Men struggle with mental health conditions but are less likely to seek treatment. This also means men struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD) may not be comfortable seeking help due to societal stigmas and expectations. If untreated, AUD can wreak havoc, and excessive drinking has many harmful physical and mental effects.
Understanding the potential harms of excessive drinking may motivate you to seek treatment. Unfortunately, many people only seek help when they hit rock bottom, but it does not have to be that way for you. Be proactive, not reactive. Speak to your doctor about any concerns regarding your mental health and alcohol use today.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines AUD as a “medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.” For years, we referred to this brain disorder as alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, and alcoholism, and people have been struggling with their alcohol consumption for decades. In 2019 alone, a national survey showed that 14.1 million adults 18 years and older had AUD.
While we do not know the direct cause of AUD in men, several factors can increase the risk of developing it. According to the NIAAA, that includes:
To know if you or a loved one has AUD, you must be able to recognize the symptoms.
Some of the symptoms you can be on the lookout for include:
If you recognize any of these signs within yourself, you must seek treatment immediately. Otherwise, your recovery journey may be more challenging, and you may experience other adverse effects.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) describes alcohol consumption as a “male-dominated activity.” Data indicates that men drink more than women and are, on average, more likely to experience a substance use disorder (SUD), such as AUD. Some of the research from the NIH indicates that men consume almost three times as much “pure alcohol” annually. Men are also more likely to be arrested for driving under the influence, treated in a hospital for alcohol-related harm, and die from alcohol use.
Unfortunately, there is a greater risk for men because they are less likely to seek treatment. Untreated AUD can lead to fatal accidents and violence. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that men – who are three times as likely to die by suicide – are more likely to drink before suicide.
The CDC also helps us recognize the dangers of excessive alcohol use. For men, the CDC describes excessive drinking – which includes binge drinking and heavy drinking – as “five or more drinks during a single occasion.” Furthermore, they define heavy drinking for men as consuming “15 or more drinks per week.”
Drinking excessively can impact many areas of your life. You may be hungover frequently, your work performance may decrease, and your family will be impacted too. Your excessive drinking or AUD does not only affect you. It significantly impacts the lives of everyone who cares about you as well.
The CDC also describes several short and long-term risks associated with excessive drinking. Those risks include:
When exploring your alcohol treatment options, you may become overwhelmed. However, here are some interventions you can focus on learning more about:
These risks of excessive drinking and AUD on men are real and can be fatal. To avoid them, we encourage you to seek treatment today.
Individuals have been struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD) for decades. We just used to call it alcoholism, alcohol abuse, or alcohol dependency. While it is not a new problem, we learn new things about AUD daily. For example, research indicates that men are more likely to drink excessively and struggle with AUD than women. However, because of stigmatization surrounding men and mental health, men are also less likely to seek treatment. If untreated, excessive drinking can have many adverse effects on men. That includes impaired cognitive function, the development of cancer and chronic physical conditions, and new or worsened mental health conditions. To prevent these risks, call Healing Pines Recovery at (720) 575-2621 for treatment today.
The first step can be the hardest. Fill out the form or call us at 720-706-7980. You will be connected with a Healing Pines Recovery specialist who can answer your questions and help you get started.