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Facts You Didn’t Know About Alcoholism

  1. Alcohol can cause cancer

In fact, the National Cancer Institute approximates that 3.5% of all cancer deaths are caused by alcohol abuse. Alcoholism can cause many different types of cancer. Alcohol abuse exponentially increases the risk of varying cancer, including cancers of the mouth, throat, voice box, breast, esophagus, liver, pancreas, colon, and rectum. The more alcohol consumed and the longer the duration of abuse, the greater the risk of alcohol-related cancer.

  1. Combining tobacco with alcohol is a dangerous combination

Tobacco greatly increases the risk of cancer when combined with alcohol, particularly in the mouth, throat, and esophagus. This is because alcohol serves as a solvent, allowing toxins like tobacco smoke to enter cells more easily.

  1. It might not take as much alcohol as you think to qualify as abuse

Researchers technically define “heavy” alcohol use as having more than four drinks a day or 14 drinks a week for men and having more than three drinks a day or 7 drinks per week for women.

Read more: Facts About Drug Abuse

  1. Women are more susceptible to the damaging effects of alcohol than men

The reason men can tolerate more alcohol than women is that women are composed of more body fat and less water than men. This makes alcohol affects women more strongly and takes a longer time to be processed in and eliminated from women’s bodies.

  1. There are stages of alcoholism that you can look for in yourself and others

If you notice the behaviors described in yourself or others form any of these stages, please seek help for alcohol abuse or encourage your loved one to seek help.

Pre-alcoholic: the pre-alcoholic stage is difficult to recognize because it resembles “normal” or socially acceptable alcohol use. At this stage, the drinker is primarily socially drinking or drinking acceptable quantities. At this stage, the drinker develops a tolerance to alcohol and starts to increase use. The alcoholic may also begin using alcohol outside of social occasions, or for emotional reasons, such as to soothe anxiety.

Early alcoholic: the early alcoholic stage often includes blackouts from binge drinking, attempts to resist or limit drinking, increased drinking (despite attempts to cut back), and concealing alcohol use from others. At this stage, friends and family might notice peculiar alcohol habits but are not sure there is a severe problem.

Middle alcoholic: at this stage, alcohol abuse becomes apparent to others. The drinker may be missing work or social events due to drinking or hangovers. Physical symptoms may be present, such as sudden or dramatic weight gain or loss. The drinker may be drinking at inappropriate times, such as before driving or at work.

Late alcoholic: this stage occurs after chronic alcohol abuse, and health problems from drinking are present. If the drinker has not already lost their job or relationships by this point, it usually happens in this stage.

  1. The symptoms of alcohol abuse

Symptoms of alcohol abuse (at any stage) include: failed attempts to cut back on alcohol, blackouts, poor decisions made under the influence of alcohol, work or relationship problems due to drinking, cravings for alcohol, increased tolerance, and having withdrawal symptoms if the drinker does not use alcohol.

  1. Withdrawal symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include hangover, irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, shaking, and sweating.

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