Why Most American’s Have a Drug Addiction Problem

22 01 2019

Updated 22 January 2019, Marc Woodard

Why do I say most American’s have a drug use problem?

Drug chemical addictions aren’t all connected to illicit activity with potential to incarcerate someone.

To educate our children fully on unhealthy addiction habits, it is important for parents to also learn and share how the marketplace supplies hyper-palatable addictive food and drinks with chemical stimulants that appear harmless… but have the potential to lead to an illicit gateway drug and cause increased health risk.

To begin understanding this connection, let’s review the obvious first – illicit drug use and harm to society. Then look at how legal chemicals are hidden in food products that begin an addictive lifestyle habit starting at a young age. You may than deduce the legal – plus the illicit substance use in total is causing far more harm to society than what the latest data shows us. And that most Americans are addicted to some form of chemical stimulant or drug.

Looking at the DEA Drug Seizure statistics for 2010/2014, It shows the following drug confiscation data seized and measured in kilograms: Cocaine (30,061/33,770 kgs), Heroin (713/1,020kgs), Marijuana (725,862/74,225kgs), and Methamphetamine (2,224/2946 kgs), Hallucinogens (2,605,997/48,970 dosage units).

Illicit drug use is on the rise with the exception of Marijuana [likely to do with states legalization] and Hallucinogens [May be significantly declining – partly to do with States Marijuana legalization, easier access to pharmaceuticals and other drugs; and/or the table is pending DEA table update]. NOTE: CY 2014 statistics are preliminary and subject to updating.

These numbers are indeed impressive drug seizure statistics. But, it is also acknowledged by all drug enforcement agencies that they only represent a fraction of what’s being used on the streets. So really, how do you quantify actual production and use of drugs under the radar? The answer is you can’t. For every person incarcerated and kilogram seized, many don’t get caught. The data only represents a fraction of what’s out there within the illicit drug market.

In 2010, national and state statistics information pertaining to drug use, addiction and drug abuse shows: 22.6 million Americans over the age of 12 have used illicit drugs within the last month of the survey being completed. The drug most used by 17.4 million individuals other than alcohol is marijuana; and then followed by painkillers, then hallucinogens and cocaine. Drug overdoses has risen 540% since 1980. Prescription drug abuse is up 500% since 1990.  The cost to employer’s employee productivity from drug abuse is 122 billion dollars per year.

“In 2014, 27.0 million people aged 12 or older used an illicit drug in the past 30 days [an increase of ~4.5 million users from the 2010 data], ‘which corresponds to about 1 in 10 Americans (10.2 percent). This percentage in 2014 was higher than those in every year from 2002 through 2013. The illicit drug use estimate for 2014 continues to be driven primarily by marijuana use and the nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers, with 22.2 million current marijuana users aged 12 or older … and 4.3 million people aged 12 or older who reported current nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers.” (Hedden et al., 2015)

Addictive drug use data is used as a predictive indicator to determine future sales and potential earnings for other addictive consumables. For example, in knowing Americans spend an average of $90 billion dollars every year on alcoholic beverages has a percentage based relationship to alcohol and other mind altering substances related to automobile crashes and spousal abuse for example. These statistics are also very good predictors of other social and penal services needed for policing, intervention and incarceration services, programs, equipment and facilities resources.

For many children an alcohol experience begins at a very early stage in life. At the beginning of 2000, an estimated 7 million of our youth from 12 to 20 years old admitted to being drinkers. Another 6.4 million were admitted binge drinkers. Over 6 million children claimed to live with parents that have a drug addiction problem. 56% of students in grades 5 to 12 mention that advertising alcoholic beverages encourages them to drink.

