Alcohol dependency is the most common addiction in
the UK; it affects up to 9.7% of adults and is responsible
for thousands of deaths. If you are worried about your
drinking or someone else's drinking have a look at our
links page to find out more.
Alcohol leads to a loss of vitamin B complex, a vital
group of nutrients. Vitamin B deficiency can cause skin
damage, diarrhoea and depression. Decreased levels of
iron can lead to anaemia in the long term.
Your liver is vital; it breaks down nutrients so the
body can use them, detoxifies any poisons and removes
cell debris. These functions are so important that you
couldn't survive more than 24 hours without a liver.
Your liver is the organ responsible for processing alcohol
into non-toxic compounds. If you drink heavily over
a number of years your liver cells will suffer damage
and it won't be able to carry out its vital functions.
Long term drinking will result in a loss of brain cells.
Drinking increases the risk of cancer of the mouth,
larynx, pharynx and oesophagus, liver, stomach, colon
and rectum and possibly breast.
Alcohol can increase the risk of heart problems and
high blood pressure.
Constant use of alcohol causes irritation and inflammation
of the stomach and intestinal lining, causing ulcers
and damage to the pancreas.
Men can suffer from an inability to get an erection,
shrinking testes and penis and a reduced sperm count.
In women the menstrual cycle can be disrupted, it may
increase the risk of miscarriage and can result in low
birth weight and birth defects.
Alcohol is linked to many disorders including clinical
depression and an estimated 65% of suicides.