Researchers across the globe work tirelessly to glean a more concise picture of the effect that alcohol has on the human body. While there is little doubt about prolonged heavy alcohol use leading to myriad health concerns, there is still a small number of scientists who argue that moderate drinking carries few risks in the long run. However, research teams continue to make associations between alcohol use in any amount and potentially life-threatening health conditions.
Any action a person can take – whether it be driving or walking next to a busy road – can lead to injury. There is an element of risk to everything we do in life. Alcohol is terrible for people to be sure, but no amount of scientific evidence is going to result in banning the substance or the majority of people choosing to abstain. The best we can hope for is that science helps Americans and people abroad to make informed decisions about using the substance. It is of the utmost importance that everyone knows that there is no such thing as a safe amount of alcohol.
Alcohol Isn’t Good for Overall Health
At Celebrate Hope, we treat clients whose alcohol use is more substantial than average; people whose use negatively impacts their life to a pernicious degree. Beyond meeting the criteria for alcohol use disorder, some of our former clients have severe health conditions stemming from alcohol use like liver diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer. Merely put, alcohol isn’t just destroying such peoples’ lives, it is severely damaging their body.
Naturally, your average drinker doesn’t meet the criteria for alcoholism, nor do they experience all the pain and suffering that accompanies the condition. Most people have a couple of drinks each night after work or during the weekend; they probably are not thinking about the possible physical problems that can arise from their moderate alcohol use. It is essential that we discuss a new analysis of global alcohol consumption and disease risk.
New research, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, from an analysis of the 2016 Global Burden of Disease report, shows that no amount of alcohol is safe, CNN reports. The findings which appear in the journal The Lancet, indicate that alcohol was the leading risk factor for disease and premature death for people between the ages of 15 and 49 worldwide in 2016, regardless of sex.
"The most surprising finding was that even small amounts of alcohol use contribute to health loss globally," said senior study author Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. "We're used to hearing that a drink or two a day is fine. But the evidence is the evidence."
Gakidou points out that while moderate amounts of alcohol may be slightly beneficial for some health problems, i.e., Type 2 diabetes and ischemic heart disease, the benefits are outweighed by the overall adverse health impact of any amount of alcohol, according to the article. This state-of-the-art study is likely to fly in the face of many previous studies on moderate drinking.
"This study is a stark reminder of the real, and potentially lethal, dangers that too much alcohol can have on our health and that even the lowest levels of alcohol intake increase our risks," Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in the UK.
Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment
Please reach out to Celebrate Hope if alcohol is wreaking havoc on your life or that of a loved one. We can help you break the cycle of alcohol addiction and give you the tools and coping mechanisms for leading an alcohol-free life in recovery.