Recreational drinking is extremely popular throughout the United States, and drinking in moderation is generally fine. However, people are drinking excessively in greater frequency than ever, with the average adult consuming 17 drinks per week. As of 2020-2021, this is especially bad as many people turn to alcohol to cope with the stress of the pandemic. Next time you crack open a beer or order a cocktail, consider these five facts about alcohol.
Five Facts About Alcohol
Alcohol Affects Men and Women Differently
Even when a man and woman have similar body types, alcohol affects men and women differently. This is a matter of many nuanced factors, such as the fact that women often have higher levels of the body and their organs retain less water. As such, the CDC considers “a drink” as a unit of intoxication to be larger for men than for women.
The Effect of Alcohol Changes with Age
Many of the internal factors that interact with your alcohol consumption change with age. For instance, men initially have a higher tolerance in their youth due to high water concentration in their internal organs. As they age, this and other factors decline and the gap between men and women becomes smaller.
Mild Alcohol Consumption May Carry Health Benefits
There are many studies on the effects of drinking small amounts of alcohol on your heart and internal organs. Interestingly, mild alcohol consumption can actually improve your circulation and boost heart health. In this case, a glass of red wine or a shot of liquor can reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke by as much as 15%. However, these benefits only apply to small, routine levels of consumption. Higher levels of drinking tend to come with a variety of ill effects.
Drinking Alcohol Inhibits Your Immune System
After drinking heavily, your immune system will operate well below normal efficiency for as much as 24 hours. This is even worse in the case of chronic drinkers, who can experience a long-term decline in the effectiveness of their immune system. For that matter, excessive drinking is behind many ills that carry a high collective cost on American society.
Alcohol Abuse Carries a High Social Cost
Each year, alcohol abuse causes countless traffic accidents and sends many people to the hospital with preventable illnesses. In human terms, alcohol abuse shortens hundreds of thousands of lives and in economic terms, the US suffers a loss of almost $250 billion per year due to unhealthy alcohol consumption.
Reach Out to Live Free SSL
Responsible, moderate drinking is a fine way to relax, but excessive drinking can have catastrophic consequences. If you fear that you or a loved one are developing or have developed a drinking habit, then reach out to Live Free SSL to learn more about how we can help.