Don't Bottle It Up

Regularly drinking too much alcohol can have severe effects on your health. High blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, liver cirrhosis and even cancer are linked to the long-term effects of drinking. Drinking more than your recommended daily units of alcohol significantly increases your risk of developing over sixty diseases and your mental health and social life can also be affected.

Physical effects
– increased risk of developing over 60 diseases

Drinking more than your recommended daily units of alcohol significantly increases your risk of developing over 60 diseases including alcohol dependence and strokes.

Physical effects
– liver cirrhosis

Our liver helps process the alcohol we consume and is the main site of alcohol metabolism. Repeated consumption of too much alcohol can result in liver tissue being slowly damaged and replaced by scar tissue. Eventually the liver may not be able to heal itself and this can lead to serious problems. Cirrhosis is the final phase of chronic liver disease.

Physical effects
– cancer

Consuming alcohol at risky levels has been identified as the second leading cause of cancer after smoking. Regularly exceeding advised unit limits even by a small amount can result in a much greater risk of developing cancer including:

  • Mouth cancer
  • Pharyngeal cancer (upper throat)
  • Oesophageal cancer (food pipe)
  • Laryngeal cancer (voice box)
  • Breast cancer
  • Bowel cancer
  • Liver cancer

Mental effects
– emotional health and well being

Alcohol is actually a depressant. This is one of the main reasons why most mood stabling and anti-depressant drugs recommend to avoid alcohol. In addition, using alcohol to self-medicate when we feel down or anxious can actually result in our feelings becoming exaggerated.

Find out more about alcohol and mental health at the Rethink Mental Illness website.

Social effects
– arguments, breakdowns and depression

When alcohol becomes a permanent feature in a person’s life, it’s not just the drinker that feels the effect. Surrounding family and friends do too. Drinking habits can often become a source of arguments and lead to relationship issues. Emotional and financial consequences are also common. And these in turn can lead to unemployment, debt, family and relationship breakdowns and depression.



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