With the staggering social, psychological, physical, emotional, economic, criminal, and spiritual toll that alcohol abuse has on so many suffering individuals and families, it is understandable why this disease is one of the costliest epidemics in our country. Treatment for this chronic disease of the brain circuitry has been altogether ineffective for the majority of sufferers. Can you imagine a chronic disease in our society where the treatment has been virtually unchanged since 1935? (When AA was created, and, incidentally, before the development of Penicillin!!) Now that the physiologic (brain) component of all addictions are clearly recognized as major contributing factor to this chronic disease, we may strategically employ effective medications to reduce, or in some cases eliminate, the cravings to drink. The effective utilization of these medications (Naltrexone implant, and others,) combined with traditional methods of psycho-social support and behavioral modification, serves to elevate the chance of long-tern sobriety into very promising and hopeful territory.
- More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with an alcohol problem
- Each year in the United States, nearly 85,000 people die from alcohol-related causes, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in our country.
- CDC estimates that Alcohol Abuse cost the US economy $224 billion dollars per year, costlier that both Cancer and Obesity.
Alcohol Abuse may lead to:
- Dementia, stroke and neuropathy
- Cardiovascular problems, including myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation and hypertension
- Psychiatric problems, including depression, anxiety, and suicide
- Social problems, including unemployment, lost productivity, family problems, violence including child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, fights, homicide, sexual misconduct and STDs
- Unintentional injuries, such as motor-vehicle traffic crashes, falls, drowning, burns and firearm injuries.
- Increased risk for many kinds of cancers, including liver, mouth, throat, larynx (voice box) and esophagus
- Liver diseases, including fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis
- Gastrointestinal problems, including pancreatitis and gastritis