Heavy drinking leads to various serious physical and mental problems, whereas many treat moderate drinking as harmless or even good for health. However, a recent study has found that even moderate drinking temporarily raises the risk of a stroke and heart attack.
In the United States, a standard drink contains 6 ounces or 14 grams of pure alcohol. Drinking more than the permissible limit can be harmful in the long run. It not only harms the liver but also suppresses the innate and the adaptive immune system of the body, making it more susceptible to infections. Even while studies have pointed to a correlation between heart health and moderate drinking, the study conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that even moderate drinking may prove to be dangerous.
As the U.S. observes April as the Alcohol Awareness Month, Sovereign Health joins the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) to create awareness to prevent alcoholism and ensure treatment for the addiction, which is a treatable disease. Realizing that alcohol abuse is one of the leading causes of public health concern and preventable deaths, the NCADD has been observing the Alcohol Awareness Month since 1987. This year’s theme is “Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery.”
Dangers of heavy and binge drinking
According to Elizabeth Mostofsky, one of the researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “Six to nine drinks in one day — was associated with a higher cardiovascular risk on the following day. And heavy drinking in one week, 19 to 30 drinks, has a harmful effect in both the immediate and in the subsequent week.”
Excessive drinking causes severe damage to the heart and weakens the muscles by reducing its pumping capacity. It can also induce arrhythmias in the form of atrial fibrillation. If a clot formed during atrial fibrillation travels to the brain, it can induce a stroke. Binge drinking is also known to fuel ventricular tachycardia which occurs in the ventricle chambers. Alcohol-induced damage causes too many contractions in ventricles restricting blood flow as a result of which the rest of the body doesn’t get enough blood. This can lead to unconsciousness, cardiac arrest and sudden death.
Know the warning signs before it’s too late
The ability to withstand heavy bouts of drinking is not a bold act, but a warning sign. Here are a few noticeable signs that can help one identify when to stop:
Dry and yellow skin: This could be a sign of liver malfunctioning. Some people may also develop skin sores and infections.
Forgetfulness: Alcohol induces forgetfulness. This is because alcohol disrupts the delicate pathways of the brain that are responsible for transmitting information to and from the neurons. Alcohol-induced blackouts are quite common and are one of the causative factors behind drink and drive accidents.
Nighttime peeing or nocturnal polyuria: Nighttime peeing is generally a problem with older men, especially those above the age of 65 and having an enlarged prostate. Polyuria, however, is also common in young people who drink regularly.
Mental disorders: Alcohol has the capacity to dull the mind and suppress happy feelings. It can cause depression and anxiety, which further aggravate the drinking problem. It is also responsible for sleep and eating disorders.
Upset stomach: Diarrhea is common after heavy drinking episodes. Alcohol upsets the digestive system and causes gastritis and vomiting. The condition can worsen by consuming mixed drinks.
Stop before it is too late
It is necessary to recognize the signs of high-risk drinking and take necessary action before it is too late. Timely action can help stop the damage, if not reverse it. Detoxification is the foremost step in recovery by removing toxins accumulated in the body owing to excessive alcohol consumption.
Sovereign Health of San Clemente, California offers detox facilities, addiction treatment programs and continuing care programs to treat a patient holistically. Patients can opt for individual and group psychotherapy, or alternative therapeutic activities to regain control of their lives.
If you or someone close to you is addicted to alcohol and needs treatment, Sovereign Health can offer you the best alcohol addiction treatment. Call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 819-0427 or chat online to for more information about the problems arising out of drinking and effective programs to treat it.