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Benefits and Risks of Drinking Alcohol

Many people have debated the benefits and risks of drinking alcohol. While many claim that it can help one’s health, its addictive powers have destroyed many people’s lives. There is contradicting evidence as to how much alcohol is best at what age, but many people agree that no one with alcoholism or anyone who has struggled with it should drink, nor should women who are pregnant. If you or someone you love has developed alcoholism, it is a significant problem that should receive professional treatment.

The Benefits of Moderate Alcohol Drinking

Moderate drinking is about one drink or less per day and can benefit someone’s health. While the definition of a “drink” can vary, the Harvard School of Public Health defines this term as 12 to 14 grams of alcohol or less. A small drink can be a good way to unwind after a long day, reducing the amount of psychological stress. It can strengthen the heart and circulatory system and protect a person against type 2 diabetes and gallstones. Moderate drinking raises the amount of good cholesterol in the body, which is associated with protection against heart disease, and can also improve the factors that influence blood clotting. This helps prevent the formation of blood clots that can block arteries, the cause of many heart attacks and strokes. Additionally, a drink before a meal can improve one’s digestion.

The Risks of Too Much Alcohol

While there may be some benefits to moderate drinking, there is no question that excessive drinking can cause serious harm. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking is a major cause of preventable death, and about half of all fatal traffic accidents are caused by alcohol. Not only can intoxication cause you to make poor decisions and cause deadly mistakes, heavy drinking can damage the liver and heart, increase your chances of developing cancer, harm your unborn child, cause depression, cause violence and strain your relationships. Alcohol abuse is when someone drinks so much it harms her health. If you suspect that you may have a problem with drinking too much alcohol, it is likely that you do. Alcohol abuse will continue to worsen unless you seek help. It can have disastrous consequences, so don’t wait until it’s too late to get treatment.

Alcohol Addiction Requires Professional Treatment

Professional rehab is necessary to give you the tools you need to achieve freedom from alcohol. Quality treatment should address not only the physical addiction through detox, but it should also treat any underlying issues that might contribute to addiction. Additionally, alcohol addiction is frequently accompanied by a mental health disorder (such as depression or anxiety), which should receive treatment alongside the addiction in Dual Diagnosis treatment. Achieving a lasting recovery from alcohol requires a great deal of support, so don’t try to go it alone. With the right help you can overcome addiction.

Are you concerned that the amount of alcohol you are drinking might be risky? Please call and let one of our counselors answer your questions. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day, so call us now.