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Study compares unemployment vs. heavy drinking in each county in Alabama
Special to the News
A nationwide study by Rehabs.com, a leading provider of addiction treatment resources, has found that Coosa County has among the lowest rate of unemployed heavy drinkers in Alabama.
Using data by County Health Rankings, the number of heavy drinkers were identified, as well as those who were unemployed. These figures were then weighted by the local working population size to calculate a ranking within the state.
Coosa County has a 14% excessive drinking rate and an unemployment rate of 3%, ranking it in fifty-second place in Alabama – among the lowest rate of unemployed drinkers in the state.
Madison County emerged in first place overall for the highest rate of unemployed drinkers in the Yellowhammer State, with 25,277 excessive drinkers and a 2.5% unemployment rate.
Comparatively and more positively, Barbour County placed last in the state. The county’s 2,751 excessive drinkers compared against a 3.8% unemployment rate.
What is heavy/binge drinking?
Binge drinking is a serious – but also considered a preventable – public health issue across the country. It’s estimated that 77% of the cost of excessive alcohol consumption in the U.S. is due to binge drinking, and most binge drinkers are not alcohol dependent.
That is, they typically don’t struggle with a complete inability to stop drinking, or crave alcohol to the point that they can’t focus on anything else. These costs, however, are a result of loss in workplace productivity, criminal justice costs and healthcare expenditures, among other expenses.
Defined as a drinking pattern that increases an individual’s blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 g/dl or above, this usually occurs when women have four or more drinks over approximately a two-hour period. For men, it’s typically five or more drinks in the same time period.
These limits are lower for women because they tend to have smaller bodies and less water to dilute alcohol, so the concentration of alcohol in their blood will be higher than in a man who drinks the same amount.
Why can heavy drinking be a risk to health?
The risks of alcoholism have been widely discussed, and many are aware of the negative consequences that can ensue, such as increased risk of car accidents, serious falls and injuries and alcohol poisoning. However, fewer people know that long-term heavy drinking is also associated with:
- High blood pressure
- Heart arrhythmias
- Increased risk of developing diabetes
- Higher cancer risks, including cancers of the breast, pancreas, liver, lung and gastrointestinal system
- Mental health problems
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
- Memory and learning issues
What is the social impact of heavy drinking?
The social impact of alcohol abuse is a separate issue from the health and financial costs involved. This impact starts by negatively affecting home and family life first.
These issues can then extend into the community and possibly have a detrimental effect on society as a whole (much in the same way that excessive drinking creates costs to the U.S.). Interpersonal and family relationships can be disturbed by heavy drinking patterns, potentially resulting in ongoing conflict.
These trends can carry over into the workplace due to factors like poor performance, absenteeism or even accidents as a result of alcohol use. A combination of the above consequences of heavy drinking can also negatively impact the quality of life of both the drinker, as well as their loved ones.
Treatment options available for alcohol use disorder
Although alcohol use disorder is common in the United States, it is treatable. A wide variety of rehabs, addiction treatment programs and aftercare services are offered to help people find a program that is best for them.
If you have developed an alcohol addiction, understanding your options for treatment is important. Alcohol rehab centers can offer you the medical attention and support you need to pursue and maintain sobriety.
Proper treatment facilities provide patients with care from medical for the treatment of their alcohol use disorder (AUD). Many people benefit from inpatient treatment since they are separated from the triggers that lead to them drinking and can focus solely on their recovery.
In addition to treatment for alcohol addiction, many facilities also specialize in rehabilitation from substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions and offer patients treatment in a private residential setting or outpatient treatment services.
“Heavy (or binge) drinking is an extremely common pattern of drinking among people with or without an addiction to alcohol,” says a Rehabs.com spokesperson. “This type of excessive drinking can be detrimental to a person’s health and overall quality of life, regardless of their age, gender or employment status.”
For the full ranking and a table showing the correlation between unemployment and heavy drinking in each Alabama county, visit https://rehabs.com/explore/heavy-alcohol-drinking-alabama.