Alcohol is an exceptionally caustic substance. Even if booze weren't addictive, those who drink too much of it are at significant risk of adverse effects on their health. A large percentage of people who choose treatment have conditions relating to their heart, liver, and pancreas. It can be easy to think that only alcoholics experience health problems relating to alcohol use. The truth is, addiction isn't a prerequisite for experiencing alcohol-related illness. Which, begs the question, is there any amount of alcohol that is safe to imbibe? Of course, in regard to addicts and people with alcohol use disorders, the answer is, no! What about your average adult that doesn’t have a problem with the substance? The latter question is much harder to answer, for several reasons.
With each year that passes, it seems like researchers discover a new way in which alcohol wreaks havoc on the human body. It’s highly likely that you have read headlines saying that a little wine is good for your heart, and the like. Doctors throughout modern history have gotten behind pseudoscience to support the idea that drinking can be useful for both mind and body. Some physicians and scientists, whatever their reasons, propagate ideas that can harm rather than help uninformed people.
Big Alcohol Wants People to Drink More
The global alcohol industry is a multibillion-dollar affair, controlled by just a few mega-conglomerates. The more people drink, the more money companies like Ab InBev rake in annually. Naturally, significant purveyors of alcohol know that they are peddling a substance that can cause severe harm; so, it makes sense that they would love to see scientists publish research that supports the idea that some alcohol is good for the drinker. What better way to go about realizing that goal than funding said research?
You’d probably think that it would be the alcohol industry requesting researchers to focus on proving that some amounts of alcohol are safe; however, a new expose shows the opposite. The New York Times reveals that the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), an agency that has long been at odds with big alcohol, successfully solicited alcohol industry executives to fund their research. With the help of millions of dollars from five alcohol companies, NIAAA researchers are conducting a controlled trial to see if moderate drinking reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. The agency says the test “represents a unique opportunity to show that moderate alcohol consumption is safe and lowers risk of common diseases.” As you can imagine, medical professionals and scientists are not impressed with the newfound kinship.
The NIAAA study “is not public health research — it’s marketing,” Michael Siegel, a professor of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health, told Times reporter Roni Caryn Rabin. An investigation is underway to get to the bottom of what currently appears to be a scandal.
Alcohol Use Disorder Recovery
If alcohol has made your life unmanageable, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. Our experienced staff of addiction professionals can help you begin the life-changing journey of addiction recovery.