Alcohol and health risks

Karen Tran, Staff Writer

To many consumers, there are a few seconds of paradise when taking the first sip of alcohol, but the effects can cause great damage. As people drink more, it causes short-term and long-term health risks. Even with the dangers lurking in alcohol, alcohol is easily available in common places. 

Many people may think that there is no harm in alcohol, and they say that a couple of beers, wines, or cocktails can help them be more confident, relaxed, and sociable. That could be true for some drinkers, but for others that first drink may be the start of their alcohol addiction and the consequences after consumption.  

Across the years, alcohol has been causing more deaths, according to the facts from HealthDay News.  A researcher says that there are about 2.8 million deaths a year worldwide because of alcohol. Alcohol consumption is not at a safe level, making alcohol one of the massive causes of death, liver disease, cancer, and more. 

Drinkers aren’t the only ones suffering, those who are around them are affected too. An article by Desert Hope says that more than 80 percent of the on college campus sexual assaults involved alcohol. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, causing people to engage in unsafe acts like road accidents and fights. Also, the 2017 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows that 16.5 percent of high school students said in the previous month they had ridden with a driver that had been drinking alcohol. About 5.5 percent of the students said they have driven after taking alcohol within the same one-month period. However, policies are helping to reduce alcohol consumption. 

Even with all the statistics and the warning signs, many people struggle with quitting alcohol or reducing consumption.

“I have a grandfather who is an alcoholic and has made no attempt to quit drinking. If drinkers are accepting of help and able to acknowledge they need help, supplying that help/trying to supply that help is good and even necessary,” a sophomore at Renton High shares.

Those people who can quit drinking have made an improvement in their lives. In an article by Healthline, many people who quit drinking tell their stories and how they quit drinking, inspiring others to stop drinking. Also, an article called Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help by National Institute is on alcohol abuse and alcoholism. It informs people they can reach out to get help. 

Even with a lot of health risks, people still say that alcohol is a benefit to health. Despite what they say, there are still problems. According to HealthDay News, the benefits are outweighed by the health risks and researchers measured that people who have one standard drink (10 grams of pure alcohol) a day have a 0.5 percent higher risk of one of 23 alcohol-related health problems than teetotalers. Almost every day people will see at least one alcohol commercial, and they all show the good side of drinking. But, what about cancer and other problems with drinking? Alcohol can cause long-term and short-term effects like: 

  • Short-term: Memory, blackouts, impaired decision making 
  • Long-term: Memory loss, loss of attention span, impaired muscle coordination 

Alcohol can be extremely deadly; the health benefits are absent. A few ways to stop the risks are to set a strong example that people can overcome alcohol addiction, inform more people that alcohol can be extremely deadly, or to find an alternative way to drink problems away. People should drink more responsibly, and altogether there will be less death and a lesser impact. 

The best action is to make alcohol laws stricter and ensure that people will drink more responsibly. People should be educated on drinking and driving in school. 


“23 Effects of Alcohol on Your Body.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 

“No Safe Level of Alcohol, New Study Concludes.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 24 Aug. 2018, 

Preidt, Robert. “Alcohol Helps Kill 2.8 Million People Globally Each Year.” Consumer HealthDay, 24 Aug. 2018,  

“Cigarettes vs. Alcohol: Comparing Physical, Psychological, and Social Harm.” Desert Hope, 

“2018 Alcoholism Statistics You Need to Know.” Talbott Recovery, 23 Oct. 2018, 

“Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,