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Death by Alcohol

Wednesday, 03 February 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.


Statistics that show alcohol-related deaths are the highest they’ve been in 35 years. The question is why? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30,000 Americans died from alcohol-related incidents in 2014, more than from overdoses of prescription painkillers and heroin combined (28,647). Alcohol-related causes of death included cirrhosis (liver damage primarily caused by alcoholism), alcohol poisoning, drunk driving and other homicides committed while under the influence of alcohol.

The Medical Daily published the statistic that 9.6 deaths from alcohol-related incidents per 100,000 people, which has risen 37 percent since 2002.

Philip J. Cook, a Duke University professor who studies alcohol consumption patterns and effects, reports the fact that more people now drink and numbers have been on the rise since the 1990s, he says, especially women. That explains the increase in deaths.

Brookhaven Retreat ® LLC, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, offers treatment for clients suffering from alcoholism. The Lily Program ®, a 90-day program for women offered exclusively at Brookhaven Retreat, provides a safe haven for women to recover from the mental and physical dangers of alcoholism, and rebuild their lives, by engaging in an individualized mental health program designed for success.

Brookhaven Retreat operates under the belief that addiction and substance abuse, alcoholism included, are symptoms of a greater illness. In other words, they don’t simply treat the effects of alcoholism and addiction and leave it at that. The root causes, which are more likely feelings of emptiness and worthlessness, are more important.

It’s typical to say or hear someone else react to hard times with the statement, “I need a drink.” But what we need isn’t actually what we think we need. “I need a drink” is another way of saying, “I need to escape this feeling of….” And you fill in the blank: weariness, despair, hopelessness, frustration, anger, physical pain, weakness or unhappiness. But the truth is drinking does not provide an escape as much as it poses a larger, more troublesome problem than the original negative feelings that make one reach for a drink in the first place. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism women are at higher risk for developing alcohol-related problems. The reason, says the website, is because “Alcohol passes through the digestive tract and is dispersed in the water in the body. The more water available, the more diluted the alcohol. As a rule, men weigh more than women, and, pound for pound, women have less water in their bodies than men. Therefore, a woman’s brain and other organs are exposed to more alcohol and to more of the toxic byproducts that result when the body breaks down and eliminates alcohol.”

There are many ways women are physically more vulnerable to alcohol-related diseases, and are likely to develop the following, such as:

  • Breast cancer, especially if you’re postmenopausal or have a family history of breast cancer.
  • Alcoholic hepatitis (liver inflammation) and cirrhosis.
  • Alcohol-induced brain damage.
  • Cancers of the digestive track and of the head and neck (the risk is especially high in smokers who also drink heavily).
  • Alcohol-related heart disease.

The good news is Brookhaven Retreat’s website provides a self-evaluation test to determine your need for help. If you’re using alcohol as a coping skill, a way to manage stress or relax, or because you feel uncomfortable in social situations, you have a problem. Medical care is important during the detox process as medical complications can potentially occur, and Brookhaven Retreat provides individualized treatment to help you get out from under addiction and create a life worth living.

More information is available on the Brookhaven Retreat website,

Last modified on Friday, 05 February 2016 04:06

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