List of Ways Alcohol and Alcoholism Can Kill You

From 2007 to 2017, the percentage of alcohol-related deaths among American men increased by 29%. Studies also estimate that 15% of men in Europe and 11.5% of men in the Western Hemisphere struggle with alcohol abuse. Men are also twice as likely to develop cirrhosis and four times as likely to develop liver cancer.

how does alcoholism kill you

The risk of dying from sudden alcohol withdrawal are very real and very high, with estimates ranging from 6% to 25%, depending on their symptoms. Sadly, the unpleasant experience of withdrawal – both physical and mental – causes many addicts to relapse to heavy drinking. When a person has become an alcoholic, they begin to exhibit a variety of behaviors that have a negative impact on their health and personal and professional lives.

Stage #1: Occasional abuse and binge drinking

One of the biggest concerns with risky drinkers is when they don’t think they have a problem. Moderate drinking is the only safe way to consume alcohol, but drinking in general isn’t safe for everyone. Compulsive behaviors are how does alcoholism kill you prominent in addiction, and people with alcohol addiction often drink whenever and wherever they desire. People with alcohol addiction physically crave the substance and are often inconsolable until they start drinking again.

Evidence suggests that people with the condition can slowly improve and adapt to the reduced blood flow by developing new blood vessels. Given these significant health consequences, it’s not surprising that many people who are addicted to the substance, try to quit. However, if it’s not done properly, withdrawal from alcohol can have terrible health consequences of its own, including death. Alcohol withdrawal happens when your body is dependent on alcohol and you either stop drinking or greatly reduce your alcohol intake. The World Health Organization estimates that alcohol kills three million people throughout the world every year.

Potential health risks of chronic heavy drinking

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition in which a person continues to consume alcohol despite the adverse health consequences. About 76% of those who die from alcohol poisoning are men. The excitatory and inhibitory pathways in the brain control the central nervous system and heart.

People who drink alcohol are also more likely to accidentally die violently. For example, alcohol has been connected to various cases of people drowning, falling, or being struck by cars. Additionally, people who drink alcohol heavily are much more likely to attempt suicide.

Stages of Alcoholism

Alcohol damages the brain, heart, liver and pancreas, and it increases the risk of some cancers, such as mouth and bowel cancer. It also weakens the immune system, making people more vulnerable to infectious diseases, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. These physiological changes contribute to the increasing tolerance seen in early-stage alcoholics. Despite heavy alcohol consumption, they may show few signs of intoxication or ill effects from drinking, such as a hangover.

how does alcoholism kill you

For example, alcoholics will continue to drink despite it causing them negative consequences. It is dangerous to assume that an unconscious person will be fine by sleeping it off. One potential danger of alcohol overdose is choking on one’s own vomit. Alcohol at very high levels can hinder signals in the brain that control automatic responses, such as the gag reflex. With no gag reflex, a person who drinks to the point of passing out is in danger of choking on their vomit and dying from a lack of oxygen (i.e., asphyxiation).

How your liver breaks down alcohol in your body

Alcohol is a more pervasive and widely-abused harmful substance than any illegal drug. Overdosing on alcohol is just as dangerous as overdosing on other drugs. How much alcohol can kill you depends on your tolerance to alcohol as well as your gender, age, weight, and any medical conditions you have, such as diabetes or hepatitis. Using certain medications while drinking alcohol can also produce harmful effects. What kills alcoholics is dependent on many factors, one of which is the amount of alcohol consumed.

Regular overconsumption of alcohol over many years may also lead to the development of alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD). However, chronic heavy drinking can be detrimental to health. Too much alcohol affects your speech, muscle coordination and vital centers of your brain. A heavy drinking binge may even cause a life-threatening coma or death.

About 30% of suicide victims drink alcohol before taking their lives. By drinking responsibly and getting treatment for alcohol abuse, you can help stop alcohol from claiming more lives. Excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21. You see, the kidneys and liver can only metabolize alcohol so quickly. In general, a healthy liver can only process one ounce of liquor (one standard drink) per hour.

  • Instead, your doctor will use a detailed medical history and physical examination to help diagnose and determine the severity of withdrawal.
  • However, records are not just being broken on land – but in the water.
  • Too much alcohol affects your speech, muscle coordination and vital centers of your brain.
  • For example, alcohol has been connected to various cases of people drowning, falling, or being struck by cars.
  • Fluid buildup in end-stage liver disease is a particularly ominous sign.

The major causes of alcohol-related death are alcohol poisoning, cancer, car accidents, heart failure, liver damage, and violence. Every day in the United States, about 30 people lose their lives in a car accident involving alcohol and about 6 people die from alcohol poisoning. In just 4 years from 2006 to 2010, alcohol killed 88,000 Americans, costing the country 2.5 million years of potential human life. Moreover, the extreme consequences of alcohol abuse are not diminishing. From 2007 to 2017, the number of alcohol-related deaths in the United States increased by 35%. There are a number of other ways alcoholism can kill you that don’t fit into any single category.

Support links

If you’ve been covering up for your loved one and not talking about their addiction openly for a long time, it may seem daunting to reach out for help. However, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the support you need as well. Lean on the people around you, and, if you need to, reach out to a mental health professional to speak about your stress and what you’re going through. When someone with alcohol dependency promises they will never drink again but a short time later are back to drinking as much as always, it is easy to take the broken promises and lies personally. You may think, “If they really love me, they wouldn’t lie to me.”

how does alcoholism kill you

Scientists have reported widespread coral bleaching in the area and are predicting that if the sea heatwave continues it could lead to the death of some reef residents. By feeding this information into a statistical model, the researchers gauged the diminishing strength and resilience of the ocean current by its growing year-on-year fluctuations. Researchers have predicted the collapse of the AMOC could happen any time between 2025 and 2095 — far sooner than previous predictions, although not all scientists are convinced. You may be given fluids, which may be given into your veins with a drip.

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