Every day, 385 Americans die because of excessive alcohol use, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics. “Excessive” means, for women, four or more drinks in a single occasion, and for men, five drinks, as defined by the CDC. The challenge is that alcohol is an obtainable, legal substance for those 21 years or over.

The numbers of people overusing alcohol skyrocketed during the stay-at-home orders at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among women, according to the National Institutes of Health. However, new trends among millennials and Gen Z show a slight decrease in alcohol use with the advent of campaigns like “Dry January,” a challenge to stay sober at the kickoff of the new year. In addition, more “dry bars” are popping up around the country, giving patrons the fun atmosphere of a club without serving alcohol.

Underage Drinking

But concern continues to grow regarding underage drinking in the United States. Sobering statistics released by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 2021 indicate:

  • 5.9 million youth ages 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in a one-month timeframe.
  • 3.2 million youth ages 12 to 20 reported binge drinking at least once in a given month.
  • Approximately 613,000 youth ages 12 to 20 reported binge drinking on five or more days in a given month.

These practices are not only against the law for those under the age of 21 and subject to legal consequences, but they are harmful to overall health.

Alcohol is a depressant, and when used in excess, it can be especially detrimental to young people because their brains are still developing and can interfere with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral health. It affects an adolescent’s ability to make good decisions, putting them at risk for impulsive behavior and impaired judgment. Alcohol can exacerbate mental health issues like anxiety and depression and lead to alcohol dependency and overuse. Alcohol use by minors can also hinder academic performance and strain relationships.

Health Effects of Alcohol Use

No matter what age, the CDC warns that there is a great potential for severe adverse reactions to long-term alcohol abuse, including:

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.
  • Weakening of the immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick.
  • Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school or job performance.
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
  • Social problems, including family problems, job-related problems, and unemployment.
  • Alcohol use disorders or alcohol dependence.

Finding Answers

If you are a parent or have a loved one you are concerned about and need to know about alcohol use, Any Lab Test Now®can help. We are a lab testing center providing screenings and diagnostic testing to give you the answers you need. We offer a number of tests that can detect if a person has consumed alcohol within the last three days.

  • 5 Panel Drug Test Plus ETG (Alcohol Metabolite)   – This urine test identifies the presence or absence of EtG — a metabolite that shows up if someone has had an alcoholic drink. This panel also includes testing for five (5) different classes of commonly abused or misused drugs or their metabolites.
  • 9 Panel Drug Test Plus ETOH (ETHYL)  – This panel will identify the presence or absence of ethyl alcohol and nine (9) different classes of commonly abused or misused drugs or their metabolites. This urine test  includes a routine screen for each drug class, as well as any necessary confirmation testing. Ethyl alcohol may be detected in urine for up to 12 hours after consumption of alcohol-containing beverages. A confirmed positive result for ethyl alcohol is suggestive of recent alcohol use.
  • 10 Panel Drug Test Plus ETG (Alcohol Metabolite)  – This urine test identifies the presence or absence of EtG plus ten (10) different classes of commonly abused or misused drugs or their metabolites. As a laboratory-based test, this panel includes a routine screen for each drug class, as well as any necessary confirmation testing. 

Any Lab Test Now® is Your Partner in Health

If you or someone you love may be dealing with an alcohol issue, Any Lab Test Now® is a testing center that can help provide answers you are seeking through a number of crucial lab tests. This is a judgment-free zone. We provide the lab testing; you own the results and can use them as you choose.

We understand that being tested yourself or testing your child for alcohol use is a sensitive issue. We provide the utmost care and discretion with these matters and adhere to strict HIPAA regulations.

We want you to be informed about the effects of alcohol on the body so that you can take the best care of yourself or a loved one. The first step is to obtain answers by coming to Any Lab Test Now®for tangible results. We are a lab testing center providing the lab tests you need for answers to your health concerns and optimum wellness. Call now to schedule an appointment at a location near you.

If you are seeking help for yourself or a loved one concerning alcohol use, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.