Is Alcohol the Deadliest Drug?

Alcohol claims many lives each year in Arizona and around the nation. It is one of the deadliest drugs in the world in terms of annual deaths. The physiological, as well as sociological effects, cause a path of devastation that affects not only individuals but families, communities, and society as well. The accessibility of alcohol makes it a formable challenge to people trying to battle its pervasiveness and the influence it holds over those caught in its grip.

By-Products of Heavy Alcohol Consumption

Heavy alcohol consumption is the leading cause of death among substance abusers. The functioning of the brain can be damaged by destroying nerve cells, which can lead to severe memory loss. It can cause pervasive disease including several types of cancer, namely breast, liver, esophageal, and colon cancer. The additional diseases directly linked to alcohol consumption include fatty liver disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and alcohol hepatitis. Heavy drinking can also weaken heart function and disrupt oxygen distribution to organs. All of these conditions are painful to endure, not only to the individual but to those who witness the deterioration.

Alcohol During Pregnancy

Alcohol consumption while pregnant also has devastating consequences. Research has linked learning problems in children to injuries sustained in the womb caused by the mother’s use of alcohol. There is extensive information available on newborns who were exposed prenatally to alcohol, yet it continues to occur during pregnancies. Newborns who were exposed prenatally to alcohol have low sensory thresholds and have difficulty engaging in their environments, making it rare for these babies to reach an alert state. More often these babies reflect the irritable and hyperactive characteristics of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, making newborns the youngest and most undeserving victims of alcohol abuse.

Sociological Consequences

Aside from the physiological damage, there are sociological consequences too. Changes in character may result while drinking that result in a false sense of assurance which may diminish acuity. Consequently, the likelihood that the drinker will submit to anxiety or pressure from peers increases as does the potential for inappropriate and dangerous behavior. Compromised judgment and diminished abilities can result in tragedy, such as when drinking and driving result in fatal accidents. The likelihood of violence also increases as a drinker’s false sense of confidence is mixed with disregard for the well being of those around them. Such destructive results devastate families and destroy lives beyond repair.

Damage to Adolescent Development

For teenagers, the by-products of alcohol are particularly disturbing. Evidence reveals that adolescents who consume alcohol test lower than students who abstain and are at risk of poor academic performance. Female students who drink alcohol are more likely than their non-drinking peers to experience mental health problems. Furthermore, research shows that adolescent drinkers may exhibit serious behavioral problems. The potential loss of an adolescent’s ability to self-regulate their feelings and behavior is indisputable.

Get Help for Alcohol Addiction in Phoenix and Scottsdale

Alcohol abuse is responsible for catastrophic devastation among individuals and families. Societal concerns should be focused on the physical disease, sociological destruction and the monetary costs to communities produced by alcohol abuse. The cultivation of what is touted as normal drinking standards has a significant fault in the accepted quantities of consumption, and a rebranding of romanticized drinking is necessary to call attention to the acute damage heavy drinking incurs as the deadliest drug around. If you or a family member is affected, get help for alcohol addiction today.