Casual drinking may lead to something more serious. A study released this month shines a light on the risks of alcohol abuse, especially among those with a “Y” chromosome. The report says men are twice more likely than women to be susceptible to the disease.
“The very first time I drank, I lived with my biological father, and I went to kindergarten, the very first day of kindergarten, drunk off a screwdriver,” said Casey-Jack Kitos.
The study published in the Lancet Medical Journal says men like Casey-Jack have a 20 percent risk of becoming alcoholics, whereas women have an 8-10 percent chance.
“Society has an influence on that, in the way we portray men using substances. The need to be macho, and the advertising showing alcoholism or alcohol in general and many other substances in association with being manly,” said Jess Bartlett, a substance abuse counselor at DCCCA in Lawrence.
The report links drinking habits with genetics and metabolism rate. In general, men can consume more beverages before feeling the effects. Regardless of the cause, the effects can be devastating.
“Alcoholism or addiction in general — it becomes an addiction when it becomes problematic and the individual cannot spot despite the consequences,” Bartlett said.
Kitos said he went to detox, after he lost everything, “I’ve heard some people say you don’t lose a lot when you start drinking — but I lost my home, my job, my fiancé, my baby. I lost everything that I ever worked for.”
The report said the earlier a person starts drinking away from home, the more susceptible they are to alcoholism.
At DCCCA, Bartlett said they help patients in recovery in a number of ways. “We encourage clients to identify their strengths so they can utilize those strengths and find ways to stop the addiction.”