We drink to live. We need water, but we also drink with pleasure and ritual. Mix your drinks with love and care and know the risks.
Alcohol is a social drug which acts as a “depressant” – it shuts down brain and body functions and if you drink enough at one time it stops your breathing and you die. Alcohol causes loss of coordination and judgement and slows reaction times, contributing to many accidents.
Small amounts of alcohol cause “disinhibition”, or loss of restraint or control on impulses, emotions and instincts such as sexuality and aggression. Some value this effect in social situation, describing it as “Dutch courage” or a “social lubricant”.
Chronic heavy use of alcohol leads to physical addiction to alcohol, or alcoholism, sometimes called a “disease” as it destroys the liver and leads to early death after a destroyed life. Regular consumption of alcohol can also lead to weight gain because of the calories in alcoholic drinks.
Health authorities recommend that alcohol use should stay below 2-3 units per day, with a slightly lower lever set for women than men.