Health risks :
About 1 in 3 men and about 1 in 7 women drink more than the safe levels. Many people who drink heavily are not addicted to alcohol and are not alcoholics. To stop or reduce alcohol would not be a problem if there was the will to do so. However, for various reasons, many people have got into a habit of drinking regularly and heavily. But, drinking heavily is a serious health risk.
You should regularly talk to your children about the risks of alcohol in a way that is appropriate for their age .
If you drink heavily you have an increased risk of developing:
~Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis).
‘Scarring’ of the liver (cirrhosis). Up to 3 in 10 long-term heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis.
~Some cancers (mouth, gullet, liver, colon and breast).
~Severe inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
~Mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and various other problems.
~Wernicke’s encephalopathy – an alcohol-related brain disorder treated with vitamin B1 (thiamine).
~Sexual difficulties such as impotence.
~Muscle and heart muscle disease.
~High blood pressure.
~Damage to nervous tissue
~Accidents – drinking alcohol is associated with a much increased risk of accidents. In particular, injury and death from fire and car crashes.
About 1 in 7 road deaths are caused by drinking alcohol.
~Obesity (alcohol is calorie-rich). One glass of wine has as many calories as a bag of crisps and a pint of lager is the calorie equivalent of a sausage roll.
~Damage to an unborn baby in pregnant women.
~Alcohol dependence (addiction).