Is drink sneaking up on you?

Contrary to what people think alcohol is not a stimulant. It is a depressant. This is why drinking too much often leads to impaired judgement, slurring of the speech, a tendency to violent behaviour and loss of short-term memory.

More then 25 adults are dependant on alcohol in the UK. It is estimated that 17 million working days are lost each year due to people missing work over the effects of alcohol.

The short term health risks of drinking alcohol include

  • Anxiety
  • Sexual difficulties such as impotence
  • Impaired judgement leading to accidents and injuries.
  • Slowed breathing and heartbeat
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Suffocation through choking on your own vomit (Aspiration)
  • Potentially fatal poisoning

Drinking heavily increases your calorie intake and it is frequently associated with obesity. This in turn leads to increased health risks. Adding three or four units per day to your usual diet would lead to an increase in weight of around 4lbs in four weeks.
Long term drinking contributes to a variety of problems including liver disease, osteoporosis, pancreatitis, stomach ulcers, infertility, heart disease, raised blood pressure, stroke, dementia and brain damage. It can also lead to an increased risk of a variety of cancers.

Advice and Getting Help

It’s important to understand safe guidelines. The NHS advice on drinking is that men should drink no more then three or four units of alcohol a day and women should drink no more then two or three units per day. It is now usually clearly displayed on the alcohol bottles, cans etc the number of units contained.

Even if you do not drink all week, you cannot ‘save up’ your units and then drink them all in one night. Drinking more than the recommended daily limit is potentially dangerous. Drinking more than twice your daily limit (six units for women and eight units for men) on any one drinking occasion qualifies as a ‘binge’.