Is it safe to drink alcohol? If so, how much is safe, and how often? Many studies have been done to answer these questions. The studies show that drinking ½-1 alcoholic drink/day for women, or 1-2 drinks/day for men, is not harmful, and may even help to lower cholesterol, and reduce one's risk of heart attack, heart failure, and senility. However, drinking more than 1-3 drinks/day causes more harm than good. Also, these numbers are maximums, not averages. That is, drinking 0 drinks for 6 days, then 7 drinks on day 7, is not the same as drinking 1 drink/day for 7 days. Women who are pregnant should not drink any alcohol.
Studies have shown that drinking >1 drink/day for women, or >3 drinks/day for men, can increase the risk of serious health conditions. The greater the amount of alcohol consumed, the greater the increase in risk. Alcohol can cause or contribute to all of the following conditions:
Those who are in the 15% with a drinking problem need not be ashamed. The American Medical Association, the U.S. Government, and most enlightened people consider Alcoholism to be a disease, just like Asthma and Diabetes are diseases. The disease of Alcoholism is not caused by a lack of morals or willpower. It is simply a disease. Untreated, it can be a devastating disease. As a disease, it requires effective treatment, and fortunately effective treatments are available.
Those who become aware that they have the disease of Alcoholism must always try to avoid taking the first drink. If they take that first drink, they will be unable to control what happens afterward, so they must abstain completely. The most effective form of treatment for Alcoholism is the program of Alcoholics Anonymous . Studies of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) show that 90-98% of those who regularly attend AA meetings stay sober.
People who attend AA meetings learn how to have fun without drinking. Gradually, they improve their relationships with self, others, and their Higher Power, while staying sober. These changes ultimately lead to happiness, and many recovering Alcoholics are willing to talk about the joy they have found with the help of AA. In contrast, Alcoholics who try to quit drinking on their own (without AA) are usually unsuccessful. Those who are able to stop drinking on their own seem to retain their alcoholic thinking (eg fear, guilt, regret, loneliness) and their alcoholic traits (eg irritability and erratic moods). That type of thinking, and those traits, prevent the improvements in fun, relationships, and spirituality that AA members enjoy.
Some Alcoholics are more affected by their disease than others. While AA is an important part of any Recovery from Alcoholism, some Alcoholics need other treatments in addition to AA. If you find that you are unable to stop drinking, and you have attended AA meetings, then you may need to combine some of the following treatments:
To recover from Alcoholism, you will need Honesty, Openness, and Willingness, but you do not need any special ability or talent. With the right combination of treatments, I strongly believe that you can Recover from the disease of Alcoholism.
Brad Paddock, MD
| Read What Others Have Said About the AA Big Book:
Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism (From Amazon.com & its affiliates, ©1996-2003.)
It's more than a book. It's a way of life.
Alcoholics Anonymous-the Big Book-has served as a lifeline to millions worldwide. First published in 1939, Alcoholics Anonymous sets forth cornerstone concepts of recovery from alcoholism and tells the stories of men and women who have overcome the disease. With publication of the second edition in 1955, the third edition in 1976, and now the fourth edition in 2001, the essential recovery text has remained unchanged while personal stories have been added to reflect the growing and diverse fellowship. The long-awaited fourth edition features 24 new personal stories of recovery.
Key features and
If you're looking at this book..., July 29, 2002
It is a must read for anyone in recovery, thinking about recovery, trying to help someone in recovery, or just wondering about the disease of Alcoholism.
This book was authored by Bill W., one of the founders of AA. Bill W. was probably one of the greatest men to ever put pen to paper. His wisdom, experience, and love are on every page. Since AA belives in attraction rather than promotion of its ideas you will not see press releases or editorial reviews of this book. But go to any treatment center and they will probably give you a copy of this book.
With this and previous editions combined it is one of the best selling
books of all time. It would show up higher on ... sales
ranking[s] if it were a "normal" book. But since its distribution
is normally through places like treatment centers and local AA groups it is a closet best seller.