Over 10 million adults in the United States are alcoholics, and more than 7.3 million either alcohol suspects or have experienced negative consequences of alcohol use such as arrest or involvement in an accident. If you’re an alcoholic or know someone who’s an alcoholic, here are ten good reasons to give up alcohol.
1. Excessive amounts of alcohol make you stupid. Research has shown that most alcoholics have diminished brain size and reductions in intellectual functioning. How much of this may be reversible is still in question, but one thing is for sure – continued use only exacerbates the problem.
2. It ruins your sex life. In a study of normal healthy men who received 220 grams of alcohol daily for 4 weeks, testosterone levels declined after only 5 days and continued to fall through the study period.
3. It can cost you your job. Ever woken up and had to call in sick because you could not function after a night of drinking? Alcoholic employees cost employers millions of dollars each year. No wonder that employers fire alcoholics.
4. It can destroy your chances of creating a family. The reproductive consequences associated with alcohol abuse and alcoholism range from infertility and increased risk for spontaneous abortion, to impaired fetal growth and development
5. It can take a toll on your bone development. Research done Dr. Chakkalakal of the Omaha VA Medical Center in Nebraska describes how heavy drinking leads to bone loss, higher risk of fractures and slower healing of bone breaks.
6. It robs you of nutrients. The pancreas normal secretes digestive enzymes but alcohol decreases these secretions. Alcohol also impairs nutrient absorption by damaging the cells lining the stomach and intestines and disabling transport of some nutrients into the blood.
7. It’s hard for children. An estimated 6.6 million children under the age of 18 years live in households alcoholic households. Children from alcoholic families suffer higher levels of depression and anxiety, exhibit more symptoms of generalized stress, have lower self-esteem, and demonstrate more behavioral problems than do children from nonalcoholic families.
8. It affects your sleep. Sleep disorders associated with alcoholism include the increased time required to fall asleep, frequent awakenings, and a decrease in subjective sleep quality associated with daytime fatigue.
9. It can harm the brain. Heavy drinking may have extensive and far-reaching effects on the brain. These effects range from simple memory lapses to permanent and debilitating conditions some of which require lifetime custodial care.
10. Nearly 20,000 people die each year from deaths caused by alcohol. And this number excludes those who die in alcohol-related accidents and homicides.