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7 Surprising Facts About Alcohol

Alcohol often brings up images of lively social gatherings and celebratory toasts. However, beyond the clink of glasses, there are facts that can startle even the most seasoned drinker. Apart from the common perceptions about alcohol consumption, people need to know about the ones that rarely make it into everyday conversations.


In this discussion, we would like you to learn the lesser-known truths about alcohol, giving you a deeper understanding of how it impacts health and society. Regardless of whether you're a casual drinker or abstain entirely, let our insights provide you with a new perspective on alcohol intake.


Read on and learn about the surprising facts that will add to your knowledge.


alcohol abuse
Source: Cielo Treatment Center

Surprising Facts About Alcohol

Better awareness about alcohol and people’s potential to succumb to alcohol use disorder often start with curiosity. On the other hand, saving them from the negative impact it may bring can also begin by giving them a good grasp of what taking alcohol can do to them.


Here are seven things you might not know about alcohol. Start learning and sharing these with your loved ones.


1. Alcohol-related deaths

Six people die of alcohol-related deaths per day in Oregon. That is compared to 3 deaths per day from fentanyl, which makes it the most deadly drug in the state. This sobering figure highlights a widespread but often under-recognized issue within the community.


2. Any amount of alcohol is harmful.

There is no safe amount of alcohol to consume. Contrary to popular belief that small amounts of alcohol consumption are safe, recent studies by the World Health Organization say otherwise. According to WHO, any amount of liquor consumed still poses health risks that may later occur or cause damage to the body.


3. Wine has a stronger alcohol content

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, wine is frequently perceived as a lighter choice. However, with an alcohol content typically between 11% to 13%, wine is stronger than many people think, especially when compared to beer and cider. This higher alcohol content can make wine far more harmful than it is believed to be.


alcohol consumption
Source: Freepik

4. Alcohol as a depressant

Does this sound familiar? For many alcohol drinkers, this has become a usual coping mechanism when negative things happen in their lives. For a moment, problems seem to dissipate upon chugging some beer or any liquor of their choice.


However, alcohol's classification as a depressant has a critical aspect of its effects on the body. How? It works by slowing down brain activity, which can significantly impair cognitive and neurological functions. This slowing down can affect everything from motor skills to decision-making abilities, posing risks even with low consumption levels that can still lead a person to get help from alcohol rehab in Oregon.


5. Dopamine release

One of the reasons alcohol is so addictive is because of its effect on the brain's reward system. Drinking alcohol leads to the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and satisfaction. This release can make drinking feel good at the moment, which often encourages repeated behavior that may lead to alcohol abuse despite potential negative consequences.


A situation like this can make it hard for an alcoholic to quit, despite strong efforts to quit drinking. Remember that an alcoholic person has a big tendency to experience withdrawal symptoms when on the road to sobriety. 


alcohol rehab in Oregon
Source: Cielo Treatment Center

6. Liver processing of alcohol

When it comes to our internal organs, the liver plays an important role in processing alcohol. However, this vital organ can suffer from its effects. Alcohol is metabolized into acetaldehyde, a toxic byproduct that can cause substantial liver damage over time. This process stresses the liver and, with prolonged alcohol consumption, can lead to serious conditions like the following:

  • Cirrhosis - Cirrhosis is a late stage of scarring (fibrosis) of the liver caused by many forms of liver disease and conditions, such as hepatitis and chronic alcoholism. Each time the liver is injured—whether by disease, excessive alcohol consumption, or another cause—it tries to repair itself. In the process, scar tissue forms. As the cirrhosis progresses, more and more scar tissue forms, making it difficult for the liver to function.

  • Liver cancer - Liver cancer is notably dangerous because it is often diagnosed at a late stage. Risk factors for developing liver cancer include:

    • chronic infection with hepatitis B or C viruses,

    • chronic alcohol abuse,

    • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and

    • exposure to toxins such as aflatoxin.


7. Impact on youth

The effect of alcohol on youth is particularly concerning. Studies have shown that teenagers who start drinking before the age of 15 are much more likely to develop alcohol dependence as adults. This early exposure can alter brain development, leading to long-term consequences that extend well beyond adolescence.


alcohol use disorder
Source: Freepik

Conclusion

In Oregon, alcohol abuse emerges as the deadliest kind of addiction, responsible for an average of six fatalities daily, surpassing even fentanyl-related deaths. People need to understand that, despite common perceptions, there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, as affirmed by the World Health Organization. Thus highlighting a significant public health concern, with even moderate drinking posing substantial risks.


Should you be ready to take that step to sobriety, join us at Cielo Treatment Center, where new beginnings are created daily. If you are ever facing the challenges of addiction or concerned about the effects of alcohol on your life, we're here to help you reclaim control. Don't wait for change; create it. Call us today and take a better step towards recovery.

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