Few people advocate prohibiting alcohol anymore, even though it is a drug. Actually, it is one of the most widely used drugs in our nation; it is often addictive, and is a known killer.
Perspectives on the Dangers of Moderate Alcohol Usage
- The risk of alcohol-related health problems is greatest among those labeled "heavy drinkers."
- However, because "social drinkers" outnumber "heavy drinkers," the majority of alcohol-related problems occur among "social drinkers."
- "...acute alcohol intoxication or relatively low levels of chronic alcohol consumption can produce serious adverse effects in individuals who otherwise fit within the social norms of alcohol use."
- "As information grows on how alcohol is hazardous to health, we find ourselves less secure in defining what is safe. Rather, alcohol use involves a continuum of risk..." Summarized Observations from Drs. Rankin and Ashley's chapter "Alcohol-related Health Problems."
A large body of research studies proclaims that even moderate amounts of alcohol used by social drinkers should be regarded as damaging to the immune system. With growing concerns regarding both infectious disease and cancer, the immune-weakening effects of alcohol are some of the most worrisome.
Side Effects of Alcohol use:
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
- Elevated triglycerides
- Impaired sexual function
- Low blood sugar
- Vitamin and mineral deficiency
- Chronic fatigue
- Body weight control
- Decreased number of blood platelets
- Increased severity and duration of menstrual cramps
Even small amounts of alcohol are well know to decrease a person's judgment, foresight, and moral reasoning. This probably relates largely to alcohol's dramatic impairment of the brain's frontal lobe where many of highest intellectual and moral functions reside.
Many people who have at some point in their lives been heavy smokers or drinkers find it necessary to avoid environments that support these practices. It is important for them to know that once any addictive habit is overcome, there is always the possibility of relapse and return to harmful behavior. To avoid relapse, a former alcoholic cannot afford even on social drink but must maintain complete abstinence.
An alcoholic who had been drinking large amounts of alcohol for a long period of time should "play it safe" and enter into a detoxification program or a lifestyle live-in treatment program. During this time, his intention to give up tobacco and caffeine should also be made known.
Reference : Proof Positive: How to Reliably Combat Disease and Achieve Optimal Health through Nutrition and Lifestyle