Health Effects from Heavy Drinking

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Some people are able to have a drink or two while socializing with friends or relaxing after a long day of work. But it’s easy to fall into a trap where alcohol becomes a dependency more than an occasional vice.

Just because you or someone you love isn’t a full-blown alcoholic doesn’t mean that you are safe from the health consequences of alcohol. Too many heavy drinking episodes can easily spell trouble and put you or a loved one at risk for addiction.

Beer Bottles & GlassesPhoto Credit: FreeImages.com/CathySnider

Why is it So Easy to Become Addicted to Alcohol?

Alcohol addiction can be like the perfect storm. Alcohol is legal, so it can be done right out in the open. It’s readily available, so people can buy alcohol practically whenever and wherever they want. Alcohol is also socially acceptable and often associated with social events, so it’s easy for people to engage in it and not look out of place.

What many people fail to realize is that alcohol is highly addictive.

Once alcohol is consumed, the brain begins to release endorphins that are responsible for feelings like pleasure and excitement. This is why many people feel happier and more talkative once they start drinking.

The more people drink, however, the more the body becomes tolerant of it. This means that a person needs to drink more often and consume more alcohol than what’s typical. Once this cycle starts, it’s not easy to get out. The body becomes dependent on alcohol to feel good, to relax, to socialize, to escape and so on.

What are the Health Consequences to Heavy Drinking?

Once the cycle of heavy drinking is created, it becomes routine and a part of everyday life. Here are some of the most common things that can happen as a result.

  • Less Exercise. People who consume a lot of alcohol tend to exercise sporadically, if at all.
  • Poor Diet. Those who engage in heavy drinking get a lot of calories from alcohol. They tend to skip meals or eat unhealthy foods when they are drunk or hungover.
  • Liver and Kidney Function. The kidneys and liver need to work harder to keep the body functioning.
  • High Blood Pressure. Because the organs are working overtime, high blood pressure and breathing difficulties can result.

Each year, millions of people die from alcohol-related deaths. Do not underestimate the dangers of alcohol just because it is legal, available and socially acceptable. One does not have to be fully addicted to this substance to suffer the health, social and legal consequences.