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What Reducing Alcohol Consumption Will Do For You

While many people can and do safely consume alcohol, avoiding alcoholic beverages altogether eliminates the potential of a variety of short- and long-term effects drinking can have on your health and well being. In moderation, alcohol does boast some potential health benefits, but many of these can be derived from other food sources. Often, the risks of drinking outweigh the benefits. 

Avoiding alcohol means avoiding the immediate, dangerous health impacts which can accompany it, as alcohol consumption can increase the likelihood of numerous dangerous health conditions in the short term. Drinking alcohol — including even one instance of excessive drinking — can lead to a variety of unintentional injuries; aggression and violence; risky sexual behaviors including contracting diseases; miscarriages, stillbirths and birth defects for pregnant mothers who drink; and alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal. Alcohol can be particularly risky if you’re drinking when stressed or in a negative state of mind; it’s much safer to avoid alcohol in these instances. If you regularly take medication for a health condition, it’s often safer to abstain from alcohol use. Alcohol can interact with a variety of medications, causing serious side effects of which you may be unaware. 

Abstaining from alcohol consumption has a number of health benefits in the long term as well. Consistent alcohol use over time can lead to a significant number of chronic diseases and neurological problems, particularly if alcohol consumption exceeds the recommended intake. These include dementia and stroke; cardiovascular impairments like increased blood pressure and heart attack; psychiatric problems like depression and anxiety, which can result in suicide; numerous cancers; fatal liver diseases and gastrointestinal problems. 

In conclusion, a person’s social life may be a subjective factor, but the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports there are repercussions for drinkers and those they know in a social setting. Drinking can lead to economic problems, disruptions in familial and social relationships, emotional problems, violence and legal problems. While results vary widely, the Institute reports a general trend in which these issues become more severe the more an individual drinks.

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