Alcohol Abuse News

Though its purchase and consumption are legal, alcohol is a drug. And like all drugs, it can lead to dependency and addiction if not consumed responsibly. The term “alcohol abuse” is generally used when people fall into a habit of drinking so frequently or in such a manner that it affects other parts of their lives, including jobs, family and overall behavior.

Alcohol abuse is often seen as a stepping stone to alcoholism, which is defined as a chronic, potentially life-threatening addiction to alcohol. Both conditions are often classified as alcohol use disorders.

Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol use disorders in the United States are fairly widespread. When the disorder is still perceived as “alcohol abuse,” there is not yet a physical dependence on alcohol. However, alcohol abuse can still cause a number of problems. For example, people who abuse alcohol will often put themselves in dangerous situations, including driving drunk or potentially getting arrested or arguing with family and other loved ones. They will show a tendency to put their drinking ahead of more important responsibilities in their lives, like work or family.

When alcohol abuse progresses to alcoholism, it becomes a full-blown addiction. The alcoholic literally needs alcohol and will go through withdrawal symptoms like sweating, shaking and extreme irritability without it. In addition, alcoholics need ever-increasing amounts of alcohol to achieve the feeling they desire.

Treatment for Alcohol Abuse

Even if the alcohol use disorder is not full-blown alcoholism, most people with drinking problems can benefit from a formal treatment program. This will typically involve therapy, including counseling, support groups and possibly individual sessions with a therapist. Many people who get help for their alcohol abuse are able to remain alcohol free after treatment.

SOURCES: U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Date Posted
Article Title
6/26/2017
Boozing Can Age You Right Down to Your Cells

DNA studies reveal alcoholics have shorter telomeres, key markers of aging and overall health

6/23/2017
Risky Behavior Triggers Vicious Cycle for Vets With PTSD

Report finds reckless acts a symptom of disorder, and they increase the odds of another traumatic experience

6/23/2017
Fewer U.S. Kids Binge Drinking

But 1 in 7 still had excess alcohol at least once in past month, study finds

6/12/2017
Nearly 10 Million U.S. Adults Suffer From Mental Illness

More than a third aren't getting help, federal study says

6/7/2017
Excess Alcohol May Speed Muscle Loss in Older Women

After menopause, frequent drinkers had four times the risk of sarcopenia, study found

6/7/2017
U.S. Liver Cancer Deaths Have Doubled Since 1980s: Study

It's now fifth-leading cause of cancer death in men and No. 8 among women

6/5/2017
Cirrhosis Could Raise Stroke Risk

Average yearly rate of the attacks doubled in people with the liver disease, study found

5/22/2017
Fewer U.S. Teens Are Boozing It Up

Study finds frequent binge drinking among adolescents has dropped in past 25 years

5/17/2017
Could a Weight-Loss Surgery Lead to Alcohol Abuse?

Patients who undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass appear more likely to develop drinking problem, study says

5/16/2017
Think You're a 'Fun Drunk?' A 'Mean Drunk?' Think Again

Study finds people overestimate just how much boozing changes their personality

5/11/2017
Fewer U.S. High School Students Drink, CDC Finds

But many who do imbibe do so excessively

5/5/2017
'I'm Not a Bad Drunk, But He Is'

Study finds each drinker believes they're better-behaved than those around them

5/2/2017
Mental Health Myths Abound in the U.S.

For instance, survey finds less than half can recognize anxiety

4/27/2017
Drugs Now Involved in More Fatal U.S. Crashes Than Alcohol Alone

Study suggests deaths due to drugged driving are rising as states legalize pot and drug abuse grows

4/6/2017
Family History May Magnify Your Hangover

People whose relatives have drinking problem recall day-after symptoms more clearly, study finds

3/31/2017
Tanning's Allure Tied to Other Addictions

Some people with need for bronzed skin likely to drink too much alcohol or have depression, study finds

3/29/2017
More Older Women Hitting the Bottle Hard

Study found dramatic jump in binge drinking in this vulnerable group

3/24/2017
Substance Abuse Taxes the American Workplace

Survey, analysis reveal the full cost of employees addicted to alcohol, painkillers and other drugs

3/24/2017
3/22/2017
Energy Drinks and Alcohol

People who mix energy drinks and alcohol at increased risk of injuries, study finds.

