Are the Dangers of Alcohol Real?
With 50%.7 of the US being current alcohol users (having drunk alcohol in the last 30 days), it’s over half of the population — meaning it’s an extremely common thing.
Many of these people aren’t just having a glass of wine with dinner every other week. They’re binge drinkers, meaning that they get very drunk a couple of days out of the week when they don’t have work the next day.
While it can be fun to let loose in the short-term, the long-term effects of alcohol are actually extremely damaging. Most people don’t know enough about them.
Read on to become educated on the serious consequences of excessive alcohol consumption.
Poor judgment is often touted as a good thing when it comes to drinking alcohol. It might give you the courage to ask someone on a date that you’ve never had the bravery to or do something you’ve been putting off because it gave you a burst of motivation.
Poor judgment, however, has a much darker side. It might also persuade you to get behind the wheel of a car when you’re blatantly over the limit or say something hurtful to a loved one that you would never have said soberly.
The consequences of poor judgment often only last the night, but if you crash that car you drove drunk or say something that a loved one can never forgive you for, poor judgment is no longer one of the lighter dangers of drinking alcohol. It’s one of the worst.
Long-Term Effects on the Brain
Not only are there short-term effects on the brain, but there can also be serious long-term effects of drinking alcohol.
Things like memory loss and poor concentration stop lasting the night when someone drinks heavily and become permanent. The brain can become damaged from excessive alcohol use and it’s hard to reverse.
It can also put you at risk for traumatic brain injury. Up to 81% of people who seek treatment for a damaging head injury were intoxicated at the time, and head injuries can come with a whole range of other problems.
This is because alcohol affects your balance, making it much easier to take a nasty fall and hurt yourself.
Serious Physical Health Issues
The effects of alcohol aren’t just present in the brain but can be elsewhere in the body. There are a truly appalling number of awful physical conditions that excessive drinking can cause.
A Weakened Heart
If someone already has heart problems, they shouldn’t drink alcohol at all. Alcohol can have a direct impact on weakening the heart, which can lead to heart failure, strokes, and cardiomyopathy.
While moderate drinkers shouldn’t encounter any heart problems — as long as their heart is healthy — excessive drinkers are at serious risk.
Your liver’s job when you drink is to filter out the alcohol, but there’s one problem with this. Every time it has to do it, some of its cells die.
While this is usually fine because the liver is capable of regenerating very quickly, some people drink to a point where the liver begins to struggle to regenerate its own cells. This can lead to the necessity of giving up alcohol completely to recover, or even a liver transplant if things have gone too far for the liver to recover on its own.
Because alcohol can affect the immune system and reduce the body’s ability to fight off viruses, those who drink a lot are at an increased risk for respiratory infections. Although these may not be fatal, they can escalate, and they are extremely uncomfortable.
Those with other conditions are at a much higher risk.
Although anyone might develop pancreatitis, those who drink alcohol are at a much higher risk. It can be acute or chronic, and it can be extremely painful and require extensive treatment.
Unfortunately, drinking alcohol raises the risks of some types of cancer:
This is because it can damage the DNA and cause a tumour to grow. Cancer is a life-threatening illness that needs immediate treatment and is one of the most serious dangers of drinking alcohol.
Damage to Personal Life
Alcohol can damage your relationships. Your impaired judgment can cause you to say something you never would sober, or it can cause you to prioritize it over your job which could lead to serious consequences.
Alcohol has a very insidious way of interfering in every aspect of your personal life.
One of the huge alcohol risks is the fact that it’s extremely addictive. If you’re someone who’s prone to drinking a lot, that’s likely only going to get worse unless you actively put a stop to it.
The dangers of addiction vary, but all of them are huge. Drinking more alcohol leads to all of those brain damage problems, physical health issues, and broken relationships. People who are addicted to a substance tend to put it above everyone else, including their loved ones, which can cause people to walk away.
If you think you might be addicted to drinking alcohol, it’s time to put a stop to it before it gets worse.
There are Many Dangers of Alcohol People Don’t Even Realize
The dangers of alcohol are plentiful, but many people don’t even realize quite how common they are. It’s important to be aware of what alcohol can do to the mind and body so you can be conscious of how much you drink, and stop entirely if necessary.
If you want to stop drinking but you’re struggling, check out our free webinar on how to get there!