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
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In study, binge drinking 6 times a month lowered chances of full-time employment later

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Impact on drunk driving rate varied city to city, study found

How Much Alcohol Is Really OK?

Know your limit to protect your health

State Policies Can Reduce Alcohol-Related Murders

Up to 50 percent of homicides in the United States involve drinking, researchers say

College Drinking and Job Search

Binge-drinking in college could impact job chances upon graduation, new study finds.

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Trips for boozing, dental problems and mental health issues can be prevented, experts say

Pregnancy and Alcohol

There's little research on light drinking during pregnancy; abstinence still best, study concludes

Voters in Counties With Worse Life Expectancy Turned to Trump in Election

Study found link between two; researchers point to poverty, lack of health insurance, unhealthy lifestyles

Alcohol Use, Abuse on the Rise in U.S.

Women and older adults among those drinking more, study finds

'12-Step' Strategy Boosts Success of Teen Drug Abuse Program

Messages from recovering peers made an impact, study finds

Study Links Moderate Drinking to Reduced Risk of Dementia

But finding comes with cautions against excessive alcohol use over extended periods

Binge Drinking Rates Dropping on College Campuses

But study also shows those rates are rising for young adults who are not in school

College Binge Drinking Down?

Binge drinking is on the decline among college students, new study finds

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For people with the disorder, meds like Ritalin linked to lower rates of alcohol, drug abuse, study finds

Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. Adults Has Mental Illness or Drug Problem

New Jersey is the mentally healthiest state, report finds

Can Fetal Alcohol Damage Be Undone?

Two common medications show promise in lab rats, researchers report

Boozing Can Age You Right Down to Your Cells

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

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

Fewer U.S. Kids Binge Drinking

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

Nearly 10 Million U.S. Adults Suffer From Mental Illness

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

Excess Alcohol May Speed Muscle Loss in Older Women

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

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

Cirrhosis Could Raise Stroke Risk

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

Fewer U.S. Teens Are Boozing It Up

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

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

Think You're a 'Fun Drunk?' A 'Mean Drunk?' Think Again

Study finds people overestimate just how much boozing changes their personality

Fewer U.S. High School Students Drink, CDC Finds

But many who do imbibe do so excessively

'I'm Not a Bad Drunk, But He Is'

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

Mental Health Myths Abound in the U.S.

For instance, survey finds less than half can recognize anxiety

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

Family History May Magnify Your Hangover

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

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

More Older Women Hitting the Bottle Hard

Study found dramatic jump in binge drinking in this vulnerable group