We’ve all had a drink, but not many of us actually know what happens to our body when we have a couple glasses of wine or some shots. Of course, we all know that drinking alcohol can end up with you becoming drunk, not to mention the nasty hangover the day after. But is that the only thing alcohol does to the body? We’d like to think that’s the only side effect of alcohol but the truth is, that’s only just a small portion of what happens after you have a drink. Here are the 5 truths behind drinking.
- The guidelines are wrong
The guidelines that define moderate drinking include no more than 10 drinks a week for women, with no more than 2 drinks a day and no more than 15 drinks a week for men, with no more than 3 drinks a day. However, the study by the Lancet shows that there’s no difference between the amount of alcohol consumed by men and women. The actual ideal standard for weekly alcohol consumption is 100 grams per week. Current guideline actually aid in reducing life expectancy in both men and women.
- Moderate drinking has no health benefits
For years we’ve been told that moderate drinking contains health benefits but that’s wrong. A study by the Lancet, which collected data from 600,000 people over 19 high-income countries illustrated that there are no signs of alcohol lowering the risk of heart attacks, but in fact, promotes diseases such as strokes, heart failure, and aortic aneurysms. Plus, it was found that moderate alcohol consumption also raises the risk for several types of cancer. So, though you may think having a couple glasses of wine is doing your body some good, it’s not. That pint of beer isn’t looking too good right now, right?
- We’re not responsible drinkers
Though we all have seen commercials about drinking drunk and have seen friends and family even affected by drunk driving, very few of us are being responsible while drinking. We like to think that we’ll make the right choices when under the influence but for most of us, that isn’t the case. In 2013, 28.7 million people in the United States admitted to driving under the influence. If you’re caught drinking and driving, you’ll most likely need to consider Googling drinking and driving lawyers, as the laws against drinking and driving aren’t kind.
- There is medication to help with alcoholism
Many people are unaware of this, however, there are medications that help treat alcoholism. Currently, the most popular form of treatments is the 12-step program and rehabilitation centres. However, medication is highly underutilized as a form of treatment. A study found that only 1 in 10 Americans take on treatment in the form of prescription medication. Let’s use Disulfiram as an example. It aids to disrupt the metabolism of alcohol, making patients feel ill if they drink. Of course, battling alcoholism simply with prescription medication isn’t the only solution, however, it can help.
- Heavy drinking has been normalized for women
Even though we don’t like to admit it, the fact is, heavy drinking has been normalized for both men and women. However, it’s clear that women are drinking more and more due to the cultural shift which liberated women. The promotion of heavy drinking particularly for women can be seen through social media and popular culture such as movies. In 2013, in the United States, over a million women ended up in the ER due to heavy drinking, this is a 40% increase since 1997.