Moderation Is the Key for Alcohol Use
By Paul Rothbart
Many people enjoy having the occasional drink. A couple of cocktails on a Friday after a tough week at work, perhaps a glass of wine or two with dinner. In moderation, alcohol is not harmful and, in fact, studies have shown benefits to having a single drink each day. But some people drink quite a bit more than that. In addition to the obvious dangers, such as driving while impaired, there are good reasons to think about cutting back on alcohol consumption. Here are some things to consider.
Improve Your Health
Drinking much more than one drink a day can have quite a negative impact on health. Alcoholic beverages contain more calories than you may realize. Some drinks have as many calories as high-fat foods. There is no nutritional value in those calories. All they do is pack on weight. Many people who drink beyond a moderate level eat very poorly, further diminishing health. Liver disease, brain injury, and heart problems have all been linked to heavy drinking. The risk of these health issues increases with the amount of alcohol consumed.
Improve Mood and Sleep
Excessive drinking can exacerbate depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. Ironically, many people drink because they are experiencing these issues. They seek relief but just make things worse. Although heavy drinking can cause you to fall asleep, it is usually very poor sleep. Cutting back on alcohol can greatly improve the quality of sleep and prevent waking up with a hangover, which can ruin an entire day.
While under the influence of alcohol, judgement is impaired and people tend to make poor choices. This can do serious damage to personal relationships. Inadvertently or otherwise, people who drink too much often hurt those they care for. This is generally emotional harm, but it can and does become physical sometimes. A report in Australia found that a third of all intimate partner violence was connected to alcohol. This is a very good reason to cut back on drinking.
Make no mistake, alcohol is an addictive drug. A psychological dependency is easy to develop. Drinking to mask the pain of depression, or career or personal setbacks, is a sure way to becoming dependent. If excessive drinking continues, it can also become physically addictive and very bad for health. Alcohol dependency tends to run in families. If you have relatives with alcohol issues, this is a very good reason to cut back.
A little alcohol now and then is not harmful and can be beneficial. But it is far too easy to slide down that slippery slope to abuse. Excessive drinking can do great harm. If you do consume heavily, cutting back can greatly improve your health and quality of life. One easy way to help cut your consumption is to consume water between every drink.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Dawsonville, Ga.