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Excessive Drinking: Risk Factors & Impact On Health By Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol use disorder is a kind of addiction disorder, which sometimes up to a certain extent is called alcoholism. This disorder basically is used to describe the problem of a person to control the alcohol intake. People with this disorder continue to consume alcohol even if it is causing health and mental problems. They are almost all the time occupied in having alcoholic drinks and more to get the same effect and feeling. Withdrawal symptoms appear quickly if there is a decrease or complete stop in consuming alcohol


Alcohol use disorder varies on the the number and kind of symptoms you are experiencing which can be mild, moderate or severe. Signs and symptoms of the disorder are:

  1. Not having to control the number of drinks.

  2. Unsuccessful attempts to cut down on drinking or even reduce the frequency of drinking.

  3. Spending most of the time drinking or a lot of time spent in recovering from the alcohol (hangover).

  4. Strong craving or urge to consume alcohol during most part of the day.

  5. Missing deadlines at work or college.

  6. Continue to consume alcohol even after experiencing physical and health issues, along with social or interpersonal problems.

  7. Making your social life and hobbies almost non-existent to spend time drinking.

  8. Consuming alcohol in situations where complete soberness and focus is required, such as when driving, using gym equipments or swimming.

  9. Consuming alcohol t a point where the same amount of alcohol does not provide the same effect as before and thus having to consume more and more alcohol

  10. Continued drinking to avoid the withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sweating and nausea.

What is considered 1 drink?

As defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one standard drink can be considered as follows:

  1. 355 millilitres of regular beer (about 5 percent alcohol)

  2. 237 to 266 millilitres of malt liquor (about 7 percent alcohol)

  3. 148 millilitres of unfortified wine (about 12 percent alcohol)

  4. 44 millilitres of hard liquor (about 40 percent alcohol)


There can be several causes that can lead to alcohol abuse, which include social and environmental factors such as friends and colleagues, psychological factors such as going through a traumatic experience or even genetic factors. Drinking too much alcohol over time can impact the brain and alter certain function of the areas that are associated with the experiences judgement or behaviour control. The result is to consume and crave for alcohol to get the ‘good feeling’ or subdue the ‘negative feeling’.

Risk factors For Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol abuse can begin even in the teen-age, but mostly the disorder will occur in the age bracket of 20s and 30s. The risk factors include:

  1. Steady drinking over time.

  2. Starting at an early age

  3. Family history

  4. Depression and other mental health problems

  5. History of trauma

  6. Social and cultural factors

Impact on your safety

  1. Excessive and over-drinking reduces the judgment abilities and skills, and also will lower your inhibitions that may lead to poor and dangerous choices, including:

  2. Road accidents and other types of accidental injury, such as drowning

  3. Relationship problems

  4. Poor performance at work or school

  5. Higher chances of committing violent crimes or even experiencing violent crimes as a victim

  6. Legal problems or problems with employment or finances

  7. Problems with other substance use

  8. Having unprotected sex (risk of contracting AIDS), or experiencing sexual abuse or date rape

  9. Increased risk of attempted or completed suicide

Impact on your health

  1. Drinking too much alcohol can cause health problems, including:

  2. Liver disease

  3. Digestive problems

  4. Heart problems

  5. Diabetes complications

  6. Sexual function, such as erectile dysfunction and menstruation issues 

  7. Eye problems

  8. Birth defects

  9. Bone damage

  10. Neurological complications

  11. Weakened immune system

  12. Increased risk of cancer

  13. Medication and alcohol interactions


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