Drinking alcohol is very popular in the United States. You have so much to choose from different kinds of alcohol – craft beer, wines, and distilled spirits. The places serve alcohol – breweries, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and almost every establishment on the streets. It is tough to go somewhere today where they do not sell alcohol; therefore, it is understandable why many Americans drink daily. According to a 2015 national survey from The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse (NIH), more than 86 percent of people ages 18 and older say they’ve had alcohol at some point in their lifetime. More than 70 percent had an alcoholic drink in the past year, and 56 percent drank in the past month.
Drinking alcohol is usually learned from watching others, maybe parents, siblings, or friends. And nobody likes the taste of alcohol when they first try it; that takes time to gain a “taste” for wine or whiskey or a specific kind of beer. We usually continue to consume alcohol because of peer pressure, and we like its effect on us.
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The Negative Effects of Alcohol Consumption
When you drink alcohol, it goes into your bloodstream and affects your brain and body functions. When you drink a lot, your body and brain functions slow down considerably.
Drinking alcohol can make you drunk, which is associated with:
- slow and poor judgment
- lack of coordination
- slowed breathing and heart rate
- vision problems
- loss of balance
The more alcohol you drink, the stronger the effects of alcohol on the body. Being very drunk can be dangerous, and it can cause seizures, dehydration, injuries, vomiting, coma, and even death.
How Much Alcohol is too Much?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NCBI), Alcoholic liver disease (ALD)—particularly cirrhosis—has long been one of the most prevalent and devastating conditions caused by alcohol consumption and is one of the leading causes of alcohol-related death. Liver cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. There are many different types and stages of liver disease, and what kind and what stage you are at can determine whether or not it is reversible.
When an alcoholic continues to drink over the years, the body starts to show symptoms of liver damage. Those symptoms are:
- Yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Swelling in legs and ankles
- Dark urine
- Nausea or vomiting
- Itchy skin
- Discolored stool
- The tendency to bruise easily
- Chronic fatigue
All in Moderation or Not?
So, we know that an alcoholic that drinks heavily is at significant risk of death or some other health problems but what about if you don’t drink heavily? What if you are a daily drinker of maybe one glass of wine with dinner or one beer after work? Is the risk just as high?
That saying “all in moderation” seems to apply to everything, but there are health risks if you drink every day, even in moderation. Here are some effects that daily drinking can have on your health:
- It does not mix with medications – alcohol, and medications such as acetaminophen, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, painkillers, and sedatives can be deadly when consumed together.
- Folate blocker – alcohol blocks the absorption of folate, which is an essential B vitamin, and this is important in cell division and may increase your risk of cancer.
- Increases your heart rate – those who consume alcohol, whether heavy or not, have an increased heart rate, leading to a heart condition.
- Breast cancer risk – breast cancer is just one of the cancers you can be more at risk for if you drink often.
Get the Help You Need With Alcoholism
Whether you are a heavy drinker or someone that drinks in moderation, If you are questioning if you drink too much, maybe it’s time to speak with someone about it. At Allure Detox, we specialize in treating alcohol addiction, no matter how big or small you may think it is. Our addiction specialists are standing by to pick up your phone call. We are available day or night to assist you in starting your recovery journey. Take the first courageous step on the road to a healthy and happy life at Allure Detox.