Regularly drinking above recommended daily limits risks damaging your health.
There’s no guaranteed safe level of drinking, but if you drink below recommended daily limits, the risks of harming your health are low.
And it’s certainly not only people who get drunk or binge-drink who are at risk. Most people who regularly drink more than the NHMRC guidelines recommend don’t see any harmful effects at first.
Alcohol’s hidden harmful effects usually only emerge after a number of years. By then, serious health problems can have developed.
Liver problems, reduced fertility, high blood pressure, increased risk of various cancers and heart attack are some of the numerous harmful effects of regularly drinking above recommended levels.
The effects of alcohol on your health will depend on how much you drink. The more you drink, the greater the health risks.
Drinking a lot of alcohol regularly over time is likely to cause physical, emotional or social problems. Damage to some body organs can be permanent. Problems can include:
- poor diet
- stomach problems
- frequent infections
- skin problems
- liver and brain damage
- damage to reproductive organs
- memory loss/confusion
- heart and blood disorders
- relationship problems
- work problems
- money or legal troubles
Age is an important determinant of health risks related to alcohol. Harm from alcohol-related accident or injury is experienced disproportionately by younger people; for example, over half of all serious alcohol-related road injuries occur among 15–24-year-olds. Harm from alcohol-related disease is more evident among older people.