Most Americans drink. In fact, some of the most recently available statistics note 136.8 million alcohol drinkers in the United States in 2013.
How few of those people have ever considered what alcohol might be doing to them? Or, if you drink, have you?
Now let’s be clear: We’re not talking about an occasional drink, stopping after one on the occasion when you do have a drink. No, we’re referring to how most people can find it incredibly hard to stop at one, and how quickly those effects can add up to cause long-term damage.
Let’s start with this: When you drink alcohol, roughly 33% of it goes through your stomach lining and directly into your blood. The rest is more slowly absorbed by the small intestine, and then into the bloodstream.
Alcohol and your brain
When it comes to the brain, alcohol’s effects are varied. While we derive pleasure from it, over time dopamine receptors (our pleasure sensors) become less receptive, and then, once addicted, if we stop drinking, we experience withdrawal.
Alcohol also affects memory, motor coordination, and more, both short-term and long-term.
Alcohol and your body
As Dr. Ball notes, alcohol dependency and regular drinking does serious damage on our bodies. Beyond the brain effects (cognitive impairment, memory loss, motor coordination loss, and more), there are organ repercussions (liver disease, stomach disorders, pancreatitis, esophageal problems, and worse), and even organ failures. Alcohol can even lead to dementia, delirium, and worse.
The long-term repercussions of alcohol both on brain and body are serious, and far outweigh any possible rewards of nights of fun. Is that really what you want?
Yeah, we didn’t think so.
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.