In parties, feasts, meetings, celebration, and almost in every gathering, we drink. Beer. Wine. Rum. Gin. Vodka. Others. All these drink have two things in common – alcohol and danger.
Drinking may be a social skill that everyone is meant to learn. But such thing has limitations and demands responsibility. It may have advantages to our body, but it also has utmost consequences when exploited. Worse, damage may be irreversible. So what are the dangers of drinking? What does long-term drinking do to our body, mind and well-being? How bad are its effects? Here are ten fatal consequences of over drinking alcohol:
1. Cardiovascular system. Alcohol can cause high blood pressure (hypertension) increasing the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It also weakens heart muscles, which can affect lungs, liver, brain and other body systems and can cause heart failure. In the long run, it can cause the heart to have irregular beating (arrhythmia) and lead to death.
2. Liver. Drinking too much alcohol initially causes fat deposits to develop in the liver. With continued excessive drinking the liver may become inflamed resulting in alcoholic hepatitis which can result in liver failure and death. Cirrhosis is also a deadly result of long-term and over drinking. In this condition, the liver functions improperly as it suffers damage caused by alcohol. Consequently, it can lead to severe cirrhosis and then to liver failure.
3. Brain. An immediate effect of drinking alcohol, especially in large quantities, is blackout and memory lapses. Blackout is a condition where an intoxicated person cannot recall details of event, and even the whole event, for an interval of time. A much serious effect of drinking is the risk of developing chronic damage to the brain. For example, thiamine deficiency is a common occurrence in people with alcoholism. This deficiency can result to a brain disorder called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome where patient suffers mental confusion, paralysis of the nerves that move the eyes, and difficulty with muscle coordination.
4. Lungs. Drinking can infect the lungs and cause them to collapse. Also, when a person vomits from drinking, he may choke if vomit gets sucked into his lungs.
5. Bones. Alcohol interferes with the body's ability to absorb calcium. As a result, your bones become weak and thin (osteoporosis).
6. Other internal organs. Drinking above recommended limits can lead to stomach ulcers, internal bleeding and cancer. Alcohol can cause the stomach to become inflamed (gastritis), which can prevent food from being absorbed and increase the risk of cancer. Drinking can also cause inflammation of the pancreas, which can be very painful, causing vomiting, fever and weight loss. A chronic pancreatitis can lead to diabetes.
7. Cancer. Drinking alcohol induces large risk factor for cancers of the mouth and throat (next to smoking). People who develop liver cirrhosis can also develop liver cancer.
8. Sexual health. Drinking can have adverse effects to both sexes. In men, it can result to lower libido or sex drive, impotence and infertility. For women, particularly pregnant women, it can seriously damage the development of the unborn child. For both sexes, especially for the young and “hot-blooded,” drinking can affect judgment and lose inhibition. Consequently, it can make one have unsafe sex and be contacted with contagious STDs and infections.
9. Mental health. Though alcohol is thought to be helpful in coping with difficult situations, it can in fact be associated with a number of mental health problems like depression, anxiety, personality disorders and even schizophrenia. Excessive drinking can disrupt normal sleeping patterns resulting in insomnia and a lack of restful sleep which can contribute to stress and anxiety. Furthermore, over drinking can cause psychosis, a mental illness where hallucinations and delusions develop. Latest studies report that alcohol is also linked to suicide.
10. Social impacts. Alcohol affects anyone’s judgment, coordination, behavior and emotion. Aside from its effect to the body, it can also have grave social impacts. First, drinkers tend to have antisocial and criminal behavior and be involved in fights, domestic violence and theft. On the other hand, they can also be victims of crime like rape, assault and violence at home. Another obvious effect of drinking is accidents, particularly car- and work-related accidents. At large, drinking can be very damaging to relationships with family and friends.
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