The Dangers of Binge Drinking Health Encyclopedia University of Rochester Medical Center

Some studies have shown an association between moderate alcohol intake and a lower risk of dying from heart disease. There is also some evidence that genes influence how alcohol affects the cardiovascular system. An enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase helps metabolize alcohol. One variant of this enzyme, called alcohol dehydrogenase type 1C (ADH1C), comes in two “flavors.” One quickly breaks down alcohol, the other does it more slowly. Moderate drinkers who have two copies of the gene for the slow-acting enzyme are at much lower risk for cardiovascular disease than moderate drinkers who have two genes for the fast-acting enzyme. [44] Those with one gene for the slow-acting enzyme and one for the faster enzyme fall in between.

why is alcohol dangerous

If you have high blood pressure, avoid alcohol or drink alcohol only in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Over enough time, it can become dangerous to quit drinking without help. Alcohol dependence is harmful because of the effects it has on you and the people around you, and it is potentially dangerous because you may not be able to stop drinking on your own. You may know about the dangers of blood clots and high levels of fats and cholesterol in your body. Studies of heavy drinkers also show that they are more likely to have trouble pumping blood to their heart and may have a higher chance of dying from heart disease.

Alcohol Is More Easily Accessible Than Most Other Drugs.

The bottom line is that these drinks are not safe and often lead to higher rates and levels of intoxication. The sweet taste covers the taste of alcohol, giving the false impression one can drink more without the intoxicating effects. Neuroscience research shows that alcohol impairs the formation of new memories and learning, especially in the developing brain–and as college-aged students, your brains are still developing.

Studies have found that excessive drinking can reduce lifespan significantly. For example, one study found that a person who has more than 25 drinks per week will lose four to five years of their sober house life expectancy. Drinking socially is the first factor in developing dependence for many people. Maybe you participate in binge drinking only at parties, but this can progress to every weekend.

Overall Harm Scores Of Other Drugs

Unfortunately, the effects of heavy drinking affects more than the person struggling with alcohol abuse – it affects the people around them. Even the short-term effects of drinking can cause extensive harm, ranging from driving under the influence (DUI) and criminal activities to unintentional self-harm. Long-term alcohol abuse can eventually cause the blood vessels around the pancreas to swell, leading to pancreatitis. This greatly increases your risk of developing pancreatic cancer – a type of cancer that spreads rapidly and is very dangerous.

In the U.S., 1 drink is usually considered to be 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of spirits (hard liquor such as gin or whiskey). [3] Each delivers about 12 to 14 grams of alcohol on average, but there is a wider range now that microbrews and wine are being produced with higher alcohol content. Keep in mind that alcohol contains calories and may cause weight gain. Alcohol may interact with certain blood pressure medications. It may affect the level of the medication in the body or increase side effects. The effects of long-term alcohol use on the brain may be lifelong.

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