For many, the first sip of alcohol is a rite of passage. Drinking during a party, at a restaurant, or during a sports game is almost second nature to many Americans.
Despite being popular, alcohol poses a variety of risks. Making alcohol illegal, however, may not be the right answer. The Prohibition Era proved that alcohol will remain popular regardless of its legality. In addition, many people due consume alcohol responsibly. But those who don’t may find themselves in a whirlwind of negative side effects.
Alcohol is common in comparison to other drugs. It can be sold legally, and is available at most convenience stores and restaurants. Using alcohol isn’t typically frowned upon. Going out for a drink isn’t demonized the way having a joint or snorting a line is.
And it shouldn’t be; alcohol is legal for adults, after all. But because its use is so common, many people don’t realize how harmful alcohol abuse can be. Alcoholism is a real problem, and it isn’t as hard to be ensnared as many may think.
Once an alcohol use disorder is developed, many health and societal complications follow. Between healthcare and accidents, alcohol may be the drug that impacts mankind the most.
TEN WAYS ALCOHOL USE IMPACTS SOCIETY:
- Globally, alcohol contributed to more than three-million deaths in 2012. Men had almost twice as many deaths than females.
- Every year, almost 90,000 people die in the U.S. from an alcohol-related cause. Within that, 10,000 people die annually from car accidents caused by alcohol.
- Excessive alcohol consumption contributes to over 200 health conditions. Cancer, liver cirrhosis, and alcohol dependence are just a few of these.
- Alcohol places a huge burden on the amount of liver transplants needed. In 2009, almost one-third of liver transplants were due to alcohol-related liver disease.
- Alcohol abuse costs the United States almost $250 billion annually. A third of this cost is due to binge drinking.
- In the United States, alcohol is the fourth leading cause of preventable deaths. It is surpassed by obesity, tobacco, and medical errors.
- In 2014, over 16 million adults had an alcohol-use disorder in the U.S.
- In a 2012 study, U.S. researchers measured the amount of children affected by alcohol. It was found that over 10% of children live with a parent who has problems with alcohol.
- Many college students are high-risk alcohol users. Almost 20% of college students meet the criteria for an alcohol-use disorder. About a quarter of college students suffer academically because of alcohol.
- Alcohol use during pregnancy creates thousands of complications yearly. Each year, almost 40,000 babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in the U.S..
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