Cosmic Wrinkles

The Dangers of Alcohol Abuse

Author: Christopher Evans

A relaxing drink at lunch time, in the evenings or at the weekend is great. But when excess takes over from moderation, what are the dangers – or are there any dangers at all?

Well the statistics unfortunately don’t lie – The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated recently that across the globe 1.8 million people’s deaths every single year are wholly attributable to excessive consumption of alcohol. Moreover, it has been proven that a country’s drinking levels directly parallel the level of harm caused, ie the more a country drinks, the more alcohol-related harm occurs.

Alcohol stands as the third leading cause of disease and injury, causing nearly one in ten of all premature deaths and ill health across Europe. This is ahead of obesity, diabetes and asthma and second only to smoking and blood pressure conditions.

In the longer term, regular alcohol consumption increases your risks of: liver damage, cancer (of the liver, mouth, throat, and breast), mental health problems, weight gain, heart disease, stroke, shrunken genitals and reduced fertility. Alcohol reduces the ability of your body to absorb nutrition. Furthermore the weight gain from drinking often contribute to other health conditions such as diabetes.

Alcohol Abuse in the UK

A recent report from the Office for National Statistics has shown that alcohol related diseases in the UK are killing nearly twice as many women as at the start of the 1990s. This has been partly due to the rise in acceptance of binge drinking

Approximately 30 years ago, alcohol related death rates for men and women in the UK were around two per 100,000, which was the lowest in western Europe. Now, the rate for men is 18 per 100,000, although this is still less than the European average.

Drinking and Driving

Drink driving is a criminal offence in the vast majority of countries. It impairs the user and makes them not only a danger to themselves, but also other road users. The level of breath or blood alcohol which determines the legal limit varies from country to country and the point at which an individual reaches this limit differs from one person to the next.

There is no “safe” level of alcohol if you intend to drive a motor vehicle. Alcohol affects co-ordination, judgement, reaction times and your ability to reason – including your tendency toward taking risks.

It is advised that you allow a minimum of 1 hour per 1 unit of alcohol consumed before driving or operating heavy machinery or electrical equipment in order to ensure that you are not under the influence of alcohol.

For example: A person drinks 6 pints (20 oz) of ordinary mid-strength beer (12 units), finishing their drinking at 11pm. They start work at 8am the following day. (9 Hours later).

12 Units – 9 hours = 3. In this scenario, the person could still have 3-4 units of alcohol left in their body whilst driving to work the following day – risking both Police prosecution and the safety of others. 3-4 Units will bring most men to the UK or USA legal driving limit of 80mg/dl and 3 units for most women.

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Visit our
Home Breathalyser
and Alcohol Test pages for more information. The site contains great information for those interested in finding out about the dangers of alcohol and drug misuse.

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