Experts reveal the subtle signs that you’re on the road to alcoholism… as experts say even one drink a year is unhealthy

Doctors want to change the way people view alcoholism amid a growing body of evidence showing that even a small amount is bad for your health.

The Biden administration’s alcohol czar, Dr. George Koob, has foreshadowed revised alcohol consumption guidelines in the coming year to better reflect a growing scientific consensus that no amount of Alcohol is not healthy.

Canadian authorities also radically revised guidelines for safe alcohol consumption by recommending that people drink no more than two drinks per week, a marked difference from the maximum of 15 drinks outlined in guidelines published 11 years ago. previously.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization’s new official position is that no amount of alcohol is safe, building on years of evidence showing that alcohol is linked to around five percent cancers, more than a million strokes worldwide and more than 13,500 drunk driving deaths each year. .

Dr Stephen Holt, an addiction specialist at Yale University, told that an alcoholic is not necessarily someone who drinks all day or passes out when drinking.

Even someone who limits himself to a few drinks to unwind after a stressful day may have alcoholic tendencies.

CDC researchers found that there were about 90,000 deaths per year among adults ages 20 to 65 between 2015 and 2019 in which alcohol was an underlying or contributing cause.

For millions of people, unwinding in the evening after a long day at work involves a glass of wine or a bottle of beer.

This glass or bottle, however, can turn into two or three. You may wake up with a headache or nausea, but overall you feel fine – not exactly the picture of problematic alcohol use.

But once the residual symptoms have subsided, you can start looking forward to the ritual, sitting on the couch with another drink later in the day. You may even look forward to it so much that it’s the only thing you can think about at work. So when you get home, you make a cocktail.

According to psychiatrists, a person who finds themselves trapped in this cycle of craving and drinking punctuated by brief, mild hangovers may be surprised to learn that they meet certain criteria for a substance use disorder. ‘alcohol.

Dr Holt told that people tend to lull themselves into a false sense of security about their drinking if they only have a few drinks a night. But, he cautions, “addiction is not really a quantity.”

Dr Holt said: “It’s really more about this maladaptive relationship that a person has with a particular substance.”

While it’s true that drinking a few glasses of wine or a cocktail at the end of the day is hardly considered drinking, that’s four or more drinks for a woman and five or more drinks in one instance for a man, it’s the emotional attachment to drinking that could be problematic.

Dr. Holt referred to a list of criteria defining what constitutes alcohol use disorder (AUD), the accepted modern term for alcoholism.

Does a person feel like drinking? have they tried repeatedly to stop drinking and found they couldn’t; whether it harmed their relationships; Does their health suffer? have they continued to drink despite knowing how it affects their mood and behavior?

He said: “None of the things I just said really have anything to do with the amount of alcohol someone drinks. They are more interested in their relationship with alcohol.

“So a person can, for example, suffer from an alcohol use disorder without exceeding the limits that we have mentioned.”

Addiction experts say the United States needs to reevaluate its relationship with alcohol because research shows that no amount is the healthiest amount.

Addiction experts say the United States needs to reevaluate its relationship with alcohol because research shows that no amount is the healthiest amount.

Given all the health risks associated with alcohol consumption – four percent of cancers diagnosed worldwide may be linked to it – a growing wave of health-conscious young people are becoming abstinent.

The general recommendation has long been that men drink fewer than 14 drinks per week and women drink seven drinks or fewer.

But leading health organizations are now questioning years of accepted knowledge.

Dr Holt said: “But that advice came out, my God, 15 or 20 years ago. Over the last three, four, five years, I would say, there’s been more and more evidence that there may not be a safe amount of alcohol.

For millions of Americans who have experienced mass lockdowns, school closures, and periods of mandated work from home, alcohol has become the crutch of choice for relieving anxiety. Scientists estimate that a quarter of Americans have been drinking more than usual during the pandemic.

And while younger Gen Z has enthusiastically avoided alcohol in the interest of their mental health and social media presence, older working-age adults are still avid drinkers, with 69 percent of 35 to 54 year olds who drink and 59 percent of those over 55.



Long-standing orthodoxy was that an occasional glass of red wine was healthy for the heart, but experts have now refuted the supposed benefits, saying the evidence is flimsy and has only been documented in studies observational – meaning other factors could be at play.

In fact, drinking just one drink may also increase the risk of a type of heart arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation, according to a 2021 report in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

It’s this kind of research that is causing Americans to reevaluate their relationship with alcohol and the reasons they drink it.

Alcohol is also known to raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease.

A 2023 study published in the journal Hypertension found that the more alcohol people drank, the higher their blood pressure rose. This was true for both systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP).

It may also increase estrogen levels in women, which has been linked to a higher risk of developing breast cancer and other hormone-related cancers.

News Source :
Gn Health

Back to top button