Here’s How Long Alcoholics Generally Live
Alcoholics are people who suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). This disease affects the physical and mental health of anyone who struggles with it. So when you drink alcohol in large quantities, it affects your mind and body.
If you drink lots of alcohol, it goes into your bloodstream and affects your central nervous system. This means, the communication between your brain and the other parts of your body will be disrupted. So, you could experience uneasiness, mood swings, and a lack of clarity.
Alcoholics often consume alcohol several times over a short period. The disease makes them unable to control their urge to drink. And this constant drinking increases their risk for short-term and long-term injuries. The injuries can result in fatal sickness, which may, in turn, lead to death.
On the other hand, the psychological effects of alcoholism can cause depression, anxiety, and loneliness. This will affect your mental health and can increase suicidal tendencies.
In some cases, an alcoholic may have to cope with dire medical conditions and poor mental health for the rest of his life. However, you could live a long healthy life with proper care, detox, and treatments.
How Long Alcoholics Live in General
Alcohol is one of the major leading causes of death in the world. Although the extent of risk is hard to determine, people who struggle with alcohol use are exposed to several health issues. Also, people in different stages of alcohol addiction experience different levels of risk.
A 2006 study conducted in Finland, Denmark, and Sweden showed: people with alcohol use disorder had shorter life expectancy by 24 to 28 years. They also had a higher mortality rate from other causes of death. Another study of 600000 Drinkers showed that having 10 to 15 drinks per week could shorten your lifespan by one to two years. While people who have more than 18 drinks per week could lose four to five years.
Factors that influence the Lifespan of Alcoholics
In truth, there is no straight answer to the question, “how long do alcoholics live?” Each person’s body is different, so when consuming alcohol varies, we react differently.
However, we can agree that drinking excessive alcohol can shorten a person’s lifespan. Alcohol could affect your physical or mental health. And this may, in turn, require necessary medical treatment or care.
Some of the factors which could affect the lifespan of an alcoholic are:
- Fatal AccidentsAlcohol affects your ability to concentrate or coordinate your body and mind. As a result, your mind could feel hazy or clouded. That’s why you would often be able to make decisions as you would if you weren’t drunk.During such moments, people who go about their regular businesses would be clumsy or awkward and make mistakes. As a result, you could drive poorly and have a motor crash. A report from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2019 states that 28 people die daily from drunk driving crashes. This shows how often people get into fatal accidents while under the influence of alcohol. There’s also the risk of alcohol poisoning.
- Compromised Immune SystemYour immune system needs good rest and proper nutrients to work efficiently. Heavy drinking could lead to a deficiency in necessary substances, resulting in a weakened immune system.Having a weak immune system means your body will fight harder than it should to keep sicknesses away. So, heavy drinkers are at risk of contracting lung diseases like pneumonia.
- SuicideAlcoholism has been associated with a higher risk of suicide. Typically, binge drinking leads to self-isolation and loneliness. You begin to feel frustrated, sad, and unwanted. These emotions will have a depressive effect on you. Sadly, it’s not uncommon to have untreated cases of alcohol use end in suicide.
- Poor Cardiovascular HealthMany studies have linked alcohol consumption to heart health. For instance, excessive drinking has been linked to high blood pressure, strokes, hypertension, and cardiomyopathy. Study results suggest that those who drink alcohol two or more times daily are 34% more likely to suffer a stroke than others. These are critical health conditions requiring proper medical treatment or could lead to death.As alcoholics are susceptible to cardiovascular diseases, their lifespan would be considerably shorter than other people. Although there are other possible causes for conditions like this, alcohol increases fatality risk.
- CancerThe life expectancy of an alcoholic can be affected by different types of cancer. Alcohol has also been shown to be a risk factor for cancer. The American Cancer Society says: alcohol use accounts for 4% of cancer deaths in America. Among others, alcoholics are at risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and breast.
- Liver DiseaseLiver disease is one of the most typical results of alcoholism. Most people suffer through the preliminary stages of liver disease without getting appropriate treatment. Often, the damage becomes irreversible, and they die. The survival rate for people who don’t deal with their alcoholism on time is lower than those who do.
- Weight GainHeavy drinking is a factor for weight gain and can lead to obesity. This is because alcohol contains a high level of calories. Addicted people often find no interest in other things. So, you could end up eating a lot of junk food even though you know it’s unhealthy for you. You may also find it hard to get regular exercise. And this is a factor that lowers life expectancy for alcoholics.
- End-Stage AlcoholismEnd-stage alcoholism is the term used to describe a phase of poker physical and mental health. It is the result of leaving alcohol use disorder untreated. Such people often have no control over their lives. They could die of life-threatening conditions or loneliness and depression.
How Long Do Alcoholics Live When they Drink Moderately?
Alcoholism is a sickness and it must be treated; otherwise, it worsens. In the worst case, the answer to the question of how long do alcoholics live would be “not very long.” This is because you don’t have much control over your appetite for alcohol. So, you could decide to cut down on drinking and not succeed.
It’s much safer and healthier to choose a path of sobriety and growth than to try to drink less. Your cravings will only go stronger unless you opt for recovery.
Signs of Alcoholism
The term ‘alcoholic’ does not refer to everyone who drinks. So, if you have an occasional drink or two, it doesn’t mean that you could die earlier than people who don’t drink. However, if you know anyone unable to control their alcohol consumption, they may have a drinking problem.
These signs may indicate that you are struggling with alcoholism.
- If you have tried to stop drinking several times, but you find yourself going back after a while.
- Drinking more alcohol than you intend to.
- Feeling sad, anxious, or unhappy if you haven’t had a drink.
- Being unable to cope with work or other activities without drinking.
- Having an interest in only activities that involve drinking.
- Having an uncontrollable urge to drink.
- Increased alcohol resistance.
- Binge drinking.
- Losing interest in your relationships or things you used to love.
- Forgetting things too often.
- Having cuts and scrapes without remembering how you got them.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
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