Here you'll find common questions and resources on alcohol risks and dangers.
Social drinking is viewed as acceptable because of the reasons people list for social drinking. Some people who consider themselves social drinkers are drinking more than a healthy amount when they are socializing. In some cases, there comes a time when their social drinking turns into a problem.
Alcoholism (Alcohol Use Disorder) is a diagnosable medical condition that impairs someone's ability to stop or control alcohol use. The symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on the "stage" of alcoholism.
In the U.S., a standard drink is any drink that consists of 14 grams of pure alcohol. This is equal to about 0.6 fluid ounces or 1.2 tablespoons of alcohol. In most cases, one drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.
There is a vast difference in the alcohol content of drinks, depending on the type of beverage. Check the label of each alcoholic beverage to understand the exact percentage of alcohol in the drink.
Alcohol is a substance that is a natural byproduct of sugar and plant fermentation. Alcohol is also a primary ingredient in fuels, paints, solvents, beauty products, and food additives.
Distilled alcohol forms from a process of heating the fermented plant matter at high temperatures to produce steam that is collected and bottled. In contrast, undistilled alcohol is made by fermenting sugar or plant matter and yeast with water and heat to produce ethanol as a byproduct.
Alcohol metabolites in blood, urine, saliva, sweat, hair, and breath remain in the body for up to 80 hours after your last drink. The body purges alcohol at a rate of about 0.015 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood each hour. People who begin with blood alcohol levels of 0.20 will take between 12 and 14 hours to process the alcohol in your system.
Heavy drinking and alcohol addiction tend to change alcohol metabolism and give the appearance that a heavy drinker has a higher tolerance.
BAC (BAC) is a measurement of the alcohol (ethyl alcohol or ethanol) present in an individual's bloodstream. BAC reflects the speed by which the body absorbs, distributes, metabolizes, and excretes the substance.
The effects of alcohol on the body will depend on the blood alcohol level. The higher the BAC, the stronger (and sometimes more harmful) effects that an individual may experience.
In 2013, almost 80 percent of the Canadian population drank alcohol in the past year. There has been an increase in alcohol-related deaths and hospital admissions over the last few years.
There are many treatment options available for alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) in Canada. Learn more here.
Since the 1950s, alcohol abuse and alcoholism rates in the UK have more than doubled. There has also been an increase in alcohol-related deaths, mental health problems, and hospital admissions.
Learn more about resources in the UK here.
Problem drinking occurs when you start drinking too much - and often for the wrong reasons. Not everyone who has a drinking problem is considered an alcoholic. Not every alcoholic is at the same level of alcoholism.
The blood alcohol concentration will determine what effects the alcohol will have on the body. The liver is only capable of metabolizing approximately one standard alcoholic drink per hour. The higher the BAC, the more intense (and sometimes more dangerous) effects of alcohol. A blood alcohol content level between 0.31% and 0.45% can be life-threatening.
Alcohol is measured by proof due to British origins for determining the amount of alcohol in spirits. The term "proof" dates back to 16th Century England, where it was implemented as a crude measure of alcohol content for rum and eventually other spirits.
Each type of spirit varies in proof values due to several factors, such as unique brand recipes. Different kinds of spirits tend to have average or typical proof measurements for common types of hard alcohol.
Ingesting alcohol ultimately leads to the substance entering the bloodstream and affecting the brain. Alcohol is three times more harmful than cocaine or tobacco, and kills more people than all drugs combined. As little as one night of binge drinking can result in drinking more than the liver and body can handle.
Alcohol Awareness Month draws attention to the issue of alcohol use disorder (AUD). The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) created the month in an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding AUD. The group's goals involve: changing the language about AUD and other addictions. It also aims to change societal attitudes about AUD, addiction, and mental health issues.
EtOH stands for ethyl alcohol or ethanol, a purer form of alcohol. Ethanol is commonly used as a solvent in industrial and consumer products. EtOH can also refer to alcoholic beverages, especially those distilled from grain substances.
People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) often face social stigma, discrimination, and other unfair treatment. They also face a higher risk of harassment, violence, and hate crimes. Up to 25 percent of the LGBTQ community has a moderate alcohol dependency. There are various LGBTQ-specific treatments to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ people.
One-fifth of primary care patients in the United States drink alcohol to the point where it harms their health. People who drink unhealthy amounts of alcohol tend to underestimate how much they consume. Blood tests rely on direct and indirect biomarkers, which show how a person's organs function. Indirect biomarkers are affected by alcohol consumption.
Veterans who have served in active duty, especially those in the combat zone, have a long history of alcohol abuse. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic brain disorder characterized by an inability to stop or control alcohol use despite repetitive attempts at sobriety. PTSD with a dependency on alcohol can be dangerous, both physically and mentally.
The CDC says excessive alcohol use is linked to more than 27,000 female deaths annually. About 13 percent of women binge drink and about half of all adult women reported drinking alcohol in the last month. Women with AUDs have a higher risk of developing alcohol-related liver injury than men.
An alcohol overdose, also known as alcohol poisoning (intoxication), is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. It occurs from drinking large amounts of alcohol over a short period. A person experiencing an alcohol overdose requires immediate medical attention.
Alcohol Tolerance occurs after consistent, continued alcohol consumption leads to a lesser effect. People develop tolerance when their brain functions adjust to compensate for the disruption caused by alcohol consumption in their behavior and bodily functions.
There is no simple answer to why alcoholics drink. Some people are more susceptible to addiction genetically. Others may experience mental health disorders and are more likely to self-medicate with alcohol.
With time, consistent drinking can change the way certain brain chemicals function. It is also a chronic disease that makes it easy to relapse.
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