In 2001, a survey showed 25 million Americans admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol and that 23% of our 18-25 year olds self admitted to this fact. Local law enforcement statistics shows us that ~2 million arrests nationwide are made each year due to driving under the influence. Although these statistical numbers are alarming, it would be more alarming because only a portion of alcohol abuse is recorded… many driving under the influence are not caught. The same is also true of national surveys; many alcoholics do not self-proclaim their alcohol use. But one statistic is pretty clear: the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA 2017) shows 10,874 people were killed in vehicular alcohol related deaths. Now compare that number to a mid-size populated town and that statistic is alarming.

What is the impact to our economy regarding alcohol abuse? Approximately 100 million in health care costs. That does not include employment productivity losses, penal system costs, personal injury, property damage and intervention treatment, etc. Unemployed adults are found to be the highest percentage (12.2%) of drinkers between the ages of 26 through 34. Industrial injuries (47%) and fatalities (40%) are directly related to alcohol abuse.

Those predisposed to be addicts are not helped by the consumer marketplace. It doesn’t help when manufacturers knowingly spike our foods and drink with unnecessary food chemical stimulants for the sake of generating a profit. For example, adding more caffeine, nicotine, artificial sweeteners, etc., in concentrated doses is addictive. The only reason to do this is to cause a consumer habit beginning at a young age to crave a chemical dependency.

Let’s take a look at a relevant addiction example that places an unfair financial burden on the health care system and nonsmokers. Every year smoking kills ~440,000 people through tobacco related illnesses and disease. That’s more Americans than the Vietnam and WWII casualties combined. In total, tobacco causes more than 5 million disease related deaths per year (lung, kidney, breast, pancreas, lymph, ovaries, larynx, mouth and neck cancer, etc.). Simply consider the medical costs to treat addiction, including long term illness and disease.

For every 1 person that dies from smoking tobacco, 20 more will suffer with a long-term illness (respiratory, immune, intestinal, organ failure etc.). The tobacco industry spends approximately $34 million dollars a day in advertising (2006 data). It’s no wonder roughly 1 in 5 high school students are addicted to tobacco and other chemical stimulants.

Another way to look at this data – legal product or not, we the parents pay the $34 million a day tobacco advertising bill that gets kids hooked to continue the habit. Then pay more in health care premiums and productivity losses when they get sick.

Here’s a good question to ask our legislative policy makers within the health care industry. Why can a tobacco business deduct an advertising expense that influences youth to smoke at earlier ages, costing everyone to pay higher health insurance premiums? We the non-smoking population should receive an incentive for not smoking and not contributing to the rise in health insurance premiums – but this is not the way it works. How’s that fair? Shouldn’t these manufactures pay the cost of those insurance premium hikes as a result of related illness, disease, death and loss of national productivity.

Moving on, let’s look at another harmful consumer habit. The food industry creates more caffeine and artificial sweetened food and drink addicts than all other legal and illicit drugs combined. By first targeting youth to “seemingly” harmless “pick me” up in the morning and energy boost products throughout the day – a new generation of stimulant craving addicts is born. One only has to think of the plethora of energy drinks and processed fast foods. These drinks and foods are loaded with caffeine, sugar, salt and other hyper-palatable chemicals that make you want more.

For example a Monster Energy XXL drink contains 4 times the average content of caffeine found within a can of soda (22-46 mg of caffeine). This energy drink contains 240 mg of caffeine. The 81 grams on average sugar content in these products also contribute to weight gain and obesity. And when the metabolism slows down and weight increases to unhealthy levels – often leads to anxiety and increased blood pressure, etc. It is also noted that once a consumer stops this habit withdraw symptoms occur: depression, lethargy, nausea, headaches and vomiting. Although daily doses up to 400mg of caffeine/day for most adults is OK (University of California), it is not healthy for nursing mothers, children and teens. Another noteworthy caffeine statistic: 50% of the population, or 150 million Americans drink coffee. Also, independent coffee shops alone equate to 12 billion in annual sales.

Some would argue these unseeingly harmless consumables are gateway addictions to illegal drug use. Whereas the legal stimulants no longer provide the feel good rush… the young consumer looks for something stronger to alleviate a depressed mind, body or spirit to normalize daily living experiences.

