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Does alcohol substance abuse lead to injury?

Fredrick Wade
Addiction Medicine

Yes. Alcohol abuse affects the part of the brain that controls coordination, memory, judgment and decision-making. It can with long term use impact many of the organs (heart, liver, kidney, stomach, and brain just to name a few) in your body and in some case cause irreparable damage to these organs. Other injuries that are consistent with alcohol abuse are falls, scrapes, and the very dangerous implications of lowered inhibitions that may result in STD's, DUI's, and for some violence. Alcohol causes more than 4% of deaths worldwide according to the World Health Organization (WHO), killing more than 2.5 million people in 2011. It killed more people than AIDS worldwide as well. So it without a doubt causes injury in more ways I can recount here.    

Given that people who drink and drive often hurt themselves or others, the answer is yes, alcohol abuse leads to injury. Given the number of drunks who show up in the Emergency Departments across the continent after having fallen down and scraped or broken something, the answer is an even bigger yes. Alcohol abuse, whether short term from binge drinking or long term from daily abuse, skews perception, vision and sense of balance, putting one at risk of falling or crashing into something that would otherwise be avoided.
Alcohol substance abuse can lead to injury. A study  by the VA’s Center for Health Care Evaluation, in Palo Alto, found a link between alcohol and fractures. People who abused alcohol were more likely to break a bone, the researchers found.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.