Alcohol-Related Diseases Spike Among Young Adults in US

Alcohol has been known to destroy the lives of young men and women who just couldn’t harness their full potential at the time.

A person’s entire personality becomes twisted and their emotional anguish takes over. 29-year-old Austin Johnson experienced the damage alcohol can do firsthand.

US clinic takes a different approach to treating liver disease

He spent years downing entire bottles every night, so much so that it became a routine; his body was paying the ultimate price.

Once the symptoms caught up with him, he had no other choice but to check himself into a clinic. Much to his surprise, the doctors were amazed he was still walking, seeing as his liver was severely damaged.

Some time ago, severe liver disease was a thing relegated to middle-aged or older people; yet Austin was still in his 20s. What’s even more concerning, a growing number of young people in the US are walking in his shoes.

A study from 2018 found that alcohol-related deaths have been growing rapidly from 2009 to 2016; the steepest increase was among men and women aged between 25 and 34.

To no one’s surprise, being locked inside for two years didn’t help with this excessive amount of alcohol abuse among the younger generations.

This caused yet another spike in death rates, especially among women in the age group, with the mortality rate reaching up to 37%, compared to men where it was 29%.

Addiction is tougher to treat than liver disease itself

The causes are numerous. Many have speculated it could be anything from economic uncertainty to the damage done by constant isolation from others, especially among those that live alone.

While treatments for liver disease do exist, they’re extremely ineffective if the patient doesn’t choose to give up on alcohol usage; even being close to it can cause many survivors to relapse and go back to their old ways.

Thankfully, one woman, Jessica Mellinger, a liver specialist at the University of Michigan’s Medical School, decided to help these struggling men and women by combining treatment with addiction and mental health care for those that need it.

The data from the past couple of years shows this approach is highly effective in preventing relapse; it’s managed to bring in thousands of young people struggling with alcoholism.

There’s nothing more motivating than looking at your own life and not being sure what you’re looking at, according to Dr. Henry Kranzler, a psychiatry professor at Benjamin Rush.

This way, the patient is given a tangible piece of information they can work off of, as they’re faced with the choice to stop or continue with their life-threatening addiction.

The main advantage younger people have in this sphere of things is they can make much better recoveries from liver disease than older patients; although that only applies if they quit drinking alcohol.

Had Johnson not checked himself into a clinic, it’s more than likely he wouldn’t be around to tell his story, but with some professional help, he managed to take back his life from the clutches of alcohol.

This article appeared in Our Patriot and has been published here with permission.