Alcohol Awareness Month Reminder: Risks of Drinking Far Outweigh Rewards

In honor of National Alcohol Awareness Month, Gateway Treatment Centers takes a look at health risks linked with heavy alcohol consumption.

It’s been widely reported that regular light to moderate drinking can be good for the heart. But that’s only a portion of the story. With heavy or at-risk drinking, any potential heart healthy benefits are outweighed by far greater risks, including:

Injuries

Drinking too much increases your chances of being injured or even killed. Alcohol is a factor, for example, in about 60% of fatal burn injuries, drownings and homicides; 50% of severe trauma injuries and sexual assaults; and 40% of fatal motor vehicle crashes, suicides and fatal falls.

Health Problems

Heavy drinkers have a greater risk of liver disease including hepatitis and cirrhosis, heart disease, kidney damage, sleep disorders, nutritional deficiency, depression, stroke, bleeding from the stomach, sexually transmitted infections from unsafe sex, and several types of cancer including breast cancer. Heavy drinkers may also have problems managing diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions.

Brain Damage

The effects of alcohol on the brain can occur by both direct and indirect means. Thus, it is not really necessary that the alcohol actually reach the brain, though it does, for brain function to be modified.

Damage to the brain can occur through alcohol-induced deficiencies in nutrition, liver disease, and through alterations in the function of other bodily systems (e.g. immune, hormonal), which produce substances that end up in the blood and get transported to the brain.

Learn more health risks associated with alcohol consumption here.

About Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers
Every year Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment helps thousands of adults and teens get their life back on track and gives renewed hope to those who care about them. With 50 years of treatment experience, our specialists take the time to understand of the specific needs of each individual. We then develop a customized treatment plan with recommendations for the most appropriate care based on an individual's substance abuse and mental health history. As the largest provider of alcohol and drug abuse treatment in Illinois, Gateway has 11 treatment centers throughout the state. Gateway outpatient and residential substance abuse treatment programs are not one-size fits all, but unique treatment plans that give an individual the highest chance for a successful outcome. With insurance acceptance and a track record of success, Gateway Treatment Centers help thousands of individual’s successfully complete treatment each year, and find the hope they need to live again.

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