Can you Afford to Take the Risk?

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We all know that drinking too much isn't a good thing, hangovers, nausea, and tiredness, not to mention the unfortunate effect on our appearance should deter us more than it does.

However, we get over it, drink a little fresh orange juice and a few coffees and we can just about face the day. Few of us consider the long term effects and the risk of developing a serious illness. Health problems linked to over drinking range from breast and oral cancers, heart disease, strokes and liver damage with more and more people being referred to residential alcohol rehabilitation centres to achieve sobriety.

alcohol-beerMost of us are aware of the link between excessive alcohol consumption and liver damage but what about our other organs? In the past a number of heart studies conducted suggested that moderate alcohol consumption does infact protect against heart disease by raising good cholesterol and preventing dangerous blood clots forming.

It is a fine line however, as drinking more than 3 drinks a day has been discovered to have the opposite effect on the heart, causing direct and irreversible damage.

Excessive drinking over time has been shown to cause congestive heart failure, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, strokes and at the very least dangerously high blood pressure.

The connection between cancer and alcohol is well established. A study conducted and published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) estimated that alcohol consumption causes at least 13,000 of cancer cases in the UK every year and an increase in those being admitted to private rehab clinics.

The research went on to say that for every additional 10g of alcohol consumed a day, the risk of breast cancer increased by around 7-12%.

For bowl cancer, experts say that increasing alcohol intake over the accepted allowance by 100g increases the risk of developing the disease by 19%. Alcohol also impairs the body's ability to fight off infections as well as causing infertility in women and low sperm count in men.

Experts believe the key to alcohol's negative effect on the body is acetaldehyde, the product produced by the body when it breaks down the alcohol. Alcohol is clearly a growing public health issue, figures released alcohol related hospital admissions in 2010 reached record levels with over a million people being admitted, double what was being seen 10 years ago. So how much alcohol is too much?

Although the UK government guidelines are that women should drink no more than 2-3 units of alcohol per day and men 3-4 units. For a clear breakdown of the unit rates and how to measure your intake please read our recent blog 'UK Government Statement on Alcohol Consumption - Take Two Days Off a Week'.

Los Olivos is a private rehab clinic situated in the Spanish countryside. Secluded yet with in-house professionals to support those in recovery, Los Olivos is a residential alcohol rehabilitation centre dedicated to enabling sobriety and maintaining it.