THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION NOW STATES THAT THERE IS NO SAFE LOWER LIMIT OF ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Author: Dr Yakira Mishan
Society’s relationship with psychoactive substances has been a long and continuously evolving one. From Coca-Cola containing cocaine to cigarettes being promoted for health, the science of the health effects of these substances has often lagged behind the public opinions and recommendations. Alcohol is no exception to this rule. Alcohol has become accepted and even celebrated in many cultures. Until recently it was thought that 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men were safe(less than 7 per week for females and 14 per week for males). This notion has now been disproven
An article published by the World Health Organisation in the Lancet Public Health in January 2023 has classed alcohol as a Group 1 Carcinogen. Alcohol causes at least 7 types of cancer including bowel and breast cancer and is associated with almost 23 000 new cancers in 2017 in the European Union alone according to the WHO. While it is true that the more you drink the worse the effects on your health with the highest risk being to those that binge drink, there is now no level of alcohol consumption that has been identified below which alcohol does not harm your health. In particular even low alcohol use has been shown to increase your cancer risk. The other major concern in South Africa is the prevalence of alcohol related injuries. For many of you who have worked in a casualty over pay day or month end weekend you know first-hand the effect alcohol has on motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents as well as stabbings and shootings.
Previous research promoting the health benefits of low alcohol use is now under question as those who tend to drink less and especially binge drink less tend to be from higher socioeconomic classes which results in increased health from many other reasons.
Whereas many illicit substances and even tobacco has become socially accepted as being dangerous to your health there is still immense social pressure to have an alcoholic beverage and it forms a large part of social settings. This may pose a challenge to many of your patients especially those who are young adults.
The solution may lie in the use of non-alcoholic beverages. Many companies are now making non-alcoholic beverages to allow for the fun glasses, umbrellas and social engagement alcohol brings but without the health effects.
Checkout : Babylonstoren BitterLekker, Van Loveren Absolute Zero Nectar and Castle free .
Find the complete WHO statements here:https://www.who.int/europe/news/item/04-01-2023-no-level-of-alcohol-consumption-is-safe-for-our-health