Men's Articles

The Danger Of Alcohol


Many youngsters are tempted to drink alcohol because advertisements project drinking as being "adult". But these ads do not tell the other side of the story: alcohol is a drug and alcoholism is a serious health (as well as social) problem. Heavy drinkers can become so dependent on alcohol that they show obvious mental changes and have poor physical health.

They also have trouble relating to others and with their work. Drinking alcohol to the point of intoxication (drunkenness) can be dangerous. Intoxication occurs when the blood alcohol level is 80 to 100 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dl) and death can actually occur at a level of 400 to 500 mg/dl! Changes in behavior and errors in judgement can occur at blood alcohol levels as low as 20 to 30 mg/dl, or after one or two drinks.

The Effect Of Alcohol On The Body

Long-term, heavy drinking can damage many body organs, resulting in serious medical problems:

Brain

Alcohol abuse can lead to memory loss, deterioration of learning ability and dementia.

Mouth, Throat And Oesophagus

The risk of getting ulcers and cancer is increased. Blood vessels of the oesophagus may enlarge and bleed.

Heart

Alcohol can damage the heart muscle and cause heart failure. Heart attacks are also more common.

Reproductive System

In men, testicles may shrink and breasts may develop. Impotence may results due to damage to the nerves.

Nerves

A tingling "pins and needles" sensation in the hands and feet can indicate damage to the nerves due to alcohol.

Fat

Obesity may be a problem among alcoholics because alcohol is rich in calories.

Digestive System

Gastritis pancreatitis and peptic ulcers are more common in alcoholics, resulting in attacks of severe abdominal pain.

Liver

Heavy drinking can cause hepatitis, cirrhosis and even liver cancer. The abdomen may swell with fluid if the liver is badly damaged.

Alcohol also has other harmful effects:

  • Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to birth defects.
  • Long-term, heavy drinking can lead to personality changes. The person may become irritable, aggressive or have suicidal tendencies.
  • If a heavy drinker stops drinking, he may experience withdrawal symptoms like hand tremors, increased sweating and heart rate, hallucination and fits.
  • Alcohol is a common cause of broken families. The alcoholic may ill-treat his or her family and spend far too much money on drinks, leaving little for food or the family.
  • There is decreased efficiency at work and loss of earnings because of sick leave.
  • Drunken-driving is a common, totally-preventable cause of fatal accidents.
 

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