If you are either young, wild and free or older, stressed and full of responsibilities you might be enjoying the times when you indulge in drinking different types of alcohol. Be it wine with your dinner, vodka at the club, beer on the beach or shots on your birthday party. We tend to indulge so much in drinking that we usually end up drunk and embarrassed or just little tipsy slipping some phrase or a comment we would rather have kept if not for the alcohol. In University, binge drinking and partying might be the social norm, though taking this habit as generally acceptable and continuing on with it later on in life may result in exponentially turning this into a real barrier between your life’s goals and health.
There are many negative aspects of drinking alcohol in health, social and economic aspects. In terms of health, the risk of a number of diseases: fatty degeneration of the liver, infection of the liver, liver cirrhosis, sleeping disorders, sexual problems, infection of the esophagus, infection of the stomach, infection of the pancreas, premature dementia, varying from a reduction of memory to the serious syndrome of Korsakoff; cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, intestines and breasts; hypertension and heart problems. Alcohol is also damaging during pregnancy.
Alcohol abuse plays an important role in aggression. 40% of all incidents involving aggression occur while under the influence of alcohol. The police spend 22% of their time on cases involving alcohol. Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk. Alcohol abuse can make you irresponsible, prone to losing self-control and making you do things you wouldn’t have done otherwise:
- Unintentional injuries such as car crashes, falls, burns and drowning.
- Intentional injuries such as firearm injuries, sexual assaults and domestic violence.
- Increased on-the-job injuries and loss of productivity.
- Increased family problems and broken relationships.
- Alcohol poisoning.
- High blood pressure, stroke, and other heart-related diseases.
- Liver disease.
- Nerve damage.
- Sexual problems.
- Permanent damage to the brain.
- Vitamin B1 deficiency, which can lead to a disorder characterized by amnesia, apathy and disorientation.
- Gastritis (inflammation of stomach walls).
- Cancer of the mouth and throat.
While I don’t intend to make it all gloom and doom, I would like to emphasize how you can really benefit from staying sober. Right, picture it this way. Owning your mornings by waking up early every day. Being fresh, remembering what you did last night. This means no memory losses or blackouts from the moments you did some really stupid stuff that you don’t even want to remember. Becoming super focused on the other activities you pursue leading to increasing your success and getting more out of life. Taking ownership of your time – spending time drinking is mostly used for this terrible habit rather than as an accompaniment of socializing. There are so many other activities that can be done if you want to socialize with people and excusing yourself with drinking doesn’t really serve you well. In addition, your energy levels will increase while your emotional stability will come at equilibrium. Drinking and drugs kill brain cells while stopping empowers you and increases your vitality. Mental clarity will set in helping you to work on improving the relationships with your loved ones and your friends.
After the initial detox (the body cleansing itself) your health will steadily improve and you will find that you have more energy, get sick less, and generally feel better. Once you have done your detox and you find yourself in the sober world, you will notice that your financial position also improves. Alcohol takes a big chunk of your paycheck as it is a very expensive pastime. By its nature, alcohol makes you drink more and more while spending more and more with the illusion that you are actually having a good time and benefiting something. Financially stability is important for reducing stress and living a healthier life.
So far we have seen the negative influence of alcohol in your life where the benefits of staying sober have clearly outperformed. I do understand that it is going to be super challenging to quit drinking or drink responsibly. Yes, you are going to miss out on these parties. Yes, you are most likely not going to be the most/drunk funny person at the party. Yes, there is always going to be yet another occasion or a party before you straighten up. You can never have enough drinks or keep waiting for the next/ last party. Finally, drinking in moderation and being responsible is what everyone strives for, yet it is elusive for so many of us. You can fully experience life only by being sober. Numbing your senses during the hard times will never get you far or make solving these problems you face easier.
Life is a challenge. Facing the challenge is a rewarding and life-affirming activity.