The consumption of alcohol in Italy, according to data processed by the Ministry of Health, sees a reduction in the consumption of wine during meals, but records a progressive increase in the consumption of alcoholic beverages occasionally and outside of meals, especially by young people , resulting in an even more damaging condition for related diseases and problems.
According to data acquired by ISTAT, in 2016, 64.7% of Italians aged 11 and over consumed at least one alcoholic beverage (equal to 35 million and 171 thousand people), with a higher prevalence among males (77 , 3%) than women (52.9%). 21.4% of consumers (11 million 641 thousand people) drink daily, of which 32.4% among males and 11.2% among women.
(Source REPORT OF THE MINISTER OF HEALTH TO PARLIAMENT ON THE INTERVENTIONS CARRIED OUT PURSUANT TO LAW 30.3.2001 No. 125 “FRAMEWORK LAW ON ALCOHOL AND RELATED ALCOHOL PROBLEMS”)
Consuming alcoholic beverages can lead to an increased risk of developing cancer. The most common related diseases are: oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colorectal, pancreas, liver, and, for women, breast.
Alcoholism is a disease consisting of chronic alcohol abuse
It represents a pattern of alcohol consumption that leads to clinically significant distress or impairment, associated with persistent craving or drive to consume alcohol, abandonment or reduction of important social or work activities, and spending much of the time procuring or using alcohol products.
- Pathological alcohol abuse includes any use of alcohol that puts your health or safety at risk or causes alcohol-related problems.
- See also: BAC
The exact mechanisms leading to alcoholism are still unknown today.Several causes have been investigated and it is believed that a combination of these is necessary for alcoholism.
The factors that, if associated, can cause alcoholism are the following:
- genetic factors, people with an alcoholic parent are more at risk;
- psychological factors, such as impulsivity or self-esteem problems.
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to an increased risk of alcoholism in the following cases:
- men who consume 15 or more drinks (e.g. glass of wine, pint of beer, or shot of spirits) within a week or 5 or more drinks within two hours.
- Women who consume 12 or more drinks (e.g. glass of wine, pint of beer, or shot of spirits) within a week or 4 or more drinks within 2 hours.
The chances of having alcohol-related problems can increase in the following cases:
- Consistent alcohol consumption: Drinking alcohol on a regular basis for an extended period of time or consuming excessive amounts over a short period of time (binge drinking) on a regular basis can lead to alcohol-related problems.
- Age: People who start drinking alcohol at an early age, especially binge drinking, are at a higher risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use can begin in the teenage years, although it occurs more frequently between the ages of 20 and 30.
- Family history: The risk of alcohol use disorder is higher for people who have a parent or other close relative who has problems with alcohol. This can be influenced by genetic factors.
- Mental health problems: People with depressive disorders, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia are more prone to developing problems with alcohol or other substances.
- Social and cultural factors: Having friends or a close partner who drink regularly could increase the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. “Social” drinking, which is sometimes portrayed in the media, can negatively affect the perception of the dangerousness of alcohol. For young people, the influence of parents, colleagues and other role models can have a strong impact.
- Stressful lifestyle.