Chronic, excess alcohol consumption is the major cause of liver cirrhosis in the U.S.
Liver cirrhosis can cause internal hemorrhage, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, easy bleeding and bruising, muscle wasting, mental confusion, infections, and in advanced cases, coma, and kidney failure.
Liver cirrhosis can lead to liver cancer.
Alcohol accounts for 40%-50% of deaths from automobile accidents in the U.S. Alcohol use is a significant cause of injury and death from home accidents, drowning, and burns.
There are many treatments for alcoholism. But the crucial first step to recovery is for the individual to admit there is a problem and make a commitment to address the alcoholism issue. The 12-step-style self-help programs, pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous, can be one effective treatment. Psychologists and related professionals have developed programs to help individuals better handle emotional stresses and avoid behaviors that can lead to excess drinking. Support and understanding from family members are often critical for sustained recovery. Medication can be useful for the prevention of relapses and for withdrawal symptoms following acute or prolonged intoxication.