Earlier in January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study that placed Arizona fourth in the country for alcohol poisoning deaths. Adults aged 35 to 65 accounted for 76 percent of the alcohol poisoning deaths. Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person consumes a lot of alcohol in a short amount of time and the body cannot process the drinks fast enough. As the state of Arizona geared up to host the Super Bowl, many residents were planning to consume large amounts of alcohol. Researchers warn that this type of behavior is what has lead Arizona to reach the number four spot on the list. Despite Arizona being the home of Universities and colleges, young adults are not the reason for the low ranking.
Binge drinkers are most susceptible to alcohol poisoning. Surprisingly, most binge drinkers are actually adult males aged 40 and above. Most people consider that teenagers are the biggest culprits of binge drinking, however surveys prove that older males are the largest groups of binge drinkers. This may be because they work all week and spend one or two nights during the weekend drinking, it could be that because many adult males either succeed in their career or fail at their careers during this age period that alcohol is used as either a celebratory drink or a means of alleviating stress. Additionally, single men are more likely to go to the emergency room for alcohol poisoning than married men. Regardless of the reasons, Arizona reported that around 780,000 residents in Arizona reported that engaged in binge drinking behavior in 2013.
Binge drinkers are not necessarily alcoholics, however their behavior makes them more susceptible to an alcohol addiction. Generally, binge drinking is either done because a person is happy or sad, and either way it is a damaging activity physically and emotionally because of the toxic load ingested. Extreme emotions often lead a person to binge drink (defined as five or more drinks in one time span). Substituting alcohol to handle a problem or problems in life on a continual basis will never be a permanent solution.
For those who are in the process of detoxing off of alcohol, they may want to also stay away from smoking as well. A recent study shows that smoking impairs the brain functions of those who are recovering from alcohol abuse.
“There have been few longitudinal studies that have specifically studied the effects of cigarette smoking on cognitive recovery in ALC (Alcohol Dependent Individuals) during abstinence. We chose to examine measures of processing speed, learning and memory, and working memory because these abilities have been shown to be adversely affected by alcohol use disorders as well as chronic cigarettes smoking,” explained Timothy C. Durazzo, a researcher in the study.
Since chronic alcohol abuse has such a negative effect on a person’s cognitive skills, it makes sense that researchers wanted to look into anything else that would further impair a person’s brain functioning, especially after they have abstained from alcohol abuse.
Researchers found that those who abstained from alcohol and cigarette smoking showed marked improvement in cognitive skills like processing speed, learning and memory during the first month of abstinence. The group of participants who continued to smoke cigarettes but were still abstinent from alcohol had poorer results on cognitive tests than the other group.
It is no secret that smoking cigarettes is an unhealthy behavior. The smoke from cigarettes appears to be the biggest culprit in hindering a person’s (especially a recovering alcoholic) cognitive abilities. The toxins found in cigarette smoke, paired with the stress that smoking puts on the repertory part of the body, inhibits cognitive functioning. People who have quit drinking but continue to smoke are still contaminating their bodies with toxins that are having a negative effect on their brain’s ability to function.
This new information shows that there are variables that have an effect on a person’s ability to recover from alcohol abuse. While it is highly advisable for those who abuse alcohol to enroll in some sort of treatment center for their problem, this evidence shows that if they quit smoking they will have better chances at maintaining an overall healthier lifestyle with stronger cognitive ability.