DALLAS, Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alcohol consumption is more socially acceptable than ever before. In fact, 17.6 million people abuse alcohol or have an alcohol dependency. Yet many do not realize there are health problems associated with drinking alcohol in moderation. According to Caron Treatment Centers, a nationally recognized non-profit provider of alcohol and drug addiction treatment, alcohol should be regarded as a substance with serious health risks.
"There is a misconception regarding moderate alcohol use because of how it's glamorized in the media," said Stephen Garrison MD, Medical Director of Caron Texas. "The public, and many doctors, regard alcoholism as a life-threatening disease when in fact, drinking in moderation can increase an individual's chances of developing a number of deadly diseases. It is imperative the medical community and the public are better educated about the perils of this drug."
According to medical studies, risk factors of alcohol consumption may include:
- Cancer: Alcohol is a human carcinogen. Consuming just one drink per day can increase an individual's risk for breast cancer by 4%. Additional studies demonstrate links to colon, liver, esophagus, throat and mouth cancer with ongoing alcohol consumption.
- Liver Disease: The most common cause of liver disease is alcohol abuse. Cirrhosis is among the 15 leading causes of death in the U.S. Some mild damage can occur even after a single binge drinking episode.
- Cardiovascular Diseases: Moderate alcohol intake can be associated with an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation in individuals with cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
- Pancreatitis: Heavy alcohol abuse can lead to chronic pancreatitis and occurs mostly in men between 30-40.
- Lung Disease: Alcohol abuse can increase acute respiratory distress syndrome by three to four fold often leading to death.Chronic alcohol abuse can cause severe reductions in white blood cells, which increases the risk for community-acquired pneumonia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines moderate drinking as consuming up to two drinks per day for men and up to one drink per day for women.
Caron Treatment Centers
Caron Treatment Centers is a nationally recognized non-profit provider of alcohol and drug addiction treatment. Caron offers a comprehensive continuum of treatment for adolescents through older adults. Caron Treatment Centers operates residential treatment facilities in Wernersville, PA; Dallas, TX; and West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Delray Beach, FL. Caron has regional offices in Boston, Bermuda, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. For information visit Caron.org.
 National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc.
 Liu, David Ph.D. (2012). Alcoholic Beverage Raises Breast Cancer Risk. Foodconsumer.org.
 Sherry L. Murphy, B.S.; Jiaquan Xu, M.D.; and Kenneth D. Kochanek, M.A. (2010). Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2010. CDC.
 Rethinking Drinking.(Retrieved October 11, 2012). National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
 Kearny, Christine. (2012). Moderate Drinking Of Alcohol Can Increase Atrial Fibrillation Risk In Heart Disease Patients. Medical News Today.
 National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. (2012). Pancreatitis.
 Kershaw, Corey D. and Guidot, David M. (2008). Alcoholic Lung Disease. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
SOURCE Caron Treatment Centers