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A New Report Highlights the Best Reasons to Fight Back Against Dependency on Alcohol

Of the many kinds of substance abuse that people struggle with today, irresponsible use of alcohol does the most damage in overall terms. Because alcohol abuse is both so common and often so harmful in specific cases, the toll that it exacts in the aggregate dwarfs those associated with every other kind of substance abuse. With some cultural contexts and even professional norms seeming to encourage an abusive relationship with alcohol, grappling with the problem can be even more difficult than it might otherwise be. As a new report at points out, however, the damage done by alcohol abuse is so varied and deep that trying to overcome the issue must always be a priority.

For one thing, as the author of the report points out, abuse of alcohol harms the body at a very basic level. As many people know, years of alcohol abuse can cause the liver to fail entirely, after which death will follow shortly. Beyond these well-known problems with the human liver, however, the body suffers from alcohol abuse in a number of other significant ways. Cancer rates of the mouth, throat, and stomach tend to rise significantly, while the cardiovascular system begins to fail, as well. Even though an occasional drink might not be especially harmful, long-term abuse of alcohol will inevitably take a harsh toll on the body’s organs.

Another way by which alcohol does harm can turn out to be even more tragic. As the author of the guide notes, abuse of alcohol during pregnancy frequently causes lifelong troubles for children in the womb. Developmental issues that arise as a result will often be grouped under the heading of “fetal alcohol syndrome,” but the fact is that these represent only a few of the many ways by which alcohol can do lasting harm. From lowered intelligence and stunted growth to mood disorders and speech pathology, alcohol can turn out to be one of the most harmful substances of all.

Given these facts and the pain and dangers that withdrawal from alcohol can entail, doing everything possible to eliminate abusive behaviors should always be a priority. While making progress can be challenging, the stakes will almost always be high.