Is It Safe To Drink Alcohol? And In What Amounts? A much debated topic.  The World Health Organization says “there is no safe level for drinking alcohol.” Perhaps your surprised by this as there levels which government agencies consider “low-risk,” or levels which lower your risk for developing an alcohol dependency however, alcohol can still present problems within your life. As a guideline, low-risk drinking is considered anything less than: Three drinks per day or less for women, not to exceed seven drinks per week. Four drinks per day or less for men, not to exceed 14 drinks per week. Awareness of these guidelines may help to decrease your risk of alcohol addiction and alcohol-related adverse health effects. As well as helping you to make healthier decisions in your life.

Heavy Drinking! Does It Increase the risk of Addiction? Heavy drinking is considered anything over these levels. Research suggests that 1 in 4 people who exceed these limits already has an alcohol use disorder. Heavy drinking significantly increases your risk of developing an alcohol addiction and numerous health problems, many of which can cause death.    

Signs of Alcohol Addiction – Do you recognize these patterns in yourself or your loved one? Alcohol abuse occurs on a spectrum, and as it accelerates in severity, the risks associated with it climb proportionately. Individuals with an alcohol addiction will exhibit a significant number of the following behaviors. ·

  • Struggle to reduce how much they drink or find they can’t stop at all
  • Alcohol override any other thought in their mind
  • Begin to feel out of sorts if they don’t drink or when the alcohol begins leaving their system (withdrawal)?
  • Drink larger amounts or for longer periods of time
  • Loses a large part of their life, takes time off school or work due to drinking or feeling hungover
  • Keeps drinking even though it’s creating tensions and issues within their relationships
  • Drinks instead of doing things which once brought pleasure or fulfilment
  • Engages in unsafe or risky behaviours while under the influence which may increase the risk of harm
  • Continues drinking even though they experience periods of time where you have no memory (“blackouts”) and is affecting their mental health?
  • Needs to drink more because what you usually drink doesn’t create the same “buzz” (and may have developed a tolerance).

Physical, mental, emotional and social health, can be disrupted by alcohol which may lead to:

  • Illness or disease, including an increased risk of Heart disease, stroke and various other types of organ damage.
  • Increased risk of accidental injury (motor vehicle accidents, falls and drowning)
  • Interpersonal problems (with partner, family, friends as well as co-workers)
  • Loss of Employment
  • Failure in academic achievements
  • Legal issues (Driving Under the Influence
  • Mental health disorders such as mood imbalances (depression, anxiety, etc.)
  • Unplanned pregnancies and/or sexually transmitted diseases due to unsafe and unplanned sexual encounters.
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
  • Increased risk of suicide
  • Overdose (acute alcohol poisoning) or death

The adverse effects of alcohol can be a double-edged sword.  Many people that are faced with the reality that alcohol has impacted in their life, will continue to drink to numb the pain, thus intensifying their addiction.   It’s never to late to seek help, you are not alone.