By Jennifer McDougall
More than 2.4 million people died from alcohol-related causes in 2019, accounting for 4.3 percent of all fatalities worldwide and 12.6 percent of deaths among males aged 15 to 49. Alcohol is a psychoactive and dangerous drug that can injure the human body significantly. Its consumption is a key preventable risk factor for noncommunicable illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, digestive ailments, and deliberate and accidental accidents, as well as various infectious diseases.
According to the World Heart Federation, researchers say, any degree of alcohol intake can result in a reduction in life expectancy. Even little doses of alcohol have been proven in studies to raise a person’s risk of cardiovascular illness, such as coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation, and aneurysm. Studies claiming that alcohol can protect against cardiovascular disease are generally observational in nature, failing to account for other factors such as pre-existing illnesses and a history of alcohol addiction among people termed “abstinent.” To yet, there has been no conclusive evidence linking moderate alcohol use to a decreased risk of heart disease.
“The portrayal of alcohol as necessary for a vibrant social life has diverted attention from the harms of alcohol use, as have the frequent and widely publicised claims that moderate drinking, such as a glass of red wine a day, can offer protection against cardiovascular disease.” said Monika Arora, Member of the WHF Advocacy Committee and co-author of the brief. “These claims are at best misinformed and at worst an attempt by the alcohol industry to mislead the public about the danger of their product.”
Short-Term Health Risks in Daily Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol use has immediate consequences that raise the risk of various health problems. The following are some of the most common side effects of excessive drinking:
- Accidents, such as car accidents, falls, drownings, and burns.
Homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and intimate relationship violence are all examples of violence.
- Alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that occurs when a person’s blood-alcohol level is too high.
- Dangerous sexual activities, such as sex without protection or sex with numerous partners. Unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted illnesses, such as HIV, can occur due to these behaviors.
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) or miscarriage and stillbirth among pregnant women.
Long-Term Effects of Daily Alcohol Consumption
Excessive or daily alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic illnesses and other significant issues, such as:
- Hypertension, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and gastrointestinal issues.
- Breast, mouth, throat, lung, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum cancers are all examples.
- Immune system deterioration, increasing the risk of being ill.
- Learning and memory issues, such as dementia, as well as low academic achievement.
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
- Social issues, such as family issues, work-related issues, and unemployment.
- Alcohol addiction or dependency
Alcohol has considerable economic and social implications, including expenditures to health-care systems, out-of-pocket expenses, and productivity losses, as well as increased risk of violence, homelessness, and criminal behavior. Even when consumed in equal or lesser amounts, alcohol has a stronger impact on individuals from poor socioeconomic origins, who are more likely to suffer its negative consequences than people from better socioeconomic backgrounds.
Reasons to Stop Drinking Right Now
When you stop drinking, you will notice certain effects right away. So, before we go into the reasons for quitting drinking, here are eight instant advantages of quitting.
- There will be no more hangovers.
- You save money.
- Clarity of mind.
- Improves relationships by reducing toxic behavior.
- Ability to heal from underlying issues.
- Improved quality of sleep.
- Better performance at work.
- More time to be productive.
What To Do If You or a Loved One Needs Rehab for a Drug or Alcohol Addiction:
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