People often view drinking alcohol as a way to relax after a hard day. In fact, the media paints the picture of alcohol being a must for celebrations and socializing. However, drinking too much has negative consequences. Here are some things that people should know about alcohol abuse.
What Is Alcohol Abuse? How Does It Differ From Alcohol Use Disorder?
First, it’s important to note that alcohol abuse and alcohol use disorder aren’t the same. Many people use them interchangeably, but there are some differences.
Alcohol abuse happens when people drink too much on occasion. Their use of alcohol tends to result in poor judgment and risky behavior.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) refers to someone who’s dependent on alcohol. In short, people with AUD need alcohol to function normally throughout the day. They typically drink every day, too. The longer they suffer from AUD, the more they have to drink to get the same effect.
Doctors consider AUD to be a chronic, relapsing brain disorder. When people have AUD, they’re typically in a negative emotional state when they don’t drink. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) says that nearly 16 million people suffer from AUD.
What Do Experts Consider to Be an Alcoholic Drink?
To abuse alcohol, people have to drink a certain amount. The most recent guidelines note that men should drink no more than two drinks in a single day. Over the course of a week, they should drink no more than 14 drinks.
The number of drinks women can have in a day or week is lower. Women should drink no more than one drink a day or seven during a week.
Keep in mind, however, that these are just rough numbers. The number of drinks that people can safely drink varies depending on their age, weight and body type.
What does the NIAAA consider as a drink? The amount of alcohol for “a drink” depends on the type of alcohol. A 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine and 1.5 ounces of liquor are each one drink. As such men shouldn’t drink more than two, 12-ounce cans of beer a day.
Effects of Alcohol on the Body and Brain
Alcohol has numerous adverse effects on the body. In the short term, it can alter people’s moods. It decreases their inhibitions and impedes their judgment. As a depressant, alcohol can make them feel sad or depressed.
Drinking too much can also cause a hangover the next day. Hangovers cause dehydration, nausea, headaches and mental fogginess. These effects, however, typically last for a day.
In the long term, the abuse of alcohol can cause more severe problems. Studies show that regular abuse can cause memory issues. Heavy use of alcohol can also damage vital organs, especially the liver.
Alcohol also lowers the quality of sleep people get during the rapid eye movement sleep cycle. Some people assume that alcohol helps them sleep because it makes them fall asleep quicker. In reality, they get less restorative sleep. After drinking too much, they typically feel tired the next day and are unable to concentrate.
Get Help for Alcohol Abuse at Kemah Palms
At Kemah Palms in Kemah, Texas, we provide high-end substance abuse treatment for our residents. We offer several programs to give our residents the best chance of overcoming drug and alcohol problems, including:
- Chronic pain recovery program
- Residential rehab
- Intensive outpatient rehab
- Medical detox
- Relapse Prevention
Regarding holistic treatment options, we have many. We offer stress relieving services such as meditation, acupuncture, and yoga. We also provide therapeutic opportunities such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. Also, we invite our residents to take part in our healthy activities program.