Alcohol is a most destructive drug. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that some 88,000 people a year die from excessive alcohol use, while over 10,000 people die each year as a result of drunk driving, a third of all traffic fatalities. Never-the-less, the alcohol industry continues to grow with nearly $500 billion a year in sales of beer, wine, and spirits. Big business, with big consequences.
American alcohol consumption is on the rise, and it is now estimated that 1 in 8 Americans are alcoholics. This is a growing epidemic, as demonstrated by two surveys showing unprecedented increases in alcoholism.
“Two large surveys carried out in 2001-02 and 2012-13 have found that harmful levels of drinking are increasing among almost all demographics in the US. The number of teetotallers is falling, while high-risk drinking and alcoholism rose sharply during the 11-year period, according to an analysis published in JAMA Psychiatry.” [Source]
The rise is statistically significant, and the greatest increases were seen among those in the ‘severe’ use category, a sign that this trend is likely to produce an increase in alcohol related disease and accidents.
“The number of people who had consumed alcohol in the past 12 months went up 11.2% in the time between surveys. High-risk drinking went up by almost 30%. This means that at present about 29.6 million Americans are putting their health at risk due to their drinking habits.
The largest change was in the most severe alcohol use category. The number of people who had received a diagnosis of alcoholism over the period of the two studies shot up by 49%, affecting 12.7% of the total population. This means 1 in 8 Americans received a diagnosis of alcoholism in the year before the latest survey.” [Source]
Some experts blame the affordability of alcohol for the increase in abuse of alcohol.
“The price of alcohol has fallen sharply over recent decades, and that is the most compelling explanation for why the population is drinking more. Even the heaviest drinkers respond to changes in the cost of alcohol.” ~Keith Humphreys, a drug policy expert at Stanford University
This may indeed be relevant, however, it’s not just alcoholism that is rising to startling levels, but also the overuse of opioids and other drugs. As addiction expert Gabor Maté recently explained in an interview with Brian Rose of London Real how alcohol is used as an escape mechanism to dull the pain of unresolved trauma and past experiences which have had a lasting effect on one’s psyche.
“It is a known by many that ingesting alcohol depresses the nervous system, kills brain cells, is toxic to the liver, weakens the immune system, and has many other harmful effects. We are taught that long-term alcohol use can lead to unwanted weight gain, diseases of the liver, lowering of intelligence, and negative effects on hormones. Drinking alcohol while pregnant can lead to birth defects, mental retardation, and deformities in the developing fetus. Yet still, it is mass promoted and supported by our mainstream culture. Have you ever considered that alcohol is a slick tool of the supporters of the Matrix (global mind control and oppression program) to keep people on a path of disempowerment and sickness?” [Source]
There are also spiritual consequences of drinking alcohol to excess, as noted by Zahra Sita:
“How many times have you or someone you know, after becoming quite intoxicated with alcohol, behaved in a manner uncommon to them? Perhaps you experienced the changing of voice, violence, sexual promiscuity, ingesting of harmful substances, destruction to property, conflictual behavior, and other negative expressions. Consider these experiences and ask yourself – is this the manifestation of light, love, and positivity? Do these occurrences represent a path of consciousness and health?” [Source]
Quitting alcohol has many positive benefits, and many people see common things change in their lives.
“Not drinking alcohol can give you a serious edge in a society where most everyone else is boozing it up on a regular basis. The zeitgeist of alcohol is that it makes life more fun, but the reality is that it is a massive industry pushed onto the public which has created a culture of self-destructive behavior.” ~Sofia Adamson
About the Author
Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.
This article (A New Epidemic – Alcoholism on the Rise in America) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.