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Alcohol Addiction Facts

There are many myths about alcoholism. These myths sometimes prevent people from understanding the actual alcohol addiction facts. Alcohol addiction occurs when a person develops a dependency on alcohol.

abuse of alcohol

Alcohol addiction is an illness. It can be helped through conscious effort and rehab.

  • One of the most important alcohol addiction facts is that alcoholism is an illness. This means an alcoholic can’t stop drinking just by choosing to do so. Alcoholism is a chronic disease. There is no cure. An alcoholic must receive ongoing treatment in order to effectively manage this illness.
  • It is also important to understand that an addiction to alcohol is one of the hardest addictions to overcome. It can be very dangerous to try to cope with a severe addiction to alcohol without the help of professionals. Nearly a third of all people with severe alcoholism who try to stop drinking on their own will die from the effects of withdrawal.
  • Alcoholics are not the only ones who experience the negative effects of alcohol addictions. Alcohol consumption contributes to more than half of all car accidents in the United States. Alcoholics are also more likely to abuse their children.
  • Children of alcoholics are four times more likely to develop an alcohol addiction themselves. This may be due to environmental or genetic influences. This is why it is very important for alcoholic parents to get treatment as soon as possible.
  • The long term heavy drinking that is often associated with alcohol addiction can cause major health problems. That’s because alcohol causes unhealthy changes in the body which can lead to diseases. This includes liver damage, anemia, heart disease, cancer and dementia. Heavy drinking can also cause high blood pressure, depression, nerve damage, and gout.
  • Nearly one out of every ten people who try alcohol will become addicted to it. Alcohol affects people differently. Some people develop an addiction right away. Others can drink for years before they develop an alcohol addiction.
  • Nearly 22,000 people die in the United States due to alcohol consumption. This number does not include alcohol related accidents. Most of these deaths are due to murders and suicides. More than half of all rapes and murders are attributed to alcohol use. Alcohol abuse is blamed for nearly a quarter of all suicides.
  • Drinking early in life increases a person’s chances of becoming addicted to alcohol. Children who start drinking alcohol before they turn 15 are four times more likely to develop an addiction than those don’t drink until they are 21.
  • Alcohol addiction is a major problem among teenagers. It is illegal in the United States for anyone under the age of 21 to buy alcohol. Yet nearly a quarter of all teenagers can be classified as problem drinkers. In fact, nearly 25 percent of the alcohol purchased in the U.S. is bought by underage drinkers.
  • One of the least known alcohol addiction facts is that there is a difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Both are problems but they are not the same. A person who is addicted has developed a physical dependency on alcohol. People who are addicted may also have a high tolerance for alcohol.