It appears most American’s young and old have very addictive consumer habits in general with regard to tobacco, alcohol, sugar and caffeine products including prescription and illegal drug use. Behavioral therapists know any hyper-palatable and mind altering product product can lead to addictive habits capable of changing behavior. And to change an unhealthy addiction habit may require medical treatment with counselling.

Many lives are lost and families destroyed when addictive habits take complete and utter control over a persons ability to change a destructive lifestyle course.

The consumer industries, market makers and government policy wonks understand how  legal consumer habits connect to illicit drug use and unhealthy behavioral habits – that increase health risks and costs taxpayers more. Unfortunately it is those addicted within the legal marketplace that have the greatest potential to cost the rest of us – and themselves their liberties, freedoms, health and potentially life

– And the number of people addicted to chemical substances is staggering beyond any statistics listed to date… And should be considered a near health epidemic that needs greater educational resources to reverse it’s course.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2019 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

References

Drug-Rehabs.org. Alcohol Statistics. http://www.drug-rehabs.org/alcohol-statistics.php

Hedden et al. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Behavioral Health Trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. 2015.  https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FRR1-2014/NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf

Michael’s House.  Drug Addiction Facts and Statistics http://www.michaelshouse.com/drug-addiction/drug-addiction-statistics/

MyAddiction.com. Tobacco, Smoking, and Nicotine Addiction Statistics and Facts. January 14, 2012 http://www.myaddiction.com/education/articles/tobacco_statistics.html

US Drug Enforement Administration. Statistics and Facts. https://www.dea.gov/domestic-drug-data

Wilkinson, J. Monster Energy Drink Addiction.  Mar 7, 2011 http://www.livestrong.com/article/398579-monster-energy-drink-addiction/





Why Most American’s Have a Drug Addiction Problem

22 01 2012

Sometimes We Can't See What's in Front of Us Until it's Gone

Why do I say most American’s have a drug problem?  Oh I don’t know, could it be that when looking through our nation’s addiction related statistics it doesn’t bode well in understanding we have a big problem.  Let’s take a look at the most recognized illegal/legal drug use data and then decide how many of us will escape an addictive habit that could ultimately cause each one of us more pain and suffering than necessary throughout our lifetime.  And just because a depressant or stimulant can be purchased legally does not mean it is not causing harm to you or others around you.

While rummaging through the Internet, I noted there was a ton of information on legal and illegal drug use and addiction.  Looking at the DEA Drug Seizure statistics for 2010, I came up with the following drug confiscation data seized and measured in kilograms:  Cocaine (29,179 kgs), Heroin (690kgs), Marijuana (722,476kgs), and Methamphetamine (2,067 kgs), Hallucinogens (2,578,935 dosage units).  These numbers are indeed impressive drug seizure statistics.  But, it is also acknowledged by all drug enforcement agencies that these numbers only represent a fraction of what’s being used on the streets.  So really, how do you quantify actual production and use of drugs under the radar?

In 2010, national and state statistics information pertaining to drug use, addiction and drug abuse shows:  22.6 million Americans over the age of 12 have used illicit drugs within the last month of the survey being completed.  The drug most used by 17.4 million individuals other than alcohol is marijuana; and then followed by painkillers, then hallucinogens and cocaine.  Drug overdoses has risen 540% since 1980.  Prescription drug abuse is up 500% since 1990.  The cost to employer’s employee productivity from drug abuse is 122 billion dollars per year.

Now looking at alcohol as America’s number one legal drug problem, it appears almost none of us can escape being exposed to a likely addiction that for many will destroy lives.  After all none of us knows who has an addictive predisposition to alcohol or for that matter any other legal or illegal drug.

It is also true drug use data serves as a good statistical consumer indicator for other business models to fulfill consumer supply and demand. Addictive drug use data can also be used as a predictive indicator to determine future consumer sales and potential earnings for other related products and services.  For example, in knowing Americans spend an average of $90 billion dollars every year on alcoholic beverages has a percentage based relationship to alcohol related crash and spousal abuse data.  These statistics are very good predictors of other social and penal services that will likely be used to justify budgets for example.

