You are never too young to seek alcohol treatment, if a recent study is to be believed.
Research has recently shown that, despite a person’s age, binge drinking immediately causes changes in the cardiovascular system that increases the risk of heart disease.
The study shows that there is no inherent protection against the effects of alcohol for young binge-drinkers against increasing cardiovascular disease later in life, as many had previously assumed.
Binge drinking has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke in persons between the ages of 40-60. However, the effects of binge drinking had not been studied in younger people until now.
Young adults show signs of needing alcohol treatment.
Although binge drinking is seen as acceptable behavior at younger ages, the study gives credence instead to seeking alcohol treatment as soon as alcoholic behavior is exhibited.
We have mentioned before that alcoholism and addiction do not discriminate by age (or any other criteria, for that matter), and this is further evidence to support that claim.
Binge drinking is defined in the study as being more than five standard-sized alcoholic drinks (i.e., one beer, a glass of wine, or a shot of hard liquor) in a two-hour window for men, and a four or more hour window for women.
The study revealed that smooth muscle cells and endothelium cells—which affect blood flow—were of the same condition as those who had a lifetime of heavy consumption of alcohol on a daily basis.
These two cell types can be precursors to a number of issues affecting the heart, including hardening of the arteries, as well as contributing to the likelihood of a stroke.
The good news is that binge drinking did not cause high cholesterol or raised blood pressure—which have previously been major benchmark contributors to heart disease—but the bad news is that the effects on those smooth muscle and endothelium cells are the same as these more traditional factors.
“Discoveries and advances in many different areas of medical science have cautioned against the notion that youth protects against the adverse effects of bad lifestyle behaviors or choices,” said Professor Mariann Piano, co-author of the study and head of the department of bio-behavioral health science at the University of Illinois.
Alcohol treatment is in the best interest to those who participate in binge drinking, as it is still unclear how long it takes for the onset of these consequences to occur, or if those consequences can be reversed.
Of course, if a person drinks and acts alcoholically, there are innumerable dangers in addition to the effects on the heart and increased risk of stroke. Alcohol poisoning, accidents, and violence are still very real and potentially deadly consequences that all drinkers face, but particularly young binge-drinkers.
As drinkers and drug users start at earlier ages, younger people are searching for drug and alcohol treatment as well for themselves or friends.
If you or someone you know, young or old, needs alcohol treatment: do not wait, as another chance may not be available.