Tens of millions of Americans are drinking too much alcohol, and could be putting their health at risk without being aware of it.

The Centers for Disease Control released a new report calling for health professionals to engage patients more often in discussions about their drinking habits.  Only one in six adults say their doctor has every discussed the dangers of their drinking patterns.

“This is something we see every day,” Dr. Joe Galati, KTRH medical expert, whose practice is Liver Specialists of Texas, tells KTRH.  “People do not realize how dangerous alcohol is, not only to the liver but to other parts of the body.  And there’s this misconception that somehow beer is less toxic to the liver than other alcoholic beverages, which is really a false statement.”

According to the CDC, 38 million Americans drink too much, and are not alcoholics.  They are not addicts and they are not drunks.  They are most likely unaware of the physical damage caused by overconsumption of liquor.

“People who abuse alcohol, be it beer, mixed drinks, or wine, many times you won’t have any symptoms at all related to liver disease or other organ sin the body until really it is too late, and many times that’s when the damage has been done and is irreversible,” says Dr. Galati.

Too much drinking costs the country about $224 billion in economic costs and kills about 88,000 Americans.

Among the medical conditions caused by over imbibing are liver damage, infections, breast and other cancers, and heart disease.