What can Alcohol do for You?

Glasses of beer uid 1180097 Alcohol Related Harm

Hangovers are the most obvious result of a heavy drinking episode.

They are a much talked about subject due to the self inflicted feelings of sickness and nausea they cause a person.

But a hangover is not the only reminder of a heavy drinking session.

In 1986 the British Royal College of General Practitioners highlighted the potential harm related to alcohol arising from either regular heavy drinking or intoxication.

They categorised the resulting problems as social, psychological or physical, and listed these problems in two lists – Problems as a result of heavy drinking and problems as a result of intoxication, drunkenness. These are;



Problems related to regular heavy drinking


  • Family problems
  • Divorce
  • Homelessness
  • Work difficulties
  • Unemployment
  • Financial difficulties
  • Fraud
  • Debt
  • Vagrancy
  • Habitual convictions for drunkenness


  • Insomnia (problems getting to sleep, waking up early or unable to get back to sleep)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Attempted suicide
  • Suicide
  • Changes in personality
  • Amnesia (partial or total loss of memory or blackouts)
  • Delirium tremens (DT’s)
  • Withdrawal fits
  • Hallucinations
  • Dementia (Mental deterioration and loss of memory for recent events although long term memory is intact)
  • Gambling (compulsive)
  • Misuse of other drugs


  • Fatty liver disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Liver cancer
  • Gastritis (Inflammation of the lining of the stomach)
  • Pancreatitis (Inflammation of the pancreas; usually marked by abdominal pain)
  • Cancer of the mouth, voice box and throat
  • Cancer of breast
  • Cancer of the bowels
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiomyopathy ( a disorder of the heart)
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Strokes (loss of blood supply to the brain)
  • Brain damage
  • Neuropathy (damage to the nerves in legs or arms)
  • Myopathy (damage to the muscles)
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Infertility
  • Foetal damage in the womb
  • Haemopoietic toxicity (blood poisoning)
  • Reactions with other drugs

Problems relating to intoxication


  • Family arguments
  • Domestic violence
  • Child neglect/abuse
  • Domestic accidents
  • Absenteeism
  • Accidents at work
  • Inefficiency at work
  • Public drunkenness
  • Public aggression
  • Sports hooliganism
  • Theft
  • Burglary
  • Assault
  • Homicide
  • Drinking and driving
  • Road traffic accidents
  • Sexually deviant acts
  • Unwanted pregnancy


  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Attempted suicide
  • Suicide
  • Amnesia


  • Hepatitis
  • Gastritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gout (pain in the big toe and foot)
  • Cardiac arrhythmia (heart beat irregular)
  • Accidents
  • Trauma
  • Strokes
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Failure to take prescribed medicines
  • Foetal damage in the womb
  • Impotence

See also;


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