Dangers of drinking too much
Drinking too much can put a serious strain on your body. It takes your liver an hour to process one unit of alcohol. So having two or three drinks an hour overloads your system – which means your health could suffer. After a session of heavy drinking take a break for 48 hours to let your body recover.
When you drink too much or too quickly, for a start you’ll experience:
- Being sick
- Falling over
- Sexual difficulties like impotence
- Slowed breathing and heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness
- Increased risk of accident and injury
Long term effects
Most people who suffer from health problems because of their drinking are not alcoholics, but rather are those who drink heavily over a number of years. Many suffer few immediate consequences of their drinking, but cumulatively it takes its toll. 6,000 deaths from coronary heart disease in men each year are directly due to alcohol. And 400 of the 1,700 deaths from mouth cancer per year are linked to heavy drinking – that’s nearly one in four.
In England and Wales, alcohol misuse leads to some 33,000 hospital admissions each year for alcohol-related liver disease.
Regularly drinking more than the recommended number of units over a long period can lead to complications like:
- Certain types of cancer, especially breast cancer
- Memory loss, brain damage or even dementia
- Increased risk of heart disease and stroke
- Liver disease, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer
- Stomach damage
- Potentially fatal alcohol poisoning
Page last updated on July 23rd, 2012