…Say all the drink ads…but what is ‘responsibly’? What are the effects on your body and your social life if you drink too much?
The evidence is everywhere out there, moderate drinking can be OK depending upon your age and health. But excess can be damaging, not just to your health, but can have some serious side effects on your private and work life. Here’s a brief reminder of what’s at stake:
Drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health. Here’s how alcohol can affect your body:
Brain: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
Heart: Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:
Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
High blood pressure
Research also shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease.
Liver: Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:
Steatosis, or fatty liver
Pancreas: Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
Cancer: Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:
Immune System: Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections –
even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.
You Might Forget Your Night
People who binge drink often wake up the next morning without any memory of huge chunks of the night before.
Social Media Nightmare
If you’re drunk, you might not realize (or care) that people are taking pictures of you…but those photos could come back to haunt you in a big way. Drunken pics have cost people their jobs and put them at the center of police investigations. And since cameras are everywhere, it pretty much guarantees there’ll be evidence of it on Facebook the next day.
The Drunk Dial
Getting drunk often means waking up the next morning with a couple of calls or texts in your phone log that you regret sending. Since leaving your cell phone at home probably isn’t an option, your best bet to avoid drunk dialing is to not get drunk in the first place.
Sober People Think You Look Stupid
Alcohol plays a dirty trick on you: it can make you feel more confident and cool, when to outside observers you’re slowly turning into a slurring, stumbling, embarrassing mess.
Drinking and Driving is Idiotic
Did you know that if you drive after drinking just a couple of beers, you’re 11 times more likely to die in a car crash? It makes you wonder why people do it in the first place, since there are so many ways to avoid it: calling a cab, picking a designated driver, staying put till you’re sober or even better, not drinking at all. A DUI is not something you want on your record.
You’ll Almost Definitely
Do Something You’ll Regret
The more you drink, the worse your judgment is, and the more likely you’ll do something stupid that you’ll hate yourself for tomorrow (or even for the rest of your life). Everyone who’s been dumb enough to get wasted has a horror story.
Every Time You Drink,
Your Brain Dies a Little
Drinking just once a week has been shown to cause long-term brain damage in teens. Drink too much now while your brain is still forming and when you get to your adult years, you’ll have more trouble completing difficult tasks, processing information and making decisions than the teens around you now who aren’t getting drunk.
Just how much alcohol
is in that drink?
Knowing how much alcohol constitutes a “standard” drink can help you determine how much you are drinking and understand the risks. One standard drink contains about 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of pure alcohol.
In more familiar terms, the following amounts constitute one standard drink:
12 fluid ounces of beer (about 5% alcohol)
8 to 9 fluid ounces of malt liquor
(about 7% alcohol)
5 fluid ounces of table wine
(about 12% alcohol)
1.5 fluid ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits
Research demonstrates “low risk” drinking levels for men are no more than 4 drinks on any single day AND no more than 14 drinks per week. For women, “low risk” drinking levels are no more than three drinks on any single day AND no more than seven drinks per week. To stay low risk, you must keep within both the single day and weekly limits. Even within these limits, you can have problems if you drink too quickly, have health conditions, or are over age 65. Older adults should have no more than three drinks on any day and no more than seven drinks per week. Courtesy:www.niaaa.nih.gov