The Dangers of Drinking!

Let’s face it, alcohol can be dangerous, but it’s legal, acceptable and has been around since the dawn of time. However alcohol in this country has killed or caused severe harm to more people than drugs have ever done. Drink it within your limits and you should come to no harm….exceed these limits and you run the risk of, well read on and make your own mind up.

This is very much about what can happen to your mind and body due to heavy or dependant drinking. Ok, reading this can be a bit scary, but getting some of them can be even scarier and I know this to be true.

By more luck than judgement, I stopped in time for some of them to get better and others not to get any worse, but maybe in time………..

So here’s the list:

  • Heart disease, high blood pressure, poor circulation which can eventually end in amputation!
  • A numbness of your finger ends, and other extremities, this is caused by nerve damage.
  • Blackouts and Memory loss, and eventually, brain damage (Korsakoffs disease).
  • Choking on your own vomit, in extreme cases the gag reflex that normally clears this is impaired; this can lead to problems of it entering the lungs, asphyxiation and death.
  • Liver disease, which eventually becomes irreversible! And don’t assume you’re anywhere near the top of the list, count yourselves lucky if you’re even on it!
  • Pancreatitis, (that’s a damaged pancreas…very painful!) and eventually you can lose it. That’s what happened to Blues Rock Legend- Chris Rea, he got a transplant, but he’s lucky (and rich).
  • Stomach problems, irritation and bloating, and internal bleeding, ulceration and scarring.
  • Alcohol can also damage your throat.

Research has established that heavy consumption can increase the risks of certain cancers.

And let’s not forget not being able to get it up (that’s what your GP calls Erectile Dysfunction lads!!) it can also lower fertility (for both sexes) and wonder what caused that damp mark down your legs, yes that old friend incontinence!!…………….

There are also certain problems that effect women, and also see our Alcohol and Women page if you’ve not already done so.

Alcohol and pregnant women. These don’t mix well. Most physicians say nil, some say tiny small amounts are ok, and if I was a women (which I’m not) I’d probably knock it on the head and not risk it…………but read below and make your mind up!

When a pregnant women drinks alcohol it passes through the placenta and circulates round the foetus whose digestive system breaks it down, but fairly slowly compared with an adult, so the foetal blood alcohol level remains high for much longer.

This can cause a whole bunch of things to happen to your child …. such as a low birth weight

Physical abnormalities like- smaller eye openings, flattened cheek bones and an underdeveloped groove between the nose and the top lip which can lead to a “hare lip”

The new-born can have problems eating and sleeping

Longer term studies have proven that both learning difficulties and behavioural problems can occur as your child grows up. And

Other physical problems that can occur are………

The chances of osteoporosis, a thinning of the bones which makes them more brittle, are increased.

Heavy consumption also increases the chances of infertility and miscarriages, as well as the premature onset of the menopause.

Studies also prove that for every 4oz glass of wine a day, over and above the safe limit, increases the chances of developing breast cancer by 10%.

Well… all scary stuff eh? But I’m not quite finished yet….quite apart from all these symptoms we haven’t touched upon the increasing chances of accidents and alcohol fuelled violence.

In most busy inner city A&E Departments on a Saturday night, if you were to get rid of all who are there due to alcohol……you’d be very near the front of the queue!

Yeah! If you keep within the limits, have a few drinks and enjoy yourself, great, good on you, and you still are the vast majority. However every year more and more people are ending up in GP Surgeries, Hospitals and dare I say it Mortuaries! Due to alcohol!

Getting professional advice and help is a good move, you’re GP is one option, however there are specialised alcohol services that offer free to access, confidential advice and treatment.

You can phone them for confidential advice or, to make an appointment, and there are certain times you can just drop in.
For those that are working or unavailable daytime, there’re also out of hours clinics.
See this website for information on treatment and links to Alcohol Services.