3/17/2017
Drinking, Drug Abuse Doubles Veterans' Suicide Risk: Study

Rate 5 times higher for female vets who abuse alcohol, drugs than for female vets who don't

3/8/2017
Pot + Booze = Skidding College Grades

Study findings suggest parents and universities need to warn of dangers, limit exposure

3/5/2017
Longer Addiction Treatment Is Better, Study Confirms

Success rate goes up significantly when programs last more than 30 days, psychiatrist says

2/24/2017
More Booze Won't Beat Back That Hangover

Drinking coffee doesn't ease the agony either, substance abuse expert adds

2/18/2017
Ready for Spring Break? Have Fun But Play It Safe

Drinking too much can affect your judgment, increasing your risk for injury, CDC warns

2/13/2017
Tougher Alcohol Laws Mean Fewer Young People Killed on the Road

9 percent drop in deaths where policies to discourage drinking and driving among all motorists were most stringent

1/17/2017
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome a Global Problem: Report

Countries with highest alcohol use during pregnancy include Belarus, Britain, Denmark, Ireland and Russia

1/5/2017
Breathalyzer Lock Laws Prevent Drunk-Driving Deaths: Study

But only half of U.S. states require them for all offenders, researchers note

1/3/2017
Study Ties Alcohol Abuse to Increased Heart Risks

Association similar to that from high blood pressure, smoking, obesity and diabetes, researchers say

12/31/2016
Make a Healthy Lifestyle Your New Year's Resolution

The American Medical Association offers seven goals to get you started

12/30/2016
DUI Rates Decline for U.S. Drivers

But that doesn't mean roads will be safe New Year's Eve; 28 million still drink and drive, survey finds

12/23/2016
Head Off 'Holiday Heart Syndrome'

Eating and drinking too much can increase your risk for cardiac complications, experts advise

12/22/2016
Celebrate the Holidays, But Not While Drinking and Driving

Coffee won't help a tipsy person sober up, traffic safety experts warn

12/21/2016
Where Medical Pot Is Legal, Fatal Car Crashes Often Decline

It's possible that these state laws might cause younger drivers to drink less, researchers said

12/13/2016
Drug Use by U.S. Teens Drops to All-Time Low

Use of tobacco and alcohol down significantly, too, federal report finds

12/11/2016
Alcohol Can Be a Risky Guest at Holiday Parties

Don't pressure people to drink and make sure those who are imbibing have a designated driver

12/7/2016
Alcohol and Skin Cancer

Can drinking alcohol increase your risk of melanoma skin cancer?

11/30/2016
Scientists Spot 'Teetotaler' Gene

Discovery might one day lead to drugs to control excessive alcohol consumption, researchers say

11/24/2016
A Little Alcohol Each Day May Cut Your Risk of Stroke

But drinking doesn't curb risk of every kind of stroke, and heavy drinking increases the danger, study finds

11/23/2016
1 in 7 Young Teens Is a Stalking Victim: Survey

They're at higher risk of substance abuse and depression, researchers say

11/16/2016
Alcohol May Fuel Prostate Cancer Risk

The more men drank, the stronger the association, study found

11/9/2016
Blood Test May Spot Babies at Risk for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Study singled out infants who showed physical, mental signs of exposure

11/3/2016
More Than Half of Americans Have Chronic Health Problem: Study

Medical conditions, mental illness and substance abuse problems often overlap, researchers say

11/2/2016
Heavy Drinking While Young May Mean Hefty Health Tab Later

Study suggests alcohol might harm brain, body even if one stops abusing by age 30

10/28/2016
Drinking and Gender

Do men still drink more than women . . . and in quantities that can damage health?

10/25/2016
Women Reaching Equality in Dubious Habit: Drinking

Females also closing the gender gap on health problems from alcohol consumption

10/13/2016
Mixed News on Drug Abuse Among Lesbian, Gay Americans

This group is more likely to use illicit substances, but also more apt to seek out help, report finds

10/5/2016
For Problem Drinkers, Experimental Drug Shows Promise

Smokers may also benefit, clinical trial suggests

9/22/2016
Heavy Drinking Can Harm the Aging Brain

Study supports notion that the habit is toxic to brain cells, slows mental abilities

9/21/2016
Alcoholics May Lack Key Enzyme

Rat study suggests PRDM2 helps the brain control impulses to drink