It’s an image we so often see on television, in ads, and in the movies — a group of men gathered at the local bar, at a tailgate, or at a party, pounding back drinks.
The picture often seems fun and exciting — but when you consider the facts about men and alcohol use, the situation becomes more sobering.
To celebrate this Men’s Health Week, we’re highlighting some of the facts about men and alcohol use that you may not know.
Men & Alcohol Use
Research has shown that men have double the risk for becoming alcoholic compared to women. This is because men experience a greater dopamine release when drinking alcohol, meaning they associate pleasure more strongly with drinking. This holds true even when men and women consume the same amounts of alcohol. As a result, men are more likely to turn to alcohol use when seeking pleasure — and this repeated behavior can eventually turn into addiction as hormone releases continue to reinforce it.
Fatalities & Men’s Alcohol Use
Alcohol use can have potentially fatal consequences for men. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men have a higher rate of alcohol-releated death and are more frequently hospitalized for alcohol use than women, perhaps because they are more inclined to engage in risky behaviors when under the influence. Furthermore, men are twice as likely to have been intoxicated when involved in fatal car crashes. Men also have higher suicide rates than women and a higher likelihood of having been drinking before committing suicide.
Alcohol & Men’s Health Issues
There are many health issues associated with men’s alcohol use, including the following:
- High blood pressure. Excessive alcohol use (defined as consuming more than 3 drinks in one sitting) can increase your blood pressure temporarily. If binge drinking is a regular habit, it can cause more long-term increases in your blood pressure, causing more lasting damage.
- Stroke. Although light drinking has been shown to raise “good” cholesterol levels and provide some protection against stroke, studies do show that drinking in excess of 2 drinks per day can increase a man’s stroke risk.
- Liver disease. Your liver performs several vital functions, including converting food and drink into nutrients and energy and filtering harmful substances from the blood. Because alcohol damages liver cells, it prevents the liver from doing its job, including processing alcohol. The liver damage caused by alcohol use can lead to hepatitis C, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer.
Fight Alcohol Use With ARCpoint Labs
ARCpoint Labs makes it easy for concerned friends, family members, and employers to monitor others’ alcohol use and help them pursue treatment. To learn more about our alcohol testing services, find your nearest ARCpoint Labs today!