Heavy Drinking and the Toll It Takes

Most of us are guilty of not always treating our body like the temple it is. Sadly, a lot of the best things in life aren’t good for us in large amounts and alcohol is no different. While the short-term affects of relaxation, euphoria, and lowered inhibitions might sound fun, the long-term affects of heavy alcohol use are quite damaging and could significantly shorten your lifespan.

Here are 14 health issues associated with long-term heavy drinking.

Mental health

Alcohol is a downer, otherwise known as a depressant, and although many people believe that booze helps to “drown their sorrows,” it could actually be adding to them. Aside from the negative affects that alcoholism can have on one’s career and personal relationships, excessive drinking alters your brain chemistry and makes you more susceptible to depression and anxiety.

For those who are already dealing with mental health issues, alcohol can also make antidepressants and other medications less effective. Statistics show a strong link between suicide and alcohol, and it’s estimated that nearly 20% of all suicides in the United States involve chronic alcohol abuse.

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Fertility issues

By now everyone knows that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix, but did you know that excessive drinking can have an impact on future pregnancies too? Scientists don’t yet fully understand why alcohol consumption affects fertility, but studies have shown that drinking between 1-5 alcoholic beverages a week can reduce a woman’s chance of conceiving later in life.

Alcohol has also been linked to erectile dysfunction in men. Males who drink just five servings of alcohol a week have a lower sperm count than men who drink less or not at all.

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