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The Impact of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism is destructive for alcoholics, their families, their jobs, and their communities. The destruction is in terms of lives, relationships, and property. Anyone who has had to deal with an alcoholic knows this destruction is emotional as well as financial.

Accidents. As many as half of emergency room and trauma center visits are alcohol related. In 2015, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-related wrecks, which accounts for about 30 percent of all traffic deaths. The cost of alcohol-related car crashes is more than 44 billion dollars a year.

Alcohol poisoning. One of the most immediate effects of alcohol abuse is alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning is caused by binge drinking, which is roughly quantified as five drinks in two hours for men and four drinks in two hours for women. It happens when the liver can no longer keep up with the task of metabolizing alcohol and blood alcohol content rises quickly. Binge drinking is common in the US and most binge drinkers are not alcoholics.

Alcohol poisoning kills about 2200 people in the US every year, with many more hospitalized. The CDC estimates health problems related to binge drinking cost the US about 171 billion dollars every year, the majority of alcohol-related medical expenses. In some states, it’s legal for insurance companies to deny coverage for alcohol-related hospital visits, so after a miserable trip to the emergency room, you may also have to pay the bill yourself.

Relationships. Alcoholism is incredibly hard on relationships. Exactly what problems it causes depends on the severity of the problem. At first the alcoholic might neglect his family to drink, missing important events and responsibilities. He may become angry and violent or he might spend the grocery money on alcohol. If the alcoholism progresses far enough, he might lose his job and the family may not be able to support itself. All of this is incredibly hard on families and it’s difficult to quantify the loss of relationships with children or a spouse.

Alcoholic diseases. Alcoholism is tough on the body. Leaving aside the much greater risk of serious accident, alcoholism has many negative effects on your health. Fatty liver can start to occur after just a few bouts of binge drinking. Alcoholic hepatitis can occur earlier than most people think, especially in women, who are more susceptible. Alcohol increases your risk for heart disease and high blood pressure. Longtime drinkers are at greater risk for heart attack and stroke. The annual cost of treating these diseases in the US is about 52 billion dollars.


If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism, the longer you wait to get help, the harder it will be. Don’t wait until alcohol does serious damage. Call Gardens Wellness Center today at 844-828-1050 or email us at