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Brad Lamm, CIPdrinking-cheers-pexels-photo-27431 | Most of us know that drinking can be dangerous. At the same time, most will agree that social drinking, a few beers at a BBQ, is harmless.

What we know to be true is that alcohol can be dangerous for anyone prone to addiction or those who are reckless in their moderation. Most believe that as long as we are socially appropriate alcohol is fun; harmless even.

It turns out that alcohol is a health risk to everyone, even those who drink responsibly. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2006 through 2010 “excessive alcohol consumption accounted for nearly 1 in 10 deaths.” Wow! That’s 1 in 10 deaths of all adult related deaths.

That goes beyond the stereotype, those we might call “hopeless drunks” and even the drunk drivers we hear about on the daily news. “Excessive drinking is associated with a lot more causes of death than we tend to focus on. Alcohol intake plays a role in at least 54 different conditions linked to death,” according to the epidemiologist at Washington State Department of Health and author of the study.

Smoking cigarettes has rightfully received great flack in this country for the damage it does on the future you. Alcohol on the other hand is an accepted and cherished part of our culture. Long term effects are often dismissed in the toast to today.

Get this, according to the same study “the national annual average AAD (that means alcohol-attributable deaths) rate of 27.9 deaths per 100,000 population was higher than the average annual death rate for 10 of the 15 leading causes of deaths from 2006 through 2010.” It’s one of the top five killers. What we might not want to admit is that drinking has just as much long term damage associated with it as other compulsive behaviors like smoking. If that’s not enough, drinking has great short term risks that even smoking doesn’t have. Impaired decision making and drunk driving to name two.

Bottom line is we need to take alcohol more seriously. For those who have problems with alcohol and choose recovery, total abstinence is crucial. However, based on these statistics even common users can be at risk. Keep in mind that there are other ways to enjoy yourself on the weekends without taking years off your life with drinking.

I am a recovering addict and alcoholic, 11 years removed from crystal meth and alcohol dependence. I devote my life and career to helping others who struggle from this disease. If you or someone you love needs help, call Breathe Life Healing Center’s admission line today, and get answers to your questions. We treat alcohol addiction and other substance addictions as well.

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