©Arlene Taylor PhD
Alcohol is the most widely used drug in the United States. According to Donna Israel PhD, estimates are that 70% of males and 61% of females drink alcohol. Approximately 1 in 5 males and 1 in 7 females ingest beyond social drinking.
Moderation is defined as:
- Females - One 12-oz beer or 4 oz of wine
- Males - Two 12-oz beers or 8 oz of wine
Problem drinking is defined as:
- Females - 2 or more drinks per day or more than 4 oz of wine
- Males - Three or more drinks per day or more than 8 oz of wine
Drinking to intoxication is highly associated with abuse, assaults, knifings, and murder. Risk factors for developing alcohol dependence include genetic predisposition
- 73% genetic risk for early alcohol dependence
- 30% genetic risk for late alcohol dependence
Smoking has been found to be a pre-cursor for alcohol dependence. Individuals in alcohol recovery who also smoke, tend do better in the longterm when they address smoking and alcohol concurrently.
A study in Issues in Mental Health Nursing (2004) showed that the following difficulties emerge during alcohol addiction:
- Guilt, anxiety, depression
- Unhealthy preoccupation with alcohol
Note: 40% had no pre-existing psychiatric disorder before the addiction to alcohol.