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Alcohol consumption can be very dangerous for the user when it is in combination with other psychoactive substances or with some kinds of medicines. Always consult your physician or pharmacist for possible reactions when taking medications and avoid combining alcohol and illicit substances. Some combinations may lead to fatal overdoses due to cardiac arrest, liver failure, respiratory arrest.

Alcohol use is always dangerous for: pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as women who are trying to get pregnant; children; people with alcohol and drug dependence; people with family history of alcoholism; people who use some particular types of medicines; people suffering from certain diseases; people who drive and work with heavy machinery.

Long-term excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of tolerance (users need to increase the quantity to achieve the same effect), physical and psychological dependence. People with physical addiction suffer from withdrawal syndrome when they stop drinking. It includes tremors, sweating, anxiety, insomnia, delirium. The withdrawal syndrome is one of the diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence.

If you are concerned with your own or someone else’s alcohol consumption consult a healthcare professional. If a person is dependent on alcohol, he or she may need to undergo a detoxification in a hospital. It is also important to work with a psychologist or join a rehabilitation program.

Alcohol abuse leads to many physical illnesses such as:

• Brain damage, Korsakoff syndrome
• Premature aging of the skin on the face
• Throat or mouth cancer
• Weakened immune system, higher risk of pneumonia
• Weakened heart muscle which may lead to a heart attack
• High blood pressure
• Anemia and impaired blood coagulation
• Breast cancer
• Liver damage: cirrhosis, cancer
• Lack of vitamins leading to various illnesses
• Severe inflammation of the stomach, ulcer, cancer
• Hemorrhages
• Polyneuropathy (damaged nerves of the peripheral nervous system)
• Obesity or malnourishment