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Patterns of Alcohol Use in the United States
This section is related to drinking alcohol. While you may not believe that you have a problem with alcohol, even small amounts of alcohol can affect your body physically and emotionally. If you have a history of head and neck cancer, drinking alcohol may increase your risk of a cancer reoccurrence. Hence, you do not have to consider yourself an 'alcoholic' to find help here.
Alcohol is the third leading health problem in the United States. More than 20 million Americans (roughly 10% of the population) have a serious alcohol problem. Alcohol abuse has been found to reduce one's life expectancy by 10 years.
For people with a history of illness, such as cancer or heart disease, even moderate drinking can be harmful. Alcohol can interact with medications, causing serious side effects and even death. Since alcohol use increases the likelihood of a second cancer, it is very important that individuals with a history of cancer consider abstaining from even moderate drinking.
Pleasurable and Unpleasurable Experiences from Drinking Alcohol
Drinking alcohol can result in a number of pleasurable feelings including these:
Do any of these feelings apply to you? Are there other things you associate with alcohol in a positive way?
Drinking alcohol can also result in a number of unpleasant experiences including:
Note for yourself whether or not any of the above apply to you -- even if you don't believe they relate to alcohol consumption. Keep these two lists in mind the next time you drink.
Continue reading: How Much is too Much?