For many children an alcohol experience begins at a very early stage in life.  This proof is easily obtained by simply reviewing a bit of data.  For example, at the beginning of the year 2000, an estimated 7 million of our youth from 12 to 20 years old admitted to being drinkers.  Another 6.4 million were admitted binge drinkers.  Over 6 million children claimed to live with parents that have a drug addiction problem.  56% of students in grades 5 to 12 mention that advertising alcoholic beverages encourages them to drink.

In 2001, a survey showed 25 million Americans admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol and that 23% of our 18-25 year olds self admitted to this fact.  Local law enforcement statistics shows us that ~2 million arrests nationwide are made each year due to driving under the influence.  Although these statistical numbers are alarming, it would be more alarming because only a portion of alcohol abuse is recorded because a majority of those driving under the influence are not caught.  The same is also true of national surveys; many alcoholics do not self-proclaim their alcohol use.  But one statistic is pretty clear:  the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows 17,488 people were killed in vehicular traffic related accidents.  Now compare that number to a mid-size populated town and that statistic is alarming.

What is the impact to our economy regarding alcohol abuse?  Approximately 100 million in health care costs.  That does not include employment productivity losses, penal system costs, personal injury, property damage and intervention treatment, etc.  Unemployed adults are found to be the highest percentage (12.2%) of drinkers between the ages of 26 through 34.  Industrial injuries (47%) and fatalities (40%) are directly related to alcohol abuse.

It is very difficult to hone in on what’s creating America’s addictive product consumer use habit.  It’s more like American’s have a constant battle to control addictive behavioral habits they know are bad for them and those around them.  It doesn’t help that the marketers find other ways to add addictive and unhealthy products back into the consumer food chain for the sake of generating higher profit margins.  For example, adding more caffeine and sugar in our consumer foods, to include more nicotine in our tobacco products.   Talk about shooting fish in a barrel at a young age.  This is a good way to target in on the young addictive personality types that will likely begin a new consumer drug habit.  It stands to reason future generation will likely fall prey to other unhealthy addictions.

Let’s take a look at the two legal consumer products in our markets and cost to our health and economy when abused.  Every year tobacco kills 440,000 people through tobacco related illnesses.  That’s more Americans than the Vietnam and WWII casualties combined.  In total, tobacco causes more than 5 million disease related deaths per year (lung, kidney, breast, pancreas, lymph, ovaries, larynx, mouth and neck cancer, etc.).  Also think about the medical sustaining costs for related illness and diseases caused by tobacco use and the impact on our national health care system.

For every 1 person that dies from smoking tobacco, 20 more will suffer with a long-term illness (respiratory, immune, intestinal, organ failure etc.).   The tobacco industry spends approximately $34 million dollars a day in advertising (2006).  It’s no wonder roughly 1 in 5 high school students are addicted to tobacco.

Another way to look at this picture, we the consumer are “in a way” paying the $34 million dollar a day tobacco advertising bill.  You ask how?  The advertising and promotion of tobacco products is increasing consumption of tobacco products at younger ages while contributing to increased health care costs.   You may, or may not agree with that.  But if you see a half truth in this, it means a partial cost to nonsmokers.

Following this partial cost logic…  Why can a tobacco business deduct an advertising expense that creates more health insurance and tax cost to non-smokers.  But we the non-smoking tax payer cannot deduct portions of our Medicare and receive reduced health insurance cost benefits? How’s that fair?  Shouldn’t these manufactures, or health insurance carriers be required to pay the difference of the nonsmokers Medicare and tax burden for contributing to the total cost of our health care system?  I think that would be fair.  But that’s another story.

