It is important to know the differences between moderate drinking and alcohol abuse.
The key to alcohol consumption in moderation, according to the NIAAA this is defined as the following:
- Low-risk drinking for a woman is no more than 3 drinks in a single day and no more than 7 per week.
- The limit for men is no more than 4 drinks a day and no more than 14 per week.
- The NIAAA also states that only about 2 in 100 people who drink within these limits have AUD.
- There are some people who should be avoiding consuming alcohol completely. Those are people who plan to drive or operate machinery, take medications that could interact with the alcohol, have a medical condition that consuming alcohol could aggravate, pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
There may be serious damage done to the body when alcohol consumption exceeds 4 drinks a day. Issues can range from liver damage to heart problems, depression, or violent behavior. Excessive drinking can also lead to fatal accidents or legal issues.
Consuming too much alcohol can cause acute harm to your body, over time causing chronic physical and mental health issues. Many times these changes are detrimental to our health.
Short-term effects of alcohol consumption include memory impairment, problems walking, slurred speech, blurred vision, or reduced inhibitions. Many of these short-term issues can also be heightened if combined with other medications or illicit drugs. Anyone on an opioid painkiller or anti-anxiety medication should avoid consuming alcohol, for example.
Over the long term, heavy alcohol consumption has been linked to serious liver damage and several types of cancers.
Excessive drinking can lead to weight gain, problems with coordination, nerve damage, heart issues, or the disruption of healthy brain cells.
It can also lead to increased tolerance for alcohol, where an individual is not affected by alcohol in the same way and leads them to drink more to feel the effects of the substance
If you or someone you know suffers from an alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism, contact OneEighty for alcohol treatment.