To Your Health!
Keeping Brooklyn Healthy

To Your Health!

A CT scan of the upper abdomen showing cirrhosis of the liverA CT scan of the upper abdomen showing cirrhosis of the liverHere are some sobering statistics about excessive drinking.

There are roughly 80,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol each year in the US, making it the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death. Alcohol use is responsible for about 30 years of potential life lost for each death. In 2006 there were more than 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 million physician office visits due to excessive drinking. And the economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2006 were estimated at $223.5 billion.

Drinking can exact an enormous cost on your health, too.  Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases, neurological impairments and social problems. 

Alcohol can cause:

  • Neurological problems including dementia, stroke, numbness and weakness.
  • Cardiovascular problems including myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation and high blood pressure.
  • Psychiatric problems including depression, anxiety and suicide.
  • Social problems including unemployment, lost productivity, family difficulties, DWI convictions, intimate partner violence and child abuse.
  • Mouth, throat, esophageal, liver, colon and breast cancer
  • Gastrointestinal problems including pancreatitis and gastritis
  • Cirrhosis (a chronic disease of the liver).
  • Weakening of your immune system, making you more vulnerable to diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis.
  • Unintentional injuries, including traffic injuries, falls, drownings, burns and firearm injuries.
  • Miscarriage and stillbirth among pregnant women, and a combination of physical and mental birth defects among children. 
  • Alcohol poisoning, which can cause loss of consciousness, low blood pressure and body temperature, coma, respiratory depression or death.

That’s the bad news, but keep in mind that we’re talking about excessive alcohol use. 

Now here’s the good news. 

Abundant research has shown that moderate alcohol consumption can have a positive influence on your physical and mental health: reduced stress, greater cardiovascular health, higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, less risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even a longer life span.  

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, which makes this a perfect time to seek help and support. If you or someone you know has a serious alcohol or substance abuse problem, please call our Detox Unit directly at 718.250.8900.


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