Moving on, let’s look at the “seemingly” least harmful addiction consumer business market model.  This consumer model hopes to create repeat addicts to more caffeine and sugar drinks by first attracting our youth to an addictive and “seemingly” harmless “pick me” up in the morning and then “later” integration of these products for future generations hooked on the products.  One only has to think of the plethora of energy drinks that has entered our market place within the recent years.  These drinks are loaded with caffeine and sugar and proven to cause illness and disease when abused.

For example a Monster Energy XXL drink contains 4 times the average content of caffeine found within a can of soda (22-46mg of caffeine). This energy drink contains 240mgs of caffeine.  The 81g of average sugar content in products like this appear to contribute to weight gain and obesity.  And when the metabolism becomes impacted by the ingredients for one, leads to anxiety and increased blood pressure.  It is also noted that once a consumer stops drinking these drinks after a period of time the following withdraw symptoms occur:  depression, lethargy, nausea, headaches and vomiting.  Although daily doses up to 400mg of caffeine/day for most adults is OK (University of California), it is not healthy for nursing mothers, children and teens.  Another noteworthy caffeine statistic:  50% of the population or 150 million Americans drink coffee.  Also, independent coffee shops alone equate to 12 billion in annual sales.

It appears that most American’s young and old have very addictive consumer habits in general with regard to tobacco, sugar and caffeine products including prescription and illegal drug use.  From this perspective you must understand that addictive products influence behavior to repeat the habit.  And with that being said, you can follow the logic: consumer sales are partly dependent on repeat behavioral habits and are predictable by our markets.  I like to refer to this predictability as landing the fish through repeatable and dependable behavioral habits.  In other words our market place, government and law enforcement understands a percentage of people when given the opportunity to get their hands on a product will likely try it, and at some point in their lives will also abuse it.  And therefore a percentage of consumers will become a hooked fish that cannot resist biting again.

Luckily, and although disturbing only a fraction of Americans as seen within the data presented have a serious legal/illegal drug dependency problem.  And thinking further about this addiction model, benefits the economy by creating and sustaining many jobs (penal system, socialized intervention programs, drug enforcement, prescription drug manufacturing, health care, distilling/sales of spirits, tobacco industry, chemical food additive industry, etc.).

The economic and commerce logic appears to be: it is a small portion of society that appears to be an acceptable addict and ill-health casualty.  This cost of doing business appears to be good for the benefit of the whole.  I’m not saying this is a good thing, or I agree with it.  I’m saying it is important to understand this relationship.  And in understanding the relationship, you and your family have an opportunity not to become an economic consumer casualty and burden on others.

Many lives are lost and families are destroyed as indicated by this data.  Our society has deemed the loss to be a small price to pay as our freedoms and liberties allow us choices within the boundaries of the law.  Our government and businesses also see addiction abuse as a small cost of doing business.  And these models will not likely change much because the detrimental cost to our society appears to be acceptable by a majority of a free society.  However, with escalating health costs, this model will likely change in significant degrees throughout the years.

Thinking more on repeatable and predictable consumer behavioral habits also leads to the following conclusions.  I believe addiction is wired into each one of us and we all will crave something in our lives to make us feel better about our circumstances or realities.  Our commerce and government business models understand this consumer-habit-behavioral connection that may/may not lead one to destructive and addictive habits.  And also understands a percentage of us will become cash cow industries for disability and ill-health consumer demands by its very nature of a churning economy.

Let me also point out addiction does not always involve a drug habit.  For example, we can also be addicted to power, control and greed.  These things when or if not balanced in life create internal and external stresses that effect one or others that can lead to an addictive drug habit.  So by the shear nature of being human we can all push, pull and shove each other into “misery loves company” addiction regardless of societal class.  I’ve not pinpointed what is causing our ever increasing addictive needs for a daily pick me up, or to relax during free time.  I suspect our need of addictive consumption is partially related to cultural shock caused by competitive global markets.

