisions or engage in dangerous and risky behavior. When consumed in large amounts, it can even result in alcohol poisoning, coma, unconsciousness or death.
Why is Alcohol Addictive?
Many people wonder why alcohol is addictive. Much like other addictive substances, alcohol is addictive because of the way it interacts with chemicals in the brain.
When a person drinks alcohol, it causes feel-good endorphins to be released in the brain, triggering a sense of pleasure. Alcohol causes endorphins to be released into the section of the brain that is associated with judgment, decision-making and addictive behavior.
When a substance causes the brain to release feel-good chemicals, the brain will then crave more of that substance. Gradually, you will need more and more of the substance to have the same effect, which is another reason alcohol can be such an addictive substance.
Alcohol is also not only socially acceptable, but it’s everywhere, making it difficult for some to abstain from drinking. Whether you are seeing beer commercial after beer commercial during a football game, being pressured to have a cocktail at a work function, or being offered champagne on a special occasion like a wedding or holiday, alcohol is extremely accessible.
What is the Difference between Alcohol Abuse and Addiction?
This is a common question the people of Ohio often have. In order to understand the differences between alcohol abuse and addiction, we must first explore the signs and symptoms of both.
Alcohol abuse can mean excessive drinking even in the face of negative consequences, using alcohol to self-medicate or use alcohol even after it causes physical and/or mental harm. Alcohol addiction or alcoholism involves frequent alcohol abuse, the inability to control the amount or frequency of drinking and/or a dependence on alcohol—whether it is a mental or physical dependence.
Alcohol Abuse Statistics and Facts
Because alcohol has become such a normal thing in American society, people can be shocked when hearing about alcohol abuse and addiction statistics. On television shows and movies, it is often glamorized, but it can contribute to a number of negative consequences.
Here are some national facts and statistics on alcohol abuse:
- Every year, there are about 88,000 deaths that are related to alcohol. This is the fourth leading cause of deaths that are preventable in America.
- In the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 86 percent of people who are over the age of 18 reported drinking at some point in their lives. 70 percent of those surveyed reported drinking in the past year.
- It is estimated that over 15 million adults have Alcohol Use Disorder or AUD. In 2015, 1.3 million adults received treatment for AUD in a treatment center.
- Alcohol misuse is the fifth leading risk factor for disability and premature death throughout the world.
Alcohol is a significant problem for people all over the country, and for many citizens of Ohio, this is unfortunately also the case.