When people hear the word “overdose,” dangerous and illegal substances like heroin and cocaine often come to mind. While opioids are the most lethal drug in the United States right now, there is another substance silently killing thousands of Americans. It is one people rarely talk about but can touch nearly every facet of life, especially online – alcohol. And across the country, alcohol rehab centers are struggling to keep up. And centers for detox in Orange County are also looking for ways to help.
But alcohol is the third-leading cause of preventable deaths in America.
From cancer to liver disease, suicide, and car accidents, alcohol kills in more ways than possibly any other drug. The fact so many people believe alcohol not to be a drug is the greatest problem of all. It seems like there has not been a single generation that does not boast about how great drinking is, from college kids to the wine mom culture. Further exasperating the problem is social media as one of the top influencers of heavy alcohol consumption and dependency.
Whether people are aware or not, alcohol is leading to more deaths every year. Tackling the problem starts with understanding why it is increasing so rapidly.
The Risks of Alcohol-Related Deaths
Binge drinking and alcohol abuse are widespread throughout every age demographic. According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 26.45 percent of adults over 18 reported binge drinking within the last month; 14.4 million adults over 18 had an alcohol use disorder. Over 9 million men and 5 million women struggled to control their drinking or relied on it to get through daily life.
More than 88,000 people die annually from alcohol-related deaths, which actually makes it more deadly than the opioid epidemic. Yet alcohol use disorder continues to rise. Why are so many people still being affected? There are several main reasons that people easily develop an alcohol use disorder.
Affordability of Alcohol
Unlike many other forms of illicit drugs or prescription medications, alcohol is still relatively cheap. While people may spend large sums of money to sustain a drinking habit, people can still afford cheap liquor even when they live paycheck-to-paycheck. Happy hour deals make it even easier for someone who is struggling financially to afford alcohol.
Alcohol is Easy to Acquire
All you need is an ID to buy alcohol. You do not have to find a dealer or go out of your way to get your fix. The fact anyone who is old enough can walk into a liquor store or go to a bar means that getting a drink is a lot easier than acquiring other forms of drugs. This also makes it easier to develop and maintain an alcohol use disorder.
Social Acceptance of Drinking
Saying you need a drink in response to a stressful situation is typically met with laughter and nods of agreement. Parties, holidays, and even weekends are seen as perfect reasons to consume alcohol liberally. Sometimes, people are even encouraged to push the limits in the sake of celebration. “You only live once” people say, and if everyone else is drinking, why shouldn’t they?
The fact alcohol is so widely accepted and even encouraged in today’s society means people are at a much higher risk of abusing it. They even convince themselves they do not have a problem because so many other people also drink, perhaps even daily. High-functioning alcohol use disorder is still a disorder.
Alcohol dependency is not a secret; it lives in plain sight, and it is even fueled by friends and family who use alcohol as a way to connect socially. Because of this, millions of people can justify their alcohol use disorder so well that they do not realize it is killing them.
What can be done? Can Detox in Orange County Help?
In the state of California, 16.7 percent of adults engaged in binge drinking in 2019. More staggering is 23.2 percent of males and 12.1 percent of females in the state drank excessively, and the behavior was not largely influenced by any educational or income level. 
Alcohol use disorder expresses itself in many ways, but the figures all point to one grim message: it is killing too many people every year. Something must be done, and that starts with greater awareness and learning alcohol rehab works. People must understand there is a problem before they can help themselves, which means realizing alcohol, despite its popularity, is just as deadly as any other drug.
Detox in Orange County & Alcohol Rehab Options
There is nothing to lose by contacting a professional about a loved one’s drug or alcohol addiction. An important first step in finding sobriety is contacting your local hospital or Orange County detox and rehabilitation center. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, reach out to someone or speak with one of our professionals at Ocean Hills Recovery.
About the author:
Greg opened his home and heart to alcoholics and addicts in 2003. He is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATCI). Starting in 2009 Greg has fostered the growth of Ocean Hills Recovery into one of the most respected and effective treatment centers in the area and has been working with people with addictions since March of 2001. Greg believes in a holistic approach to recovery. His focus is on drug alcohol addiction treatment with a combination of 12 Step work, therapy and counseling, and the rejuvenation of the body through healthful eating and exercise. He has designed his program to foster a family-like atmosphere and believes that people in recovery are just beginning their lives. He encourages the people he works with to learn to enjoy life in sobriety. Greg is married to Nicole; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.