Our community widely accepts that alcohol consumption is safe and even healthy for almost everyone. From pregnant women to health fanatics, some studies point to the benefits of drinking alcohol. The reality is these studies and reports may not accurately represent the impacts of alcohol on your health. Further, the misconceptions are leading to a cultural acceptance of alcohol consumption or even binge drinking that may be hurting us all. Clear Life Recovery, an alcohol rehab Costa Mesa, sees the downside of alcohol use in clients seeking treatment for alcohol use disorder. Why is alcohol use so widely accepted if it’s so dangerous?
Narrative About The Benefits of Alcohol is Shifting Dramatically
You have likely seen news reports that alcohol consumption is actually good for you. Even pregnant women have been told it’s ok to have a glass.
Within the “Nutrition and Healthy Eating” section of the Mayo Clinic’s website, doctors outline some of the widely believed benefits of drinking alcohol.
Those include reducing the risk of:
- Heart disease
But that’s just not true. The narrative about these benefits is shifting dramatically. The latest research on alcohol consumption and death is at odds with these previous reports, according to VOX. Even moderate levels of alcohol consumption are being questioned.
And while the OB may sign off on having just one glass of wine at night, the American Pregnancy Association warns women to avoid alcohol at any stage of gestation, even in moderate amounts.
What is Considered Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Drinking a “moderate” amount of alcohol is widely accepted by leading health organizations.
Moderate alcohol use for a healthy woman is defined by the Centers for Disease Control as one drink each day. The CDC approves two drinks per day for men.
This sort of characterization by respected medical institutions further normalizes regular, even daily, use of alcohol. It’s misleading and unhealthy.
Identifying the difference between a habit or behavior versus an addiction is key to recovery. Recognizing the significant traits of addiction will help you determine if you need alcohol rehab in Costa Mesa.
Those traits include:
- Repeating behavior with a direct or indirect negative impact on your life
- Allowing yourself to be in risky situations
- Shakiness, loss of sleep, or other withdrawal symptoms when you don’t drink alcohol
- Hiding your substance use from friends or family
- Inability to stop consuming or using on your own
Once substance abuse shows these traits, it is more than just a habit.
Continued after infographic:
The World Health Organization doesn’t mince messaging regarding the impact of alcohol use on people and their communities.
“Alcohol is a psychoactive substance with dependence-producing properties that has been widely used in many cultures for centuries. The harmful use of alcohol causes a large disease, social and economic burden in societies,” according to the World Health Organization.
Here are some of the key facts about alcohol use and abuse:
- Harmful use of alcohol results in three million deaths worldwide yearly. In people ages 20 to 39 years old, roughly 13.5 % of all deaths are alcohol-related.
- More than 200 diseases and injury conditions are the result of using alcohol.
- More than five percent of the worldwide burden of disease and injury is attributable to alcohol.
Excessive drinking can increase the risk of the following health problems:
- Certain cancers, including breast cancer and cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and liver
- Sudden death if you already have cardiovascular disease
- Heart muscle damage (alcoholic cardiomyopathy) leading to heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Accidental serious injury or death
- Brain damage and other problems in an unborn child
- Alcohol withdrawal syndrome
It’s “Normal” for People Drink Alcohol for Nearly Every Occasion
From celebrating to mourning, culturally, we use alcohol to mark many occasions and events. We raise a glass to milestones like graduation and retirement. Girls’ night often includes drinking. We toast to the past and to the future. Many people drink to feel better or forget. But we aren’t encouraged to engage in other substances in such a socially acceptable way.
“The decision to drink alcohol will depend on the value that the person attributes to drinking alcohol—to elevate positive mood, alleviate negative mood and anxiety, or increase confidence—and the person’s expectation that these outcomes will actually happen,” according to Psychology Today.
That means the more a person drinks and finds the desired outcome, the more that person will drink. And a key motivator for choosing to drink is the normalcy many people associate with alcohol consumption. For example, at colleges, students drink more when drinking is ingrained in the campus culture.
Seeking Alcohol Rehab in Costa Mesa Can Save Your Life
Alcohol use is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Medical Association.
But you can develop new behaviors at our alcohol rehab in Costa Mesa and begin addiction recovery. Through our personally tailored programs at Clear Life Recovery, doctors and counselors help you rethink the use of alcohol. Along with residential treatment and detox, Clear Life Recovery helps you identify negative patterns and wrong thinking about alcohol consumption. Through life skills training, people learn how to set practical goals, develop and use coping techniques, and solve problems in healthy ways instead of turning to alcohol.