Is drinking good for you in any way? If not, why is alcohol legal for adults?

10th August, 2021.      //   Health  // 

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For a long time, scientists have been attempting to figure out whether alcoholic beverages are good for your health, with often conflicting results.

What is certain is that alcohol, including wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages, can be harmful to your health for a variety of reasons. This is especially true for persons who drink extensively on a regular basis.

The effects of alcohol, which is produced by fermenting sugars found in grapes, barley, potatoes, and other plants, vary depending on how much is consumed. Other factors have a role, such as how much food people eat ahead of time or how much they weigh.

When someone drinks too much in a short period of time, they get inebriated and more likely to be wounded – whether by falling down, crashing a car, or getting into a fight. One example of how excessive drinking can be harmful is alcohol poisoning, often known as alcohol overdose.

When people use excessive amounts of alcohol on a regular basis, their bodies get reliant on it, and their brains send signals that they want to drink all of the time. This is referred to as having an alcohol use disorder, which is the medical name for alcoholism or alcohol addiction. Other long-term issues, such as liver disease, can also arise. Even at low levels of drinking, research has identified robust correlations between alcohol and cancer.

When teenagers and young adults drink excessively, their brains may change, making them less inhibited and more impulsive.

Experts, on the other hand, have long argued that consuming little amounts of alcohol improves adult health. A few glasses of wine a week, according to some research, may lower the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, a prevalent cause of memory loss and dementia. However, several circumstances can negate any potential benefits, and other researchers have come to opposing conclusions.

Approximately two-thirds of adults in the United States use alcoholic beverages. Most people drink them in moderation, with women having one or fewer standard drinks per day and males having two or less.

However, there are around 95,000 alcohol-related deaths in the United States each year, and the figure is increasing. More scientists are now stating that even small amounts of alcohol can be harmful to one’s health.

Why it’s legal

The fundamental reason why alcohol is still legal in the United States, despite overwhelming knowledge of its harmful effects, is that attempts to outlaw it a century ago failed.

Following the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920, the federal government made it illegal to manufacture, export, or sell alcoholic beverages.

Prohibition, as it was known at the time, was enacted in response to worries about drinking causing family turmoil, as well as other factors such as reduced worker productivity.

Prohibition initially had the effect of lowering alcohol consumption. However, it aided the illegal liquor trade. This behavior, known as “bootlegging,” resulted in new issues.

With the passing of the 21st Amendment in 1933, national alcohol prohibition came to an end. For decades, certain states continued to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages, and many local restrictions remain in place today.

Despite the fact that alcohol is permitted for adults, children and teenagers should avoid it totally. In general, people should not begin drinking alcohol because they believe it will benefit their health. Adults who choose to drink should do so responsibly and be aware of the consequences.

After all, drinking alcohol isn’t the only bad habit that could be beneficial in the long run.  Cake and ice cream, for example, are heavy in calories but poor in nutrients. However, many individuals love eating sweet foods that taste nice, and a tiny dessert now and then is often not hazardous in moderation.