We now find ourselves living in a 21st Century world that has become politically, socially and economically constrained by various and competitive cultural models.  And these models have become ever too complex and an unacceptable shock reality for many.  I’m not sure our physical, mental and spiritual beings are wired to adequately survive these cultural shock stresses.  And for those that can’t deal with these ever changing environmental stresses, marketers then acquire a new wave demographic of addicts that need a bigger energy boost or drug fix throughout the day to deal with the competitive stress of living in a new world economy.  This is just one way you could read why addictive drug habits and bad behaviors are on the rise.

You’ll find much information on the Internet to support the contention that cultural shock, drug use and addiction are inter-related and are greatly affecting behavior.  For which many genetically predisposed to addiction will become statistical addicts and mortalities of harmful drugs.

It is obvious there is a plethora of addictive legal and illegal products in the market that are easily obtainable for our consumption.  Unfortunately when you become addicted to any substance; the potential to abuse other drugs also tend to increase.

And harmful drug dependency not only harms the user, but also harms others with whom they interact.

References

US Drug Enforement Administration. Statistics and Facts.  http://www.justice.gov/dea/statistics.html

Michael’s House.  Drug Addiction Facts and Statistics http://www.michaelshouse.com/drug-addiction/drug-addiction-statistics/

Drug-Rehabs.org. Alcohol Statistics. http://www.drug-rehabs.org/alcohol-statistics.php

MyAddiction.com. Tobacco, Smoking, and Nicotine Addiction Statistics and Facts. January 14, 2012 http://www.myaddiction.com/education/articles/tobacco_statistics.html

Wilkinson, J. Monster Energy Drink Addiction.  Mar 7, 2011 http://www.livestrong.com/article/398579-monster-energy-drink-addiction/

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

 





"Alcohol Consumption Good, or Bad for your Body?

25 09 2008

    The never ending question is alcohol good, or bad for your body’s health?  I like to answer a question with a question… How much alcohol is too much before it effects your health?  The answer to the question is, it is both bad aand good for your body.  Some of you may say how can this be?  The best way to approach and answer this question is to list the good and bad aspects of alcohol effects on you bodies health.  First I nee d to briefly define 3 types of alcohol consumers 1) Casual 2) Social  3)Alcoholic.  I would also like to point out I would never judge those that would consume alcohol as I would be a hypocrite.  You see I classify myself as a casual consumer of alcohol.  One must learn to balance every aspect of life including alcohol consumption, or it begins to control you and have a dramatic impact on your health, family, job and friends!

DEFINE:  1)  Casual Alcohol Consumer – Causal is derived from cause.  To that, “of a cause; acting as a cause, or having to do with cause.”  Causal drinkers might toast the new year, Christmas cheer, a celebration, such as a wedding, maybe an annual outdoor camping venture, etc.  The causal drinkers might want to achieve a “relaxed state.”  For example, I may drink on occasion depending on the cause.  When I do, I  enjoy a “cool tasty buzz” (remind anyone of Fast Times at Ridgemont High? “Spicoli and Mr. Hand.”) anything beyond this point would not be enjoyable.  2)  Social Alcohol Consumer – This is where “a lot” of Americans would be categorized per my personal experience and case studies.  Social is defined as liking to be around others, intermingling and alcohol is readily available.  Whether there be a football game, family gathering, celebration, relaxation in your local sports bar, or at home to wind down… Alcohol is usually in the mix.  The casual drinker averages 4-10 drinks a week.  For all too many, a lot of this consumption is on a weekend.  3. Alcoholic Consumer – This individual does not need a reason to drink and consumes over 10 drinks per week and usually explains away the problem with an excuse, or no excuse at all to drink.”  A full blown alcoholic can not go a day without alcohol.  An alcoholic may also be classified as one that can not go to an event without consuming and/or consumes more than 10 alcoholic beverages a week, or social event.  Also, you’ll very rarely find an alcoholic that will volunteer to be a designated driver to/from a function.  A true alcoholic does not know how to enjoy daily life, or event without alcohol.  Usually when you approach a loved one with concern for their drinking addiction, you’ll typically receive “I can quit anytime I want to… Or, I don’t drink everyday, so therefore I don’t have a problem, why don’t you mind your own business!  Your not perfect, I saw you with a beer 30 days ago!” “You can’t compare an alcoholics behavior with a responsible casual consumer behavior by definition!”   However, a social consumer crosses a fine line with alcoholic behavior by definition and is not one that can provide proper advisement to an alcoholic if intervention is required!

