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  • Malkiat Singh Duhra

Alcohol is Injurious to Health

Updated: Jan 4

The risk and harms associated with drinking alcohol have been systematically evaluated over the years and are well documented. According to Dr. Carina Ferreira-Borges, Advisor for Noncommunicable Diseases Management of WHO, there is no safe amount of alcohol that does not affect health. It doesn’t matter how much you drink, the risk to the drinker’s health starts from the first drop of any alcoholic beverage. Continuous use of alcohol can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including : high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, digestive problems, and cancer ( breast, mouth, throat, oesophagus, voice-box, liver, colon, rectum ). There are no systematic studies that would demonstrate the potential beneficial effects of light and moderate drinking on cardiovascular diseases and type two diabetes. Dr. Ferreira-Borge ( WHO ) advised strongly that there is a need to advertise the harm caused by the alcohol by different methods and use some methods to reduce the availability of alcohol. Cirrhoses and liver cancer are very common in alcohol drinkers.

Alcohol can cause high blood pressure which increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Alcohol also weakens heart muscles, which can affect the lungs, liver, brain, and other body systems, and also cause heart failure. It affects your concentration, judgement, mood and memory, and dementia development. Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation in the pancreas that causes its swelling and pain and impairs its ability to make enzymes and hormones for proper digestion.

Alcohol is a toxic, psychoactive, and dependence-producing substance and has been classified as a Group 1 Carcinogen by the international Agency for Research on Cancer decades ago. This is the highest risk group, which also includes asbestos, radiation and tobacco. Alcohol causes at least seven type of cancer, including the most common cancer types, such as bowel cancer, and breast cancer. Alcohol causes cancer through biological mechanisms as the compound breaks down the body, which means that any beverage containing alcohol, regardless of its price and quality, poses risk developing cancer.

Dr Carina Ferreira - Borges, Noncommunicable disease Management, Regional Advisor for Alcohol and illicit Drugs in the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe said that we cannot talk about a so-called safe level of alcohol use. It does not matter how much you drink— the risk to the drinker’s health starts from the first drop of any alcoholic beverage. The only thing that we can say for sure is that the more you drink, the more harmful it is. Globally, the WHO European Region, has the highest alcohol consumption level and the highest proportion of drinkers in the population. Here over 200 million people in the region are at risk of developing alcohol-attributable cancers. WHO has suggested in 2021 “ best buy “ policies to make alcohol less affordable, to ban or restrict alcohol marketing and to reduce alcohol availability can support the reduction of alcohol consumption and ultimately of cancer due to alcohol consumption.

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