We have previously discussed some of the common signs of alcohol abuse. While these are important to be aware of for both yourself and those around you, further motivation for seeking professional help is that regular intake of alcohol can cause harm to your body beyond misbehavior.
Alcohol can have a range of negative effects on the body, both in the short term and the long term. Here are some of the main reasons why alcohol is considered bad for your body.
The harmful effects of alcohol on your body
1. Liver damage
The liver is responsible for breaking down alcohol, but excessive alcohol consumption can damage liver cells, leading to conditions like fatty liver disease, hepatitis, and cirrhosis.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases urine production and can cause dehydration if not consumed in moderation. Dehydration can cause headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, among other problems.
3. Disrupts brain function
Alcohol affects the central nervous system, leading to impaired judgment, coordination, and memory. This can increase the risk of accidents and injuries, and regular alcohol misuse can cause the user to become more numb to these disorientations.
4. Increases risk of cancer
Long-term heavy drinking has been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, liver, mouth, and throat cancer.
5. Heart health
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
6. Can cause addiction
Alcohol is a highly addictive substance, and long-term heavy drinking can lead to alcoholism and a range of negative physical and mental health effects.
Do you think you drink too much?
It’s important to note that moderate alcohol consumption may not have all of these negative effects. The Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care qualifies that as being for a healthy adult, men and women should drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day.
However, it also notes that alcohol is never completely safe, and alcohol affects everyone. Excessive drinking is associated with a range of health risks (as noted above) and should be avoided. Some individuals will also find that one drink leads to another and another, and that this vicious cycle is hard to break free from, even when knowing the negative health effects – and perhaps the negative outcomes it is having to activities, work, friends, and family in their own life.