Written by Patricia Patterson-Vanegas
Alcohol is the third largest risk factor for ill health in the European Union and Europe has the highest unit per person intake of alcohol in the world*. Medical research has established that binge drinking and long-term drinking negatively affect most organs including the cardio-vascular system, the brain, liver and pancreas. It is also known that excessive alcohol contributes to many serious health conditions and has been shown to burden the immune
system and promote cancer.
Unfortunately, in the western culture, physical reactions such as ‘throwing-up’, headache, general malaise and even temporary loss of consciousness have been normalised as humorous consequences of an excessive intake of alcohol, and not recognised as the body’s urgent attempt to counter intoxication. Alcohol intake can have a damaging effect on the health and wellbeing of individuals and families.
Interestingly, research conducted by Age UK** suggests that middle class people over the age of 50 not only consume greater levels of alcohol but also fail to recognise the harm that increasing alcohol consumption can cause.
* The need for an EU strategy to reduce healthcare costs related to alcohol use (2015), published online by the journal BJM – www.dryoutnow.com/blog
** Harmful Drinking Among Middle-Class, Over-50s: The Hidden Phenomenon, Age UK (2015) published online by the journal BJM Open. www.dryoutnow.com/blog