Small amounts of wine have been proven to be safe and even medicinal. However, alcoholism—“overdrinking,” defined as more than two drinks in one sitting—is the number one drug problem in the U.S., as it is easily accessible, legal, and socially acceptable. In a survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2012, nearly one-quarter of persons aged 12 or older were binge alcohol users in the 30 days prior to the survey. This translates to about 59.7 million people. Heavy drinking was reported by 6.5 percent of the population aged 12 or older, or 17 million people. These numbers do not include an ever-increasing number of children ages of 9 to 12 joining this crowd. SAMHSA defines “binge drinking” as 5 or more drinks on the same occasion. Drunkenness and intoxication has a strong negative impact on behavior. In fact, 4 in 10 of all criminal offenders report drinking alcohol before and after the violence or crime. About 35 percent of victims report that offenders are under the influence of alcohol. Every 30 minutes, someone is killed in an alcohol-related car accident in the U.S. According to the CDC, there are approximately 80,000 deaths attributed to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States—the third leading cause of death due to lifestyle choices. On average, about 30 years of potential life is lost for each death.
An old 2006 statistic states that there were more than 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 million physician visits due to excessive drinking that year. No doubt it is much higher today. It can cause neurological impairments, neurological problems, dementia, and neuropathy, but it is also well-known that it causes mood swings to the point of suicidal attempts. Alcoholism is associated with all health problems, since the body is very sick from digesting this chemical void of nutrients. Many alcoholics replace food for drink, so every organ is affected. It is associated with cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks, myocardial infarctions, strokes, heart fibrillation, and hypertension. These complications do not include injuries to yourself and others, including traffic injuries, falls, drownings, burns, and unintentional firearm situations. There is also a higher prevalence of increased risky sexual behaviors. During pregnancy, there is increased risk of miscarriages, stillbirths, and mental birth defects among children that last throughout life. Of course, it is associated with increased risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast cancer. In excess, it causes gastrointestinal problems, dumping syndrome, and pancreatitis. Alcohol-induced cirrhosis/fatty liver is the number one diagnosis.
Alcohol is an extremely demanding molecule once it is inside the human body, and it will demand to be completely broken down or digested first. Therefore, it will delay the breaking down of protein and fats and triglycerides. Immobilized fats accumulate around the liver and harden… impeding the essential functions of the liver. Cirrhosis is the 15th leading cause of all deaths in the United States. Needless to say, the economic cost of excessive alcohol consumption is estimated at over 200 billion dollars. So again, this excessive alcohol use is the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death for the nation. The combined cost of the abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is over 600 billion dollars annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity, and healthcare.