    Now that I have defined the 3 categories of alcohol consumption, let me briefly highlight the good and bad aspects of alcohol.  To begin, there is not much good that comes out of consuming too much of any type of  alcoholic beverage.  There is only one type of alcoholic beverage science has documented having a health benefit with moderate consumption… Red wine, “one to two 5 oz glasses with the evening meal.  The “Resveratrol” found in the red grape skin and seed has proven to increase HDL and lower cholesterol, antioxidant benefits, prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, assist digestion and prevent plaque from forming on the artery walls [“If you would like to receive healthy heart benefits, with all the other benefits listed without the alcohol, “seek our “affiliate” Purity Product Patent Grape Extract Formula”]. Other than these facts, I’m not familiar with any other health benefits from any other type of alcoholic beverage. The bad far outweighs any good alcohol could provide your body, mind and soul.  It is well documented through scientific studies that alcohol destroys brain cells and just about every other cell in your body.  Remember, I referred to cell death & mutation “can lead” to cancer risk & manifestation (read my article “Can You Prevent Cancer?” Located in our Health Repository”).  So other than red wine health benefits why do people drink?  Well, it’s pretty obvious.  Drinking provides the body mind and soul with an initial feeling of euphoria.  For causal drinkers this feels like good cheer.  Social drinkers feel good cheer initially, then depression with increased consumption.  Far to often inhibitions provide false fronts to do things one normally would not do, and/or an excuse for bad behavior.

    Alcoholics may be able to hold a daily job, but have to have that drink somewhere within a 24 hour window.  It is rare that true addiction could go beyond a 24 hour window without a drink.  The alcoholic has a difficult time socializing appropriately because the brain cells that control reasoning and judgement are killed off after each drinking event. The reasoning and judgement get worse with age as the bodies inability to process the toxins out of the body.  Brain and organ cell death damage can not be reversed at some point causing grave harm the whole body!  At some point critical life sustaining organs can and do fail if the alcohol cell saturation slaughter is not stopped!  

    In ending, to consume as a casual, or social drinker may lift the spirit creating positive harmony within the body, mind and soul.  To abuse alcohol is to throw the body, mind and soul out of balance endangering one’s health.  Unfortunately, in too many cases, alcohol destroys careers, relationships and family before receiving the necessary help to stop this type of self destructive behavior.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2008 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing, http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





“Alcohol Consumption Good, or Bad for your Body?

25 09 2008

    The never ending question is alcohol good, or bad for your body’s health?  I like to answer a question with a question… How much alcohol is too much before it effects your health?  The answer to the question is, it is both bad aand good for your body.  Some of you may say how can this be?  The best way to approach and answer this question is to list the good and bad aspects of alcohol effects on you bodies health.  First I nee d to briefly define 3 types of alcohol consumers 1) Casual 2) Social  3)Alcoholic.  I would also like to point out I would never judge those that would consume alcohol as I would be a hypocrite.  You see I classify myself as a casual consumer of alcohol.  One must learn to balance every aspect of life including alcohol consumption, or it begins to control you and have a dramatic impact on your health, family, job and friends!

