While the US opiate problem is often making headlines in addiction reporting, the US alcohol problem is also a growing public health crisis. Excessive drinking causes a variety of health problems. It follows that reducing alcohol consumption would lead to positive health outcomes.
Is it possible that quitting the alcohol will also result in some pain relief? Researchers from New York City found compelling data to suggest this.
Can Reducing Alcohol Consumption Help Relieve Chronic Pain?
Thanks to the results of a new study published by the Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Journal, there is now reason to believe that a decrease in alcohol consumption may be accompanied by a decrease in chronic pain levels. The study looked at approximately 1,500 U.S. veterans who completed survey questions from 2003 to 2015. Questions were asked about trends in heavy alcohol consumption and cases of chronic pain throughout the study period.
“We found some evidence of improvement in symptoms of pain disorders and substance use after reducing alcohol use in US veterans with unhealthy alcohol use.”
According to Ellen Caniglia, from NYU School of Medicine in New York City and lead author of the study, “We found some evidence of improvement in symptoms of pain disorders and substance use after reducing alcohol use in US veterans with unhealthy alcohol use.”
In 2003, when the study began, nearly half of 1,500 veterans said they were struggling with moderate to severe chronic pain and heavy drinking. Over the years, the researchers followed the study group participants and asked them about their pain and alcohol consumption.
According to the results, reduced alcohol consumption was linked to better chances of reducing chronic pain. In addition, reducing alcohol consumption was also linked to a better chance of reducing cigarette, cannabis, and cocaine use.
There is no doubt that more research is needed. While it’s true that a decrease in heavy alcohol use among veterans was linked to a decrease in chronic pain, that doesn’t necessarily mean a decrease in alcohol use a decrease in the level of pain. It is also likely that veterans who stopped drinking made other, useful health choices that had the added benefit of reduced pain.
But even if there is no cause and effect relationship between reducing alcohol consumption and reducing pain levels, there is ample evidence that reducing alcohol consumption leads to positive health outcomes.
Reason enough to stop drinking alcohol
The biggest fallacy about alcohol consumption is that it is “okay” and “normal” to drink and that there are acceptable amounts of drink. The truth is, there is no such thing as “safe” drinking. Even just one drink puts you at risk and opens the door to harm.
When consumption escalates, so does the risk. The more you drink, the more likely the negative consequences of drinking are. Such effects can lead to death. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Every year in the United States, about 95,000 people die from alcohol-related causes. That’s more than the number of people in the United States who die each year from all drugs combined.
Drink too much Who to contact for help
Does someone close to your heart have a drinking problem? There is no doubt about the immense health benefits of abstaining from alcohol, but if you are addicted to alcohol, reducing your consumption is not something you can do on your own.
Alcohol addiction is a severe and debilitating crisis that causes an immeasurable physical, psychological, spiritual, and behavioral crisis for the person. When someone becomes addicted to alcohol, the problem only gets worse if they don’t seek help. Tens of thousands of Americans die each year from alcohol-related causes because they didn’t Get help with your drinking problem.
Don’t let your loved ones become another statistic. Treatment centers offer a unique and highly effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment program that can help your loved one understand their addiction and uncover the aspects that have prevented them from ditching the bottle. Call a recovery center today to take the first step in helping them get better. And if you are struggling with chronic pain in addition to alcohol addiction, you may also look forward to pain reduction.