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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Danger Not Only From The Alcohol, but, Also Poor Decision Making That Accompanies It


In the 21st century the dangers of alcohol are well understood, if consumed heavily. Those who drink alcohol excessively are in danger not only from the alcohol, but, also poor decision making that accompanies it. There are not many things that humans consume that wear on the body like alcohol; coupled with poor eating habits, no exercise, and unsafe decision making, the disease of alcoholism is complex and composed of many factors. These factors can determine the rate of deterioration on the human body.

Findings from a recent study were published in the journal Addiction Research and Theory which researched the decision making process of heavy drinkers. 7,884 hospital patients in Oregon and Washington were used for the study, they found that people who had an average of three or more alcoholic drinks daily, had a much greater chance of: having poor eating habits, were less likely to see their doctors regularly, and would hardly ever wear their seat belt. Interestingly, the study found that heavy drinkers were less likely to think that they could change their own health behaviors and that literally the state of their health was out of their hands. Whereas, those who drink less and are considered to be moderate drinkers, were more likely to report good health than light drinkers, heavy drinkers, and abstainers.

Last Thursday, we discussed the potential health benefits of moderate drinking. It would seem like this study lends it support to the theory that moderate drinking can reduce your chances of cardiovascular problems like heart disease.

The fact is, alcohol is a symptom of the problem, what actually deteriorates the alcoholic is the disease itself. Alcohol itself has killed very few people, the disease of alcoholism has taken and will continue to take the life of countless people. That is why substance abuse treatment facilities are putting more emphasis on nutrition and physical exercise, to help re-teach sound health practices to the alcoholics who over many years have forgotten what a balanced diet actually is. "Physicians should not only be concerned about patients' heavy drinking, but also these other health-related practices," said study author Carla Green of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research.

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