For many across the UK, alcohol is a significant problem. This substance is enjoyed in moderation by most people but, for others, it can take over their lives and cause both physical and emotional damage. Individuals that regularly drink more than the recommended daily amounts are putting themselves at risk of developing certain diseases as well as damaging relationships with their loved ones.
The more a person drinks, the higher their risk of addiction. Those who drink excessively will develop tolerance to the substance and will, therefore, eventually need more of it to experience the same highs. When this happens, the affected individual will become dependent on alcohol as his or her body begins to crave it. After this, he or she will progress to addiction and a stage where they cannot live without alcohol and will suffer withdrawal symptoms when not drinking.
Alcohol addiction is a serious illness that requires treatment, but many alcoholics are in denial about their problems. They do not believe that their drinking habits are serious enough to be labelled as alcoholism and often believe that their loved ones are exaggerating when they suggest it has become a problem.
Taking an Alcohol Break
While alcoholism is a big problem for many, those who do not have an alcohol addiction but drink regularly is also being advised to think about their alcohol consumption. A recent report found that there is no safe level of alcohol that can reduce the risk of dementia while another report has revealed that going dry for just one month can reduce the risk of life-threatening diseases developing.
A study by University College London has found that abstaining from alcohol for just four weeks, can lower blood pressure and improve liver function. This break can also reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity and the risk of developing certain cancers.
The study was carried out on 102 men and women who took part in the 2015 Dry January campaign. Those studied were all in their forties and were healthy, but all were drinking more than the recommended alcohol limits before the campaign. The women were drinking an average of twenty-nine units per week and the men thirty-one.
After the Dry January campaign, there was an average weight loss of six pounds and participants were reporting improvements in both sleep and concentration. Researchers found that those involved in the study saw a 28 per cent reduction in insulin resistance and a 12.5 per cent reduction in liver stiffness (which is a sign of damage).
According to liver specialist Professor Moore, participants livers had substantial improvement after the four weeks. She said, “There was certainly substantial improvement in various parameters of the liver. The other parameters, blood pressure, cholesterol, how well the subjects slept were also substantial.
Professor Moore believes that Dry January should be extended for longer periods and has confidence that people will begin to drink less going forward.
The Department of Health is currently reviewing the Government guidelines on safe alcohol consumption and, according to The Times, it will be examining the results of this study. Currently, the guidelines recommend that women drink no more than 2-3 units of alcohol per day while men should stick to no more than 3-4. However, many experts believe that even these limits are too high and should be lowered.
New guidelines are expected to be released in the coming months.
For many people, cutting out alcohol for a period of four weeks is not an easy task. Those who have become dependent on this substance need help to quit; Rehab Helper is here to offer advice and support to those individuals. If you are worried about your alcohol consumption and would like to quit, contact us today for more information on how we can help.