BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Alcoholic beverages have been a part of celebratory occasions and even used for medicinal reasons since ancient times.

Alcohol’s links to health benefits

Some historians say the ancient Greeks mixed alcohol with oil and honey, to create a cure for a variety of ailments.

In more modern times, the Mayo Clinic has stated that “Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent coronary artery disease, the condition that leads to heart attacks.”

But there is a dark side to alcohol consumption.

The debilitating effects of alcohol addiction

According to Healthline, “Experts are mixed on the benefits of alcohol, but they are clear on the harm of too much drinking. Binge drinking can increase the risk for high blood pressure, stroke, and congestive heart failure. Experts also agree that alcohol is a proven cause of several kinds of cancer, including breast and liver cancer.”

An alarming number of people in the U.S. overdrink due to an addiction to alcohol. According to one statistic, about one in 12 men and one in 25 women in the U.S. have alcohol use disorders.

In Louisiana, overdrinking and alcoholism continue to be areas of concern.

One Audacy article stated that in 2021, the average Louisianan consumed 654 alcoholic beverages.

In addition to this, an average of 2,278 annual deaths in Louisiana are reportedly attributable to excessive alcohol use.

Signs that may indicate alcohol abuse

But how does one know if they’re drinking too much?

Experts agree that the following signs may indicate a struggle with alcohol use disorder:

  • You find you need to drink more to feel the effects of alcohol
  • You drink to the point of experiencing temporary blackouts or short-term memory loss
  • Drinking is impacting your relationships
  • When you stop drinking, you experience withdrawal (sweating, tremors, sleep problems, rapid heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, hallucinations, anxiety, restlessness, and possibly even seizures.)
  • You find yourself making excuses for drinking such as to relax, deal with stress or feel normal
  • You choose to drink over other responsibilities and obligations
  • You drink alone or in secrecy
  • You feel hungover when you’re not drinking

Where to get help for alcohol addiction

A person who is experiencing some of the symptoms listed above can improve their health and wellness by working with a team of trained professionals.

For example, a man named Patrick who battled alcohol abuse and is now in a better place told Recovery Centers of America what helped him, saying, “The first thing in surrendering is asking somebody for help. Whatever that help is. And hopefully you get to a place that can offer the help you need. It’s worth it.”

Some Baton Rouge-based resources where help can be found are listed below:

Baton Rouge Comprehensive Treatment Center

11445 Reiger Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70809

225-932-9867

Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital

4040 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70806

225-300-8470

BR Area Alcohol and Drug Center Inc

216 South Foster Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70806

225-925-5367

Capital Area Human Services – Capital Area Recovery Program

2455 Woodale Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70805

225-922-3169

Click here to read more about overdrinking and alcohol use disorder.