April is Alcohol Awareness Month. And this April has been a little different, okay maybe a lot different from previous years. As we navigate these unpredictable times it’s as important as ever to remember the potential damage alcohol and substance use can have on our physical health and mental wellbeing.
Here are “just the facts” of what overconsumption can do to a body!
- In the short term, alcohol abuse suppresses multiple aspects of the body’s immune system response, with particular effects on the lungs’ ability to fight off infections like COVID-19. If you drink every day or almost every day, you might notice that you catch colds, flu or other illnesses more frequently than people who don’t drink. This is because alcohol can weaken the immune system and make the body more susceptible to infections.
- Drinking gives your body work to do that keeps it from other processes. Once you take a drink, your body makes metabolizing it a priority — above processing anything else.
- Abusing alcohol causes bacteria to grow in your gut, which can eventually migrate through the intestinal wall and into the liver, leading to liver damage.
- Too much is bad for your heart. It can cause the heart to become weak (cardiomyopathy) and have an irregular beat pattern (arrhythmias). It also puts people at higher risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Regular, heavy drinking interferes with chemicals in the brain that are vital for good mental health. So while we might feel relaxed after a drink, in the long run, alcohol can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety, and make stress harder to deal with.
- Alcohol is linked to suicide, self-harm, and psychosis.
For more information, visit these links:
com/entry/how-alcohol-affects- immune-system_l_ 5e8f84c5c5b6d641a6bbf838?ncid= APPLENEWS00001
huffpost.com/entry/non- alcoholic-cocktail-recipes- virtual-happy-hour_l_ 5e908371c5b6d641a6bde6db?zs
Alcohol is easy to abuse. Be careful, be responsible, and be healthy!