The Dangers of Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Drinking a lot – in a few hours or over time – can take a significant toll on your physical and mental health


Alcohol is killing Americans at a record rate, with excessive alcohol use accounting for over 88,000 deaths per year in the U.S.

Drinking too much has led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost each year from 2006 until 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.[slideshow:102582]

The CDC has identified binge drinking as the most common form of drinking among college students. 

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks or women consume four or more drinks in about two hours.

Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of injuries, motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, violence, including homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels.

No one can argue the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption – it reduces the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and even dementia. But excessive drinking can only cause harm. 

Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems.

Click here for 20 of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption

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