People drink alcohol for a variety of reasons. Some consume alcohol to avoid dealing with problems, to fight depression, to relax, to feel like they are part of the crowd or because they think it makes them appear more grown-up. Others simply like the taste.
Potential Health Benefits of Moderate Drinking
Proponents of moderate drinking claim there are several benefits of moderate drinking for most people including:
• Reducing the risk of dying of a heart attack
• Reducing the risk of a stroke
• Reducing the risk of developing heart disease
• Reducing the risk of developing gallstones
• Lowering your risk of diabetes
Opponents of moderate drinking claim it may cause harm, especially in certain age groups such as young adults or pregnant women. Older adults who have a known risk for heart disease also may not benefit from moderate drinking.
Individuals who are seeking to gain some of the benefits of moderate drinking may be able to accomplish the same goals with healthier and more effective behaviors such as exercise and consuming a healthier diet.
What is Moderate Drinking?
If Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend individuals drink in moderation, it is important to understand what “moderation” really means. This requires drinkers to understand what is meant by the term “serving size”.
The Dietary Guidelines identify what a serving size is for different types of alcoholic beverages:
• Beer: 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters)
• Wine: 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters)
• Distilled spirits (80 proof): 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters)
Harmful Actions of Excessive Drinking
Unfortunately, when it comes to drinking alcohol, many drinkers cannot limit themselves to one or two drinks. Whether they have a history or predisposition for alcohol abuse or they simply love the taste, some people have difficulty not drinking excessively and participating in risky behavior. For these individuals it may be better to completely avoid alcohol.
Common harmful effects of excessive alcohol consumption can include:
• Dangerous driving
• Aggressive actions toward others
• Increased chance of DUI arrest
• Increased injuries to yourself and others
• Increased risk of suicide
• Increased risk of high blood damage
• Increased risk of liver damage
Keep in mind that what may be excessive for you may not be excessive for another person. Blood alcohol concentration and absorption will depend on the drinker’s weight, age, gender, body mass index, dehydration levels and the amount of food they have recently consumed.
To keep yourself and others around you safe, if you are going to drink, drink in moderation. Make sure you are aware of your actions and the increased risk of high alcohol consumption.
Arrested for DUI
If you have been arrested for DUI it is time to talk to a DUI lawyer. DUI laws can be complicated and DUI penalties are severe. Do not leave your future to chance, find a DUI attorney who understands DUI laws and can help you with your DUI case.
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