DEFINE:  1)  Casual Alcohol Consumer – Causal is derived from cause.  To that, “of a cause; acting as a cause, or having to do with cause.”  Causal drinkers might toast the new year, Christmas cheer, a celebration, such as a wedding, maybe an annual outdoor camping venture, etc.  The causal drinkers might want to achieve a “relaxed state.”  For example, I may drink on occasion depending on the cause.  When I do, I  enjoy a “cool tasty buzz” (remind anyone of Fast Times at Ridgemont High? “Spicoli and Mr. Hand.”) anything beyond this point would not be enjoyable.  2)  Social Alcohol Consumer – This is where “a lot” of Americans would be categorized per my personal experience and case studies.  Social is defined as liking to be around others, intermingling and alcohol is readily available.  Whether there be a football game, family gathering, celebration, relaxation in your local sports bar, or at home to wind down… Alcohol is usually in the mix.  The casual drinker averages 4-10 drinks a week.  For all too many, a lot of this consumption is on a weekend.  3. Alcoholic Consumer – This individual does not need a reason to drink and consumes over 10 drinks per week and usually explains away the problem with an excuse, or no excuse at all to drink.”  A full blown alcoholic can not go a day without alcohol.  An alcoholic may also be classified as one that can not go to an event without consuming and/or consumes more than 10 alcoholic beverages a week, or social event.  Also, you’ll very rarely find an alcoholic that will volunteer to be a designated driver to/from a function.  A true alcoholic does not know how to enjoy daily life, or event without alcohol.  Usually when you approach a loved one with concern for their drinking addiction, you’ll typically receive “I can quit anytime I want to… Or, I don’t drink everyday, so therefore I don’t have a problem, why don’t you mind your own business!  Your not perfect, I saw you with a beer 30 days ago!” “You can’t compare an alcoholics behavior with a responsible casual consumer behavior by definition!”   However, a social consumer crosses a fine line with alcoholic behavior by definition and is not one that can provide proper advisement to an alcoholic if intervention is required!

    Now that I have defined the 3 categories of alcohol consumption, let me briefly highlight the good and bad aspects of alcohol.  To begin, there is not much good that comes out of consuming too much of any type of  alcoholic beverage.  There is only one type of alcoholic beverage science has documented having a health benefit with moderate consumption… Red wine, “one to two 5 oz glasses with the evening meal.  The “Resveratrol” found in the red grape skin and seed has proven to increase HDL and lower cholesterol, antioxidant benefits, prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, assist digestion and prevent plaque from forming on the artery walls [“If you would like to receive healthy heart benefits, with all the other benefits listed without the alcohol, “seek our “affiliate” Purity Product Patent Grape Extract Formula”]. Other than these facts, I’m not familiar with any other health benefits from any other type of alcoholic beverage. The bad far outweighs any good alcohol could provide your body, mind and soul.  It is well documented through scientific studies that alcohol destroys brain cells and just about every other cell in your body.  Remember, I referred to cell death & mutation “can lead” to cancer risk & manifestation (read my article “Can You Prevent Cancer?” Located in our Health Repository”).  So other than red wine health benefits why do people drink?  Well, it’s pretty obvious.  Drinking provides the body mind and soul with an initial feeling of euphoria.  For causal drinkers this feels like good cheer.  Social drinkers feel good cheer initially, then depression with increased consumption.  Far to often inhibitions provide false fronts to do things one normally would not do, and/or an excuse for bad behavior.

    Alcoholics may be able to hold a daily job, but have to have that drink somewhere within a 24 hour window.  It is rare that true addiction could go beyond a 24 hour window without a drink.  The alcoholic has a difficult time socializing appropriately because the brain cells that control reasoning and judgement are killed off after each drinking event. The reasoning and judgement get worse with age as the bodies inability to process the toxins out of the body.  Brain and organ cell death damage can not be reversed at some point causing grave harm the whole body!  At some point critical life sustaining organs can and do fail if the alcohol cell saturation slaughter is not stopped!  

    In ending, to consume as a casual, or social drinker may lift the spirit creating positive harmony within the body, mind and soul.  To abuse alcohol is to throw the body, mind and soul out of balance endangering one’s health.  Unfortunately, in too many cases, alcohol destroys careers, relationships and family before receiving the necessary help to stop this type of self destructive behavior.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2008 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing, http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.