The Risks Associated With Alcohol Use and Alcoholism

University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Alcohol research & health: the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Impact Factor: 0.58). 01/2011; 34(2):135-43.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Alcohol consumption, particularly heavier drinking, is an important risk factor for many health problems and, thus, is a major contributor to the global burden of disease. In fact, alcohol is a necessary underlying cause for more than 30 conditions and a contributing factor to many more. The most common disease categories that are entirely or partly caused by alcohol consumption include infectious diseases, cancer, diabetes, neuropsychiatric diseases (including alcohol use disorders), cardiovascular disease, liver and pancreas disease, and unintentional and intentional injury. Knowledge of these disease risks has helped in the development of low-risk drinking guidelines. In addition to these disease risks that affect the drinker, alcohol consumption also can affect the health of others and cause social harm both to the drinker and to others, adding to the overall cost associated with alcohol consumption. These findings underscore the need to develop effective prevention efforts to reduce the pain and suffering, and the associated costs, resulting from excessive alcohol use.

  • Source
    • "Alcohol impacts significantly upon individuals, families and communities. In addition to the well-documented health harms (Lim et al., 2012), heavy drinkers may experience social harms such as family disruption, interpersonal violence (Anderson et al., 2009), involvement in crime, problems within the workplace and financial problems (Rehm, 2011). Moreover, it is estimated that 30 per cent of children aged under sixteen years in the UK (3.3 – 3.5 million) live with at least one parent with an AUD (Manning et al., 2009). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Screening and brief interventions (BI) have been shown to be effective in the management of alcohol consumption for non-treatment-seeking heavy drinkers, who are at physical and social risk, but not yet dependent. The robust evidence base for the effectiveness of BI in primary health care suggests an implementation in other settings could be beneficial. Given the association between alcohol and social problems, social work has a long history of working with persons with alcohol-use disorders, and social workers are often the first service provider to come into contact with heavy-drinking individuals. This critical commentary summarises the existing literature on BI effectiveness in social services and criminal justice settings, and discusses to which extent the social work field might be a promising area for BI delivery.
    British Journal of Social Work 09/2014; 45(3). DOI:10.1093/bjsw/bcu100 · 1.19 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Alcohol is a psychoactive substance whose use is legal commercially and acceptable socially [1]. The consumption of alcohol is associated with a variety of acute and chronic consequences, be they individual or collective, which range from lesions due to traffic accidents to chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease [2]. "
  • Source
    • "Alcohol abuse exacts staggering costs from society, underscoring a pressing need to identify effective methods for reducing problematic drinking (Bouchery, Harwood, Sacks, Simon, & Brewer, 2011; Rehm, 2011). Assessments indexing individual differences in reasons for drinking may contribute to attainment of these goals by serving as a basis for delivering targeted prevention or clinical interventions, providing clues about promising intervention strategies, or serving as outcome or process measures in applied research (e.g., Coffman, Patrick, Palen, Rhoades, & Ventura , 2007; Conrod et al., 2000; Doyle, Donovan, & Simpson, 2011; Neighbors, Larimer, & Lewis, 2004; Watt, Stewart, Birch, & Bernier, 2006). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Alcohol use can be understood as a strategic behavior, such that people choose to drink based on the anticipated affective changes produced by drinking relative to those produced by alternative behaviors. This study investigated whether people who report drinking for specific reasons via the Drinking Motives Questionnaire-Revised (DMQ-R; Cooper, 1994) actually experience the alcohol effects they purportedly seek. As a secondary goal, we examined relations between drinking motives and indices of the amount of alcohol consumed. Data were drawn from 3,272 drinking episodes logged by 393 community-recruited drinkers during a 21-day Ecological Momentary Assessment investigation. After accounting for selected covariates, DMQ-R enhancement motives uniquely predicted real-time reports of enhanced drinking pleasure. DMQ-R coping motives were associated with reports of increased drinking-contingent relief and punishment. Enhancement motives uniquely predicted consuming more drinks per episode and higher peak intra-episode estimated blood alcohol concentration. The findings extend the evidence for the validity of the DMQ-R motive scores by demonstrating that internal drinking motives (enhancement and coping) are related to the experienced outcomes of drinking in the manner anticipated by theory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Psychological Assessment 11/2013; 26(2). DOI:10.1037/a0035153 · 2.99 Impact Factor
Show more


Available from