Cannabis Can Help Help Reverse Damage Caused By Binge Drinking
Scientists Say America’s Drinking Habits Are A Public Health Crisis
The American population has a dangerous infatuation with booze, and that’s no secret.
A 2018 survey of over 34,000 adults revealed that an alarming 40% of them consume too much booze, and continue doing so even though the health risks of chronic drinking are well known. The findings show a 10% increase from a 2014 study, which revealed 1 in 3 adults are heavy drinkers.
The 2018 study reviewed results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, taken from 2001-2002, and 2004-2005. Over 70% of respondents who were binge drinkers continued it in the survey taken years later. Excessive alcohol consumption was defined in the survey as consuming more than 14 drinks a week for men, and over 7 drinks a week for women.
Alcohol might seem like a fun, inexpensive way to de-stress, but it’s a habit that can be deadly in the long run, and can harm the body in many, painful ways.
No matter which way you look at it, your alcohol habit can be killing you. All the studies say that America is headed toward the bottom of the vodka bottle. In 2017, another study revealed that Americans are consuming more booze than ever before. With over 70% of the population drinking, which means that more people are suffering from alcohol-use disorders. According to the study’s authors, it’s already a “public health crisis” that will inevitably lead to a spike in alcohol-related health problems in the future.
“There are many people in the almost-alcoholic zone who are having alcohol-related problems with their health, their relationships and social lives and even their work, but who don’t connect the dots between these problems and their drinking,” clinical psychologist Joseph Nowinski disclosed to Harvard Health. Four drinks or more per day is pretty much what excessive drinking is, although even a drink a day can already affect your health. Being intoxicated alone can lead to physical harm, damage to physical property, and a risk of driving under the influence. On top of that, a compound in alcohol called ethanol has been tied to damage in liver cells, organ poisoning, and cirrhosis. Other conditions caused by excessive drinking include pancreatitis and gastritis.
Cannabis For Alcohol-Induced Pancreatitis
Alcohol-induced pancreatitis is a progressive and often irreparable condition affecting the pancreas gland caused by years of excessive drinking. Acute pancreatitis is characterized by an inflammation in the pancreas but one that lasts for a short while. This can cause mild to extreme discomfort before it’s treated. On the other hand, chronic pancreatitis is a long-term inflammation of the pancreas. Both conditions can be fatal.
In a recent review of patient discharge records taken from 2012 to 2014 from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, three groups of people were identified by researchers: patients with gallstones, patients with alcohol use-related conditions, and non-alcoholic patients with gallstones. They were all compared in terms of their cannabis use. “Our findings suggest a reduced incidence of only alcohol-associated pancreatitis with cannabis use,” concluded the researchers.
The researchers discovered that cannabis consumption had no effect on the risk for gallstone-related and chronic pancreatitis. This leads them to assume that cannabis could be mitigating the impact of alcohol on the pancreas, and actually prevent inflammation.
Cannabis For Alcoholic Gastritis
Alcohol abuse can lead to alcoholic gastritis, a condition that results when the stomach lining is eroded, exposing it to digestive acids. Researchers examined patient discharge records from 2014 taken from the National Inpatient Sample and compared the incidence of alcoholic gastritis among alcoholics who also use cannabis and those who don’t.
The researchers discovered that heavy drinkers who also use cannabis had a 25% less risk in developing alcohol-related gastritis versus heavy drinkers who don’t use cannabis. “We reveal that risky alcohol drinking combined with cannabis use is associated with reduced prevalence of alcohol-associated gastritis in patients,” write the study’s authors.
“Given increased cannabis legislation globally, understanding if and how the specific ingredients in cannabis plant extract can be used in the treatment of alcoholic gastritis is paramount. In this regard, further molecular mechanistic studies are needed to delineate the mechanisms of our novel findings not only for alcoholic gastritis but also gastritis from other causes.”
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