Alcohol abuse kills some 75,000 Americans each year and shortens the lives of these people by an average of 30 years. AnswerParty!
Alcohol abuse, as described in the DSM-IV, is a psychiatric diagnosis describing the recurring use of alcoholic beverages despite its negative consequences. Alcohol abuse is sometimes referred to by the less specific term alcoholism. However, many definitions of alcoholism exist, and only some are compatible with alcohol abuse. There are two types of alcoholics: those who have anti social and pleasure-seeking tendencies, and those who are anxiety-ridden- people who are able to go without drinking for long periods of time but are unable to control themselves once they start. Binge drinking is another form of alcohol abuse. According to research done through international surveys, the heaviest drinkers happen to be the United Kingdom's adolescent generation.
When differentiating between alcohol abuse and alcoholism, one should remember that alcohol abuse is when the abuser has faced critical consequences for their actions, recently. Where an alcoholic has experienced a sense of withdrawal in the same time period.
Drinking culture refers to the customs and practices associated with the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Although alcoholic beverages and social attitudes toward drinking vary around the world, nearly every civilization has independently discovered the processes of brewing beer, fermenting wine, and distilling spirits.
Alcohol and its effects have been present in societies throughout history. Drinking is documented in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, in the Qur'an, in art history, in Greek literature as old as Homer, and in Confucius’s Analects.
Household chemicals are non-food chemicals that are commonly found and used in and around the average household. They are a type of consumer goods, designed particularly to assist cleaning, pest control and general hygiene purposes.
Food additives generally do not fall under this category, unless they have a use other than for human consumption. Cosmetics products can partially be counted in, because even though they are not for direct application to parts of the human body, they may contain artificial additives that have nothing to do with their dedicated purpose (e.g. preservatives and fragrances in hair spray). Additives in general (e.g. stabilizers and coloring found in washing powder and dishwasher detergents) make the classification of household chemicals more complex, especially in terms of health - some of these chemicals are irritants or potent allergens - and ecological effects.
Substance dependence, commonly called drug addiction, is a compulsive need to use drugs in order to function normally. When such substances are unobtainable, the user suffers from withdrawal.
The section about substance dependence in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (more specifically, the 2000 "text revision", the DSM-IV-TR) does not use the word addiction at all. It explains:
An alcoholic beverage is a drink that contains ethanol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes for taxation and regulation of production: beers, wines, and spirits (distilled beverages). They are legally consumed in most countries around the world. More than 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption. Beer is the third most popular drink in the world, after water and tea.
Alcoholic beverages have been consumed by humans since the Neolithic era; the earliest evidence of alcohol was discovered in Jiahu, dating from 7000–6600 BC. The production and consumption of alcohol occurs in most cultures of the world, from hunter-gatherer peoples to nation-states.
Epidemiology of binge drinking
Alcohol advertising is the promotion of alcoholic beverages by alcohol producers through a variety of media. Along with tobacco advertising, it is one of the most highly-regulated forms of marketing. Some or all forms of alcohol advertising is banned in some countries.
Scientific research, health agencies and universities have, over decades, been able to demonstrate a correlation between alcohol beverage advertising and alcohol consumption]citation needed[; however, it has not been proven that alcohol advertising causes higher consumption rather than merely reflecting greater public demand. Many commentators suggest that effective alcohol campaigns only increase a producer's market share and also brand loyalty]citation needed[.
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Binge drinking is more common in men than it is in women. Among students in the USA approximately 50 percent of men and 39 percent of women binge drink.
Racial differences exist among binge drinking with Hispanics followed by white people having the highest level of binge drinking. Individuals of African descent have a lower level of binge drinking followed by those of Asian descent. In the case of Asians their low level of binge drinking may be due to the presence of the aldehyde dehydrogenase gene (ALDH2, Chromosome 12) in many (but by no means the vast majority) that results in poor metabolism of alcohol which leads to severe adverse effects such as facial flushing.