The health risks of too much alcohol
Find out about drinking health risks and how much alcohol is too much.
Written by spunout
Fact checked by experts and reviewed by young people.
Many people drink alcohol, but it’s not always known what affect the alcohol is having on their body. Most people realise that drinking too much alcohol is bad for you, but what are the risks?
What are the risks from drinking too much?
Here are some of the ways alcohol can affect you.
Mental health issues
Drinking a lot can lead to feelings of sadness. Many people who are alcohol dependant suffer from depression and heavy drinkers have a much higher risk of suicide or attempted suicide than others. As well as this, alcohol can have a big impact on anxiety.
If you drink a lot you can suffer from alcohol poisoning. This is when there’s too much alcohol in your body for you to deal with. You might pass out, lose control or need to be taken to hospital. Alcohol poisoning can cause death in some cases. If you binge drink, you could be at an increased risk of alcohol poisoning.
Binge drinking is when you have six or more drinks at one time. A standard drink is about 10 grams of pure alcohol in Ireland and one standard drink is a half pint of beer or a small glass of wine or one pub measure of spirits.
Hangovers aren’t just there to make life miserable. They’re your body’s way of trying to get rid of the alcohol you drank the night before. So headaches, sick stomachs and depression are just some of the possible hangover symptoms.
Long term impact
In the long term, if you regularly drink more than the recommended amounts, alcohol can damage your brain, heart, stomach, reproductive organs and nerves.
Regularly drinking too much can lead to dependency or addiction. This can be terrible for your health and can also ruin relationships, families, your finances and your enjoyment of life.