Alcohol is the active constituent of alcoholic drinks such as beers, wines and spirits.
Any society where alcohol is freely consumed is invariably afflicted by the problems of acute alcohol intoxication, dependence and alcohol-related disorders.
It is also an important factor in road traffic and industrial accidents, domestic violence, child abuse, physical assault and many more.
Effects on the body
Alcohol is a drug, even in small amounts, its effects are noticeable. Prolonged heavy drinking may result in problems.
Its effects cut across all the body systems.
Brain and Nervous System
Alcohol depresses the central nervous system. It decreases its activities and thereby reducing anxiety, tension and inhibitions.
Drinking releases excess GABA and dopamine, two naturally occurring neurotransmitters. GABA is responsible for calming the brain down, and dopamine is responsible for pleasure, a part of the brain’s reward system. Too much of these neurotransmitters can lead to shortness of breath, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, night terrors, delusions, hallucinations, spasms, and increased levels of both aggression and depression.
Alcohol causes facial flushing, which becomes constant in heavy drinkers.
Alcohol consumption raises the risk for breast cancer. Research suggests that even so much as one drink a day may increase of person’s risk for breast cancer. Estrogen levels are raised when alcohol is consumed, and an increased estrogen level is a risk factor for developing breast cancer. Learn more on breastcancer.org
Excessive alcohol use is a common cause of pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, and it is major risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Heavy drinking also impairs the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin, which can lead to diabetes.
Excessive drinking can accelerate the rate of bone deterioration and increase the risk for bone fracture and osteoporosis. Calcium is necessary from strong, dense bones and when alcohol is consumed it acts as a diuretic and flushes calcium from the bones making them weaker and more susceptible to fracture.
Heart and Blood Circulation
Prolonged heavy drinking can cause coronary heart disease, hypertension, heart failure, and stroke.
Drinking heavily reduces your body’s natural immune system. This makes it more difficult for your body to fight off invading germs and viruses.
It causes irritation which may result to ulcer, and gastritis. The effect is because of the alcohol’s ability to speed up hydrochloric acid secretion.
Alcohol acts as a diuretic. Increasing urine output. Heavy drinkers are prone to kidney failure.
It increases sexual confidence, but high level can cause impotence. It causes fetal alcohol syndrome in pregnant women.
Liver is the main organ responsible for metabolizing alcohol from the blood; it manifests many long-term effects of heavy drinking. Effects include; fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Note: IF YOU NOTICE THAT YOU HAVE THE URGE TO DRINK EVERYDAY, IF YOU ARE TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON ALCOHOL, IF SMALL AMOUNT IS NOT OKAY FOR YOU, PLEASE SEE A DOCTOR FOR HELP.
Oxford Medical Dictionary