Consequences of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction Treatment on National and Individual Levels

National Effects of Alcoholism

The need for alcohol rehabilitation is greater than most people realize. Over 13 million people suffer from alcoholism in the United States. The use of alcohol is also perceived as a factor in over three million violent criminal activities. Billions of dollars are spent every year in alcohol-related injuries at ER visits, when students suffer from alcohol poisoning at colleges, and related costs associated with underage drinking. Half of traffic fatalities are alcohol-related.

The toxicity of alcoholism can influence a community on a larger scale. For instance, one auto accident involving a drunk driver can cause the premature death of many people. The impact to the families involved in that crash is horrific. The toll for surviving family members is frequently an insurmountable grief. This can lead to depression, decreased social function, and even loss of work.

The compounding issues, however, are extensive and manifold. The allocation of police and medical attention is only the beginning of the cost to the taxpayer. Legal action results in expenses related to lawyers and court costs. The public pays for these issues through the salaries of judges and maintenance of judicial processes.

Unfortunately, until the need for widespread access to alcohol rehab is addressed as a standard social requirement, the negative impact of alcoholism will continue to take its toll on American society as a whole.

In addition to the negative consequences within a community, alcoholism has multiple deleterious physical and emotional side effects on a smaller scale.
Alcohol consumption can cause short-term issues such as impaired judgment and slowed physical reactions. However, prolonged use results in even greater problems.

Effects of Alcoholism on the Individual

For the addict, psychological problems, damage to the body, and depression can affect the user and everyone who is exposed to the alcoholic. Alcohol addiction can affect personal relationships, impede work performance, and hinder social interactions between the alcoholic and his immediate social environs. Without addiction treatment, the statistics for alcohol abusers is grim.

Over 90% of alcoholics die from their disease. Complications such as cirrhosis of the liver, gastrointestinal disorders and high blood pressure can lead to life-threatening situations. The most familiar injury is usually injury to vital organs, which can lead to death. However, internal bleeding, malnutrition, and lowered resistance to disease are other possible health problems associated with alcohol abuse.

Perhaps most chilling is the fact that approximately a third of all alcohol-related deaths concern acts of suicide or accidental death. This statistic speaks to the emotional anguish that alcoholics suffer from. Many times, the underlying issue of chronic emotional pain is not addressed unless in an alcohol rehab program. Fortunately for the alcoholic, hope is on the horizon. Treatment of this destructive disease results in lower incidents of recidivisms and an improved quality of life for the alcoholic.

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