The holidays are coming up. That means festive parties and fancy drinks. Most of us drink merrily, forgetting that alcohol is actually a drug. But hey, it tastes good and makes us feel nice, right? Most people wouldn’t consider drinking at parties to be alcohol addiction, but it’s more similar than you might think it is. The fact is that alcohol is addictive — and dangerous.

Alcohol Can End Your Life

You don’t believe that alcohol is dangerous? We hope you do, because your life could be on the line. The CDC reports an annual 88,000 deaths attributed to excessive alcohol use. Every day in the United States, alcohol-impaired drivers kill 30 people in car accidents. This is one death every 51 minutes. On holidays the alcohol death toll is even higher.

Alcohol Makes Life More Complicated

Long-term alcohol addiction will start impeding your overall health. The alcohol can have negative effects on most all of your bodily organs including your brain. These health complications can often lead to death if not treated seriously. Aside from health issues, alcohol addiction can negatively affect many other facets of life like your emotional stability, finances or career. Alcohol addiction also negatively impacts your family and friends.

Reports from the CDC show that women who binge drink are more likely to have unprotected sex and multiple sex partners. This can increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies. For some, excessive alcohol consumption can increase aggression — often resulting in the physical assault of another person.

Are We Sufficiently Protecting the Children?

The CDC report shows that every day in the U.S. 7,000 kids under the age of 16 take their first drink of alcohol. Perhaps the casual “party” drinking is sending the wrong message to the children of America. By drinking, we are telling our kids that it’s okay to drink — but this is dangerous. Alcohol has a more powerful effect on kids. Data from the CDC shows that kids who begin drinking while under the age of 15 are more likely to develop an alcohol addiction.

Alcohol addiction is a real problem in America. We need to stop drinking excessively and start treating alcohol like the true drug it has the potential to be.