Alcohol abuse is one of the most serious public health threats that Americans currently face – and it has been a major area of concern for quite some time. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 14.1 million Americans over the age of 18 had a diagnosable alcohol use disorder in the year 2019 alone. More men struggle with alcohol use disorders than women – 8.9 million as compared to 5.2 million, respectively.
Alcohol abuse is not the only danger involved in excessive alcohol consumption. According to the same NIDA report, roughly 95,000 Americans lose their lives to alcohol-related causes on an annual basis. When considering alcohol and how dangerous it is for several reasons, you might be wondering whether or not one type of alcohol is more dangerous than another.
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Is Alcohol Dangerous to the Body?
When it comes to alcohol abuse and dependence, men and women who struggle with excessive alcohol consumption tend to convince themselves that one type of alcohol is less dangerous, less habit-forming, or generally safer to use. For example, someone who struggles with alcoholism might convince themselves that beer is safer to drink than liquor, seeing as beer has a lower alcohol content. The truth is that all alcohol is equally as harmful when substance abuse or dependence is involved. For more information on alcohol abuse, reach out to us today.
Most Dangerous Types of Alcohol
Even though drinking is never safe for an individual who has been struggling with substance abuse, there are some particularly dangerous types of alcohol currently in circulation. The most dangerous types of alcohol are as follows:
- Everclear – This type of grain alcohol is 190 proof in its purest form, making it the most dangerous kind of alcohol a person can consume. Even two shots of Everclear can land a person in the emergency room – easily.
- Absinthe – Traditionally, this type of alcohol is made with wormwood, which is a naturally occurring hallucinogen. Additionally, many types of Absinthe are around 70% alcohol.
There are also many dangerous cocktails – for example, The Four Horsemen is a “cocktail” made up of four different shots of pure liquor, and a Long Island is an “iced tea-tasting” cocktail made from five different types of liquor and a splash of Coca-Cola. Again – and we can’t stress this enough – there is no “safe” liquor or cocktail when it comes to alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease that revolves around a mental obsession with alcohol. Even one sip of an alcoholic beverage that others would consider mellow can be enough to send someone struggling with alcoholism into a serious downward spiral.
Recovery from Alcoholism is Possible
If you or someone you love has been suffering at the hands of an alcohol abuse disorder, Garden State Treatment Center is available to help. Our program of alcohol addiction recovery is integrated, meaning that it tackles the underlying causes of alcohol addiction as well as the symptoms themselves. Because alcoholism is such a complex disease, a multi-faceted approach to clinical care is always necessary. We utilize a range of evidence-based therapies, 12-step support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, and the careful development of highly personalized aftercare plans. Alcohol addiction recovery is not a journey that simply ends once inpatient treatment has concluded. Aftercare is essential to long-term success.
Alcohol Rehab at Garden State Treatment Center
At Garden State Treatment Center we thoroughly treat all symptoms related to alcohol abuse and dependence. We teach our clients how important complete abstinence is, and how all forms of alcohol are extremely dangerous to those with a personal history of substance abuse. To learn more about our personalized recovery program or to learn more about the most dangerous types of alcohol, call Garden State Treatment Center today. We look forward to speaking with you and answering any additional questions you may have.
What is the most dangerous alcohol?
All types of alcohol can be dangerous if consumed excessively or irresponsibly. However, certain types of alcoholic beverages or products carry unique risks, including:
- High-Proof Liquors: Alcohol content is measured by “proof,” which is twice the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV). High-proof liquors, such as grain alcohol (like Everclear, which can be up to 190 proof or 95% alcohol), have a very high alcohol content and can lead to alcohol poisoning more quickly than lower-proof drinks.
- Homemade or Illicitly Produced Alcohol: This includes moonshine or other types of illegally produced spirits. These can be dangerous because they may contain high levels of methanol, a toxic alcohol that can cause blindness and death.
- Alcohol Mixed with Energy Drinks: The caffeine in energy drinks can mask the sedating effects of alcohol, leading people to consume more alcohol than they would otherwise, increasing the risk of alcohol poisoning. This combination can also increase the risk of heart problems, dehydration, and risky behaviors.
- Alcohol and Drug Interactions: Alcohol can be dangerous when mixed with certain medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and illicit substances. The combination can increase the effects of both substances and lead to dangerous consequences like respiratory depression, liver damage, heart problems, and other serious health issues.
Remember that any alcohol, when consumed excessively or by individuals who should not consume it (like pregnant individuals, people with certain medical conditions, or people on certain medications), can be harmful. Even moderate drinking can lead to long-term health issues like liver disease, cardiovascular problems, and increased risk of various cancers.
It’s important to drink responsibly and to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol use.
Which alcohol is bad for health?
All types of alcohol, if consumed excessively, can be detrimental to health. There isn’t one type of alcohol that is universally “bad” for health while others are “good”. The health risks associated with alcohol consumption depend on the quantity consumed, the frequency of consumption, the individual’s personal health status, and whether alcohol is combined with any other substances, such as medications or illicit drugs.
Here are some of the health risks associated with different types of alcoholic beverages:
- Beer and Wine: While often seen as less potent than spirits, regular or heavy consumption of beer and wine can still lead to alcohol use disorder, liver disease, certain types of cancer, heart disease, and other health problems.
- Spirits (like vodka, whiskey, gin, rum): These drinks have a higher alcohol content by volume compared to beer and wine. Hence, they can more rapidly lead to intoxication and the associated health risks, including addiction, liver disease, and damage to the brain and other organs.
- High-Proof Liquor: Spirits with very high alcohol content, such as grain alcohol, pose an especially high risk of rapid intoxication and alcohol poisoning.
- Homemade or Illegally Produced Alcohol: These can contain contaminants or harmful types of alcohol like methanol, which can cause severe health problems including blindness or death.
- Alcohol Combined with Energy Drinks: The caffeine in energy drinks can mask the effects of alcohol, leading to greater alcohol consumption and increasing the risk of alcohol poisoning.
- Alcohol Mixed with Medications or Illicit Drugs: Alcohol can interact with a wide range of medications and drugs, increasing the risk of harmful side effects or overdose.
The best approach to alcohol is moderate and responsible consumption. For some individuals, no consumption at all might be the safest option, including those with a history of addiction, people who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, people with certain medical conditions, people who are about to drive or operate machinery, and people who are taking certain medications.
If you have concerns about alcohol consumption and your health, it’s a good idea to discuss them with a healthcare provider. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol use, there are many resources available to help, including counseling services and support groups.