After booze-soaked holidays and the desire to get back in shape and healthier at the top of a new year, many may feel inspired to temporarily go alcohol-free or at least significantly cut back. However, come February, they often find themselves back to their old drinking habits (a nightly glass of wine, a few cocktails at their weekly ‘Happy Hour,’ binge drinking on the weekends).
The first two things that come to mind when people think of addiction issues are usually drugs and alcohol. But, of course, we can really become addicted to anything whether it’s food, sugar, shopping, exercise and sex (just to name a few). Once a substance or habit starts to take over and negatively affect your quality of life, livelihood and health, to me, this is addiction.
When most people think about the damaging effects of drinking too much alcohol, they usually think of the damage it may do to the liver. We tend to not think so much about the damage it could do to the brain, specifically alcohol-related dementia (also sometimes called alcohol-related brain damage). Take for example, the sad story of this 48-year-old woman in the United Kingdom named Maria Chilvers.
One might think that if bars and nightclubs are closed, people should be drinking less. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Reports show that many people are really struggling with being isolated and using drugs and alcohol to cope with this isolation and even boredom that can come with this new way of life we are all living.
A huge congrats is due to Lady Gaga. Not just because she recently released her new album, but also because she recently shared with the world that she has quit smoking.
About a year ago, an article from Forbes discussed how America’s alcohol crisis has been overshadowed by the opioid crisis. The reality is that alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. (The first is tobacco. The second is poor diet and physical inactivity, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. This equates to one death every 50 minutes!
Angela Kennecke is a news reporter who reported for years about the opioid epidemic in America. Unfortunately, she became directly affected by the very problem she had dedicated her career to informing people about. Kennecke’s daughter recently died due to a fentanyl overdose.
Quite often, a person who struggles with alcoholism also suffers from depression. Reportedly, depression affects many of the 140 million people worldwide battling alcohol use disorders. And to make matters more complicated, alcohol worsens depression and depression worsens alcohol abuse.
There is a huge stigma attached to being overweight. We often don’t give obese people the same sympathy we give to someone battling other addictions, like gambling or substance abuse.
When struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, people decide to go to either peer support groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), or some type of drug rehab program.
Suicide has been in the news lately. We have lost two famous people to suicide this week- Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Earlier in the year, we also lost Avicii. And there are many others who were not famous who also committed suicide.
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