Is Alcohol Really That Bad?

Is Alcohol Really That Bad
Long-Term Health Risks – Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.6,16
  • of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.6,17
  • Weakening of the immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick.6,16
  • Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.6,18
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.6,19
  • Social problems, including family problems, job-related problems, and unemployment.6,20,21
  • Alcohol use disorders, or alcohol dependence.5

By not drinking too much, you can reduce the risk of these short- and long-term health risks.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., Accessed April 19, 2022.
  2. Esser MB, Leung G, Sherk A, Bohm MB, Liu Y, Lu H, Naimi TS., JAMA Netw Open 2022;5:e2239485.
  3. Sacks JJ, Gonzales KR, Bouchery EE, Tomedi LE, Brewer RD., Am J Prev Med 2015; 49(5):e73–e79.
  4. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.9th Edition, Washington, DC; 2020.
  5. Esser MB, Hedden SL, Kanny D, Brewer RD, Gfroerer JC, Naimi TS., Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140329.
  6. World Health Organization., Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2018.
  7. Alpert HR, Slater ME, Yoon YH, Chen CM, Winstanley N, Esser MB., Am J Prev Med 2022;63:286–300.
  8. Greenfield LA., Report prepared for the Assistant Attorney General’s National Symposium on Alcohol Abuse and Crime. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 1998.
  9. Mohler-Kuo M, Dowdall GW, Koss M, Wechsler H., Journal of Studies on Alcohol 2004;65(1):37–45.
  10. Abbey A., J Stud Alcohol Suppl 2002;14:118–128.
  11. Kanny D, Brewer RD, Mesnick JB, Paulozzi LJ, Naimi TS, Lu H., MMWR 2015;63:1238-1242.
  12. Naimi TS, Lipscomb LE, Brewer RD, Colley BG., Pediatrics 2003;11(5):1136–1141.
  13. Wechsler H, Davenport A, Dowdall G, Moeykens B, Castillo S., JAMA 1994;272(21):1672–1677.
  14. Kesmodel U, Wisborg K, Olsen SF, Henriksen TB, Sechler NJ., Alcohol & Alcoholism 2002;37(1):87–92.
  15. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Substance Abuse and Committee on Children with Disabilities.2000., Pediatrics 2000;106:358–361.
  16. Rehm J, Baliunas D, Borges GL, Graham K, Irving H, Kehoe T, et al., Addiction.2010;105(5):817-43.
  17. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Personal Habits and Indoor Combustions: A Review of Human Carcinogens, Volume 100E 2012. Available from:,
  18. Miller JW, Naimi TS, Brewer RD, Jones SE., Pediatrics.2007;119(1):76-85.
  19. Castaneda R, Sussman N, Westreich L, Levy R, O’Malley M., J Clin Psychiatry 1996;57(5):207–212.
  20. Booth BM, Feng W., J Behavioral Health Services and Research 2002;29(2):157–166.
  21. Leonard KE, Rothbard JC., J Stud Alcohol Suppl 1999;13:139–146.
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  • : Alcohol Use and Your Health

    Is alcohol bad for you in moderation?

    What are the risks of drinking too much? – Drinking too much increases your risk for many health problems, including serious conditions that can lead to death. Some examples of alcohol-related health problems include:

    Liver disease Heart disease Depression Stroke Stomach bleeding Some types of cancer

    Even moderate drinking may raise your risk for some types of heart disease and cancer. For some types of cancer, the risk increases even at low levels of drinking (for example, less than 1 drink in a day). Drinking too much can also put you at risk for:

    Alcohol use disorder Injuries and violence Unintended pregnancy or STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)

    Learn more about the risks of drinking too much,

    Is it bad to have one drink a week?

    The one article you need to read to keep your cancer risk from alcohol to a minimum. You probably try to do some things to bring down your risk for cancer down the road, like eating healthy, exercising, and avoiding toxic chemicals and sugar. But do you think about drinking alcohol as a cancer-causing habit? In a new large study published in PLOS Medicine, researchers asked more than 99,000 older adults about their drinking habits over nine years.

    • The key finding: Knocking back just two or three glasses of booze a day increases your risk for cancer.
    • That’s perhaps news to you, since some 70 percent of Americans don’t realize their drinking habits could contribute to their cancer risk, according to a survey conducted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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    But roughly 5 to 6 percent of new cancers or cancer deaths worldwide are directly tied to alcohol use. For perspective, in the United States, about 19 percent of new cancer cases are linked to smoking and up to 9.5 percent to obesity. Interestingly, though, the new PLOS Medicine study reports that sipping on one or two drinks per day isn’t that bad.

    • Still, keeping it to three drinks a week is healthiest.
    • Among their 99,000+ study participants, light drinkers — those who consumed one to three drinks per week — were at the lowest risk for developing cancer and dying prematurely.
    • In fact, light drinkers had a lower risk for cancer than people who completely abstained.

    If you’re confused by the amount of information out there on how much alcohol to include in your weekly indulgence, we’re spelling it out for you below.

    What happens after 6 months of not drinking?

    6 Months – Improved Focus This is the point where some more intangible benefits start to appear. Some people find that their self-esteem improves and ability to be self-compassionate also increases (Collison et al., 2016). Because of these internal changes, relationships often improve or become more possible.

    Is drinking alcohol occasionally bad?

    The Dark Side of Alcohol – Not everyone who likes to drink alcohol stops at just one. While many people drink in moderation, some don’t. Heavy drinking can take a toll on the body. It can cause inflammation of the liver (alcoholic hepatitis) and lead to scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), a potentially fatal disease. It can increase blood pressure and damage heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).

    1. Heavy alcohol use has also been linked with several cancers: The World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research indicate that there is convincing evidence linking alcohol to cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, breast, liver, colon, and rectum.
    2. The International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that both the ethanol in alcohol and acetaldehyde, a chemical formed from the breakdown of ethanol, are carcinogenic to humans in high amounts.
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    The risk is multiplied for drinkers who also smoke tobacco or have a poor diet. Problem drinking also touches drinkers’ families, friends, and communities. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and others:

    • In 2014, about 61 million Americans were classified as binge alcohol users (5 or more drinks on the same occasion at least once a month) and 16 million as heavy alcohol users (5 or more drinks on the same occasion on 5 or more days in one month).
    • Alcohol plays a role in one in three cases of violent crime.
    • In 2015, more than 10,000 people died in automobile accidents in which alcohol was involved.
    • Alcohol abuse costs about $249 billion a year.

    Even moderate drinking carries some risks. Alcohol can disrupt sleep and one’s better judgment. Alcohol interacts in potentially dangerous ways with a variety of medications, including acetaminophen, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, painkillers, and sedatives. It is also addictive, especially for people with a family history of alcoholism.

    How bad is it to drink alcohol every once in a while?

    While enjoying an occasional alcoholic beverage is unlikely to harm your health, drinking in excess can have substantial negative effects on your body and well-being. You may wonder at what point your drinking becomes harmful to your health, as well as how much is too much. This article explores alcohol’s effects on your health and reviews intake limits and recommendations. Is Alcohol Really That Bad

    How many drinks a week is moderation?

    People Ages 65 And Up Should Limit Alcohol Intake – Tolerance for alcohol decreases as you age, so people 65 and up (both men and women) should have no more than two drinks on any single day, and no more than seven drinks per week, says Dr. Panchagnula.

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