Personal Stressors Push Some to Problem Drinking

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We live in particularly stressful times, and some people turn to alcohol to cope with challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic to any number of personal stressors.

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And the hits just keep coming, as it seems like alat pembuatan minyak atsiri infectious disease news keeps coming – more people developing long COVID, the monkeypox outbreak, and even polio making a possible comeback. One expert likens this barrage of news to a smoke alarm that never stops chirping.

And though self-treating stress with alcohol is not new, there is evidence the pandemic has raised the stakes.

The danger of turning to alcohol to cope in the short term is the risk of getting alcohol use disorder, which can cause brain changes that make the condition worse over time. The cycle of drinking, abstaining, and relapsing, in fact, can increase the risk for long-term adverse health effects, experts say.

There are solutions and reasons for hope as scientists and clinicians focusing on alcohol use disorder continue to learn more.

A Large-Scale Challenge

Alcohol contributes to more than 200 health conditions and almost 100,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

An unfair truth is only a minority of people get alcohol use disorder. Others drink and never have problem drinking. That’s not to say there are not other health risks from drinking too much. But only an estimated 6% to 8% of drinkers become dependent, Marisa Roberto, PhD, said at recent lecture on alcohol addiction science and medicine sponsored by the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA.

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