Drinking alcohol every day can cause a number of health problems, including heart disease, alcohol withdrawal, increased risk of car accidents, and various forms of cancer.
Drinking every day can also increase your chances of alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction/alcohol use disorder (AUD). Recognizing the signs of a potential drinking problem can help you seek treatment and change your habits.
How Much Alcohol Is Too Much On A Daily Basis?
If you drink alcohol every day, moderate drinking habits can help you minimize the health effects of alcohol. Moderate drinking is defined as no more than two standard drinks a day for men, and one standard drink a day for women.
A standard drink is any drink that has 14 ounces of pure alcohol. For popular alcoholic beverages in the United States, this translates to:
- 1.5 ounces of liquor (vodka, whiskey, rum, etc.)
- one 5-ounce glass of wine
- 12 ounces of non-light beer
Moderate drinking becomes heavy drinking if the amount of standard drinks per week exceeds 15 drinks for men and 8 drinks for women. Generally, heavy drinking puts you at a higher risk for potential health conditions than moderate drinking.
How Daily Alcohol Consumption Affects Your Mind
Alcohol is a depressant that slows down activity in your brain. Specifically, alcohol affects your brain’s ability to make decisions, judgments, and reactions.
These effects can apply to everyday tasks, such as your ability to drive or operate machinery, or speaking and seeing clearly.
If alcohol is constantly in your body, this can affect your ability to learn, remember, and process information.
How Daily Alcohol Consumption Affects Your Body
Alcohol is mostly broken down through the liver. Drinking alcohol every day can put a strain on your liver, leading to health problems down the road. Other parts of your body that alcohol affects include your heart and blood vessels.
Drinking every day can make you feel intoxicated for large parts of the day. Feeling intoxicated can make you feel warm, while speeding up your heart rate. Heavy intoxication can cause feelings of nausea and dehydration.
Risks Of Drinking Every Day
Many health risks are associated with drinking alcohol every day. Too much alcohol in one sitting can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can cause permanent brain damage and even death.
Many other health problems are linked with heavy daily drinking.
Accidents & Injuries
Being drunk is linked to an increased risk of physical injuries, including falls, violence, and domestic abuse. The reduced inhibitions caused by alcohol can lead people to make poor choices and lapses in judgment.
Driving while drunk greatly increases your chance of a car accident. In 2019, 10,142 people lost their lives as a result of a drunk driving accident, which made up about 30% of all fatalities caused by car crashes in the United States.
Heavy daily drinking is linked to a higher risk of several diseases, including heart disease, liver disease (such as liver cirrhosis), chronic high blood pressure, and others.
Heavy drinking is often linked to a weakened immune system. A weakened immune system can hurt your body’s capability to fight off infections, such as pneumonia, as well as the many diseases that have a connection to heavy drinking.
Higher Risk Of Certain Cancers
Alcohol is a known carcinogen or substance that can increase your risk of cancer. Some sources estimate that about 3 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States were related to alcohol.
Types of cancer that are linked to drinking alcohol include:
- liver cancer
- breast cancer
- cancer of the esophagus
- mouth and throat cancer
- colon and rectum cancer
Generally, the amount of alcohol consumed is the risk factor that’s linked to cancer. Moderate drinking every day may put you at a lower risk than heavy drinking every day, though both can cause a higher risk of cancer compared to not drinking at all.
Heavy drinking every day can lead to alcohol dependence, where you need alcohol to function normally. People with an alcohol dependence may drink throughout the day, or drink at levels that would be too high for others.
Once you are dependent on alcohol, trying to quit can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal can be painful and uncomfortable to the point that many people prefer to continue drinking.
Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, tremors, sleeping problems, seizures, and palpitations. Without proper treatment, withdrawal can even be fatal.
Treatment For Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol use disorder can affect not only your health but the health of your loved ones. If your drinking habits are making you feel distant from your friends and family members, it may be time to look for help.
Many treatment options exist to treat chronic alcohol use. Several medications can reduce the need to drink, while psychotherapy can help you set up alternatives to drinking and avoid relapse.
To find the best treatment for alcoholism available to you, talk to your healthcare professional or contact us today.