According to statistics garnered by the Centers for Disease Control, excessive alcohol use can lead to the following:
- Chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis (damage to liver cells); pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas); various cancers, including liver, mouth, throat, larynx (the voice box), and esophagus; high blood pressure; and psychological disorders.
- Unintentional injuries, such as motor-vehicle traffic crashes, falls, drowning, burns, and firearm injuries.
- Violence, such as child maltreatment, homicide, and suicide.
- Harm to a developing fetus if a woman drinks while pregnant, such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Alcohol use disorders.
The use of alcohol and drugs amongst adolescents is on the rise. One NIDA study places substance use among ages 12-14 at 50.7 percent of this age group (NIDA, 2017). Statistics vary amongst young adults; however, it has certainly seen a sharp rise in the recent past.
As alcohol and drug use become more socially acceptable, use becomes more prevalent. Adolescents and young adults do not want to be “left behind” by their peers and want to feel a part of and a sense of belonging to a group. These groups are especially vulnerable to social pressure in all types of manifestations, and succumb to societal and peer pressure more readily than other groups. Chemical use at a young age can cause developmental delays and a sort of halting in said developmental process; this may takes many years to correct. Especially susceptible to this are females, primarily adolescent females. The NIAAA, a branch of NIH says that women typically start to have alcohol-related problems at lower drinking levels than men and women typically weigh less than men. Also; pound for pound, women have less water in their bodies than men do, and alcohol resides predominantly in body water.
Social awareness and a healthy peer environment, as well as fostering a sense of well-being amongst the groups are vital. It does not bode well to simply sit idly by, as these groups fall into the ether and become lost amidst the chaos of life. As members of society, we have an obligation to reach out our hand and lift up those who feel that they are helpless and beyond repair. Each day is an opportunity to help; never lose sight of that.
Being candidly and publicly speaking about your former issues in not always necessary. I do not think that I can possibly erase my former struggles. There is not a chance in hell that EVERYONE doesn’t know about them. Since 1995 they have been public knowledge. Understand I talk about these things with professional guidance.
Please be aware that this a widespread issue. It affects men, women, young, old, all ethnicities, social classes, etc with a vengeance. The pain is unbearable.
But please know this: there is hope beyond the agony and a life better than you ever dreamed possible!