Alcohol is legal. Drinking alcohol is legal. But the word legal doesn’t mean that it’s safe or healthy. In honor of Recovery Month, we thought it would be a good idea to explore why something that is so ingrained in our culture is actually just as dangerous a drug as the ones that are dubbed illegal.
3 Reasons You Should Care About Alcohol Addiction (even if you’re not an addict)
Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States.
Since it’s legal, alcohol has surpassed the taboo reputation of many other drugs like cocaine or heroin. However, there are many consequences of drinking alcohol that have no affect on it’s prevalence of use across the country.
Like how it’s the fourth leading preventable cause of death in America today. Or how 31% of all driving fatalities are thanks to driving under the influence of alcohol.*
Alcohol is a primary factor in the four leading causes of death for young people age 10 to 21.
This statistic is jarring. It’s especially problematic because kids who start drinking before age 15 are also four times more likely to develop a dependency on alcohol.
The best thing to do, as a parent, is to talk to your child early, and more importantly, often. Kids who have conversations with their parents about the dangerous behaviors and consequences of alcohol consumption and drug use are 50% less likely to use drugs and alcohol as opposed to those who don’t have these kinds of conversations.
In addition, research has revealed that drinking during teenage years could greatly affect adolescent brain development.
16.3 million American adults (ages 18 and up) struggled with an alcohol use disorder in 2014.
Thanks in part to the media, drinking alcohol is a normal and almost expected part of growing up nowadays. Alcohol makes an appearance on television once about every 20 minutes on average. Additionally, your typical American sees 100,000 beer commercials, all before the age of 18.
We want you to know that if you are concerned for yourself or a loved one, help is available. If your drinking has caused problems in your personal, professional, or family life, it may be time to explore your options for alcohol addiction treatment.
*in the year 2014