Alcohol and Health
Many of us enjoy a drink and when taken responsibly, alcohol does us no harm; indeed it may actually do us some good. But drinking too much alcohol too often can cause a wide range of physical damage and may even cause psychological harm.
The health risks of excess alcohol can include:
- Weight problems
- Stomach upsets
- Anxiety, stress, depression
- Aggression and violence
- Poor concentration
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Raised blood pressure
- More serious effects include:
- Accidents and injuries
- Liver disease
- Memory loss
- Sexual difficulties
Regularly drinking too much can significantly increase your risk of alcohol-related harm - and the more you drink the greater the risk. The long-term risks to your health of regularly drinking more than you should include:
- Cancers (particularly breast, colon and cancers of the mouth and throat)
- Liver cirrhosis
- High blood pressure and increased risk of stroke and heart disease
- Mental health issues
- Memory loss, brain damage or even dementia
- Pancreatitis and stomach problems
- Weakness of heart muscle and heart failure
Did you know?
- Alcohol is responsible for more deaths than all illegal drugs combined.
- Regularly drinking too much may bring on the signs of premature ageing.
- A bottle of wine is equivalent to three Mars bars, a Big Mac with medium fries or six jam doughnuts.
- Too much alcohol can cause a ‘beer belly,’ broken capillaries, drinker’s nose and dried-out blotchy skin.
Drinking too much too often, can also lead to social and relationship problems. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you drink sensibly, you can enjoy alcohol safely.
If you think you are drinking too much or are experiencing any of the symptoms above, speak to your GP or contact one of the help and advice services on our Help and Advice page.