Many adults in the United States identify as social drinkers. The health effects of drinking alcohol in moderation can vary based on a person’s overall health, how much they drink, and other factors. Drinking in moderation doesn’t always mean having a drink every day. Many adults who consider themselves moderate drinkers drink alcohol a couple of times a week or less. But some also drink daily.
The effects of drinking alcohol every day on a daily basis can be more complicated. People who have a drinking problem will likely have difficulty reducing or stopping how much they drink. This feeling of lacking control or craving alcohol can be a sign of dependence and addiction. If you are loved one is struggling with the effects of drinking every day, Vertava Health’s alcohol addiction treatment can help. Call us at 844.451.0263 to learn more.
Short-Term Effects of Drinking Alcohol Every Day
Alcohol can have several short-term effects on both the brain and body, affecting how a person behaves, their ability to focus, and coordination. Drinking alcohol can also increase the risk of dangerous behaviors such as drinking and driving.
In general, alcohol can have mental and physical effects that can put a person at greater risk for engaging in risky behaviors, suffering injuries, and being either the perpetrator or victim of violence.
Short-term effects of alcohol include:
- Poor judgment
- Difficulty concentrating
- Decreased coordination
- Slowed reaction time
- Blurred or double vision
- Increased blood pressure
- Decreased body temperature
- Mood swings
- Blacking out
Whether or not a person experiences some or most of these short-term effects will depend on factors such as how much the person has drunk, body size, age, and tolerance for alcohol.
When Is Moderate Drinking Unsafe?
There are some circumstances in which even moderate drinking can be unsafe. In general, daily or moderate drinking may not be safe for people who are:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Under the age of 21
- Have certain medical conditions that can become worsened with alcohol use
- Taking medications that interact with alcohol
- Recovering from alcohol use or alcoholism
- Operating large or powerful machinery, including motor vehicles
If you can relate to one or more of the situations above, talk to your doctor before drinking alcohol. Continuing to drink while meeting one of the above criteria may harm your health and well-being.
Long-Term Effects of Drinking Alcohol Every Day
The short-term effects of alcohol, such as the increased risk of injuries and alcohol poisoning, are concerning. However, what’s become additionally worrying is increasing evidence pointing to some negative long-term effects of drinking, even in moderate amounts.
Drinking alcohol can increase the risk for several health conditions and diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Cancer (throat, stomach, oral cavity, breast cancer, esophagus, liver, rectum, colon)
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Memory problems
- Erectile dysfunction or irregular menstruation
Drinking daily and in large amounts can also lead to changes in weight, cause dehydration, and be riskier for people with health conditions such as diabetes.
These long-term health consequences are more likely to occur when a person drinks more than a ‘moderate’ amount of alcohol – i.e., more than one or two drinks per day.
This does not mean that moderate drinking, or drinking on a daily basis, is completely safe. Every person who goes on to develop a drinking problem has to begin somewhere, and for many, that starting point can be moderate or daily drinking. Drinking alcohol every day is not a definitive sign of alcohol use or addiction by itself.
Signs that someone may have a drinking problem include:
- Continuing to drink in the face of negative effects on health, relationships, or work-life
- Unable to reduce or cut down on drinking
- Experiencing cravings for alcohol
- Needing to drink more than you used to in order to feel the same effects
- Often drinking more than you expected or wanted to
- Hiding or lying about how much you drink
If you are uncomfortable with how much you drink or are worried about your drinking habits, consider talking to your doctor or an addiction specialist. Drinking problems tend to grow worse over time and can have consequences on all aspects of your life beyond just your health.
Treat Your Daily Drinking at Vertava Health
If you are concerned about your own drinking habits, or that of someone else, the first step is to reach out to a professional. At Vertava Health, we have a free and confidential helpline that operates 24 hours a day, answering questions about alcohol use, addiction, and rehab options.
Our treatment centers, operating at several locations nationwide, offer various rehab programs that can be customized based on the severity of your drinking and other personal needs.