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Alcohol Awareness Month: Old age and lower income increase risk for binge drinking among African Americans
Posted in Treatment

Alcohol-related causes result in roughly 88,000 deaths every year in the United States, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Studies have revealed that alcohol abuse is the leading cause of preventable death among Americans, though it is not clear as to what leads some people to engage in heavy drinking. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 15.1 million adult Americans, aged 18 years and above, suffered from alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2015 alone.

To reach out to various American communities and to inform them about alcohol, alcoholism and recovery, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) observes “Alcohol Awareness Month” in April every year. Reports of deaths attributed to heavy drinking have made it imperative that people understand the reasons of alcoholism and the modes of effective treatment.

A recent study revealed that binge drinking is lower among African Americans and Hispanics compared to non-Hispanic whites. However, this was not the case among older adults of the minority groups. In fact, they had a higher chance of binge drinking, the study said. The study, titled “Does a Crossover Age Effect Exist for African American and Hispanic Binge Drinkers? Findings from the 2010 to 2013 National Study on Drug Use and Health,” stressed on how economic status plays a role in binge drinking behavior.

The study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research in April 2017, suggested a disproportionate rise with age among those reduced to penury. The researchers examined details of 205,198 people from the 2010-13 NSDUH that put together national yearly data about substance use behaviors among those aged 12 years and above. The respondents of the study included Hispanic, non-Hispanic African American and non-Hispanic whites.

Risk of binge drinking increases with age

Previous studies had shown African Americans had a lower risk of binge drinking compared to their white counterparts. However, the latest study indicated that the risk increased erratically among the African American participants with age, but only among those with an annual income less than $20,000. The researchers, nevertheless, found no crossover effect for Hispanic respondents or African Americans at greater income levels.

Based on the observations, the authors of the study recommended the need to keep preventive measures in mind while customizing interventions for various social groups. They suggested to consider various social factors, such as lower education levels, exposure to ruthlessness and feelings of insecurity, believed to be responsible for the rising problem among at-risk American population. The observations clearly indicated how the chance of risk of binge drinking increases with factors like age and income among the U.S. population.

Way to recovery

According to the CDC, binge drinking is clearly the most common form of alcohol abuse in the U.S. The CDC says that for men, binge drinking amounts to around five drinks and for women, it is four. People misconstrue binge drinking as alcoholism. Nevertheless, binge drinking carries with it some serious health risks such as:

  • physical injuries resulting from assaults or accidents
  • alcohol poisoning
  • increased risk for heart diseases and stroke
  • critical and prolonged health conditions, including diabetes and liver disorders

The addictive properties of alcohol can ruin one’s life. The Sovereign Health of Texas offers evidence-backed, effective treatment options for addiction to various substances, including alcohol, at our residential addiction treatment centers. We strive to ensure that every patient has the best chance of a successful recovery. For more information, contact our 24/7 helpline number 866-399-5740 or chat online for expert advice about Texas addiction treatment centers.

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