Alcohol Facts

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Heavy drinkers are ten times more likely to get cancer than those who drink moderately or not at all.

Heavy drinking can also cause brain damage, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, an enlarged heart, and diseases of the liver and pancreas.

Alcohol and drug abuse cost the American economy an estimated 276 billion dollars per year in lost productivity, health care expenditures, crime, motor vehicle crashes and other conditions.

Alcoholism runs in families.

Genes play a role in transmitting the disease, but other factors such as lifestyle and stress contribute to a person's risk of becoming alcoholic.

Not every child of an alcoholic becomes an alcoholic; conversely, people with no family history of alcoholism can become alcoholics.

One in every thirteen adults abuse alcohol or are alcoholic.

In general, more men than women are alcohol dependent or have alcohol problems.

The rate of binge alcohol use was lowest among Asians (11.0 percent). Rates for other racial/ethnic groups were 19.0 percent for blacks, 23.6 percent for whites, 24.2 percent for Hispanics, 29.6 percent for American Indians/Alaska Natives, and 29.8 percent for Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders.

The U.S Department of Human and Human Services (DHSS) has called alcohol the most abused drug in the United States.

There is some evidence that women cannot drink the same amount as men even if they were equal in size because they metabolize alcohol less efficiently.

When alcohol and tobacco are used in combination, the effect of each is heightened.

A 12-ounce beer, a cocktail with 1.5 ounces of alcohol, and a 5-ounce glass of wine contain the same amount of alcohol (.5 ounce).

Wine has a higher alcohol content than beer (about 12 to 20 percent) but less than hard liquor.

It takes at least an hour for the average person to burn up the alcohol in one standard drink.

Alcoholics Anonymous found that 36 percent of its members had been sober for more than 10 years in a 2004 member survey.

The Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration show that in 2004 nearly 50 percent of emergency room visits among patients aged 12 to 20 involved alcohol.

According to Focus on the Family, driving under the influence is the leading cause of death for youth aged 15 to 24.

In 1984, when federal law changed the drinking age to 21, more than half of fatal crashes among drivers aged 15 to 20 were alcohol related. By 1994, after the new law had been in effect, that number had dropped to 22 percent.

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