Is your drinking habit something to worry about?

Getting drunk day after day can cause brain damage. flickr/Thai Nguyen
Getting drunk day after day can cause brain damage.
flickr/Thai Nguyen

Those after work drinks or game-day beers might not be as harmless as you think. According to Dr. Joji Suzuki, the medical director of Brigham & Women’s Hospital’s Addiction Psychiatry Service, many American men are “at risk” drinkers.

Dr. Suzuki says there are three levels of drinkers: “those who don’t drink and are therefore not at risk, those who drink and are at risk and those who have alcohol dependency and need treatment.”  If you’re reading that and thinking, “Hey, I have a couple of beers on the weekend, what’s the big deal?” don’t stress. “An at-risk drinker is categorized as any male under the age of 65 who drinks more than 14 drinks in one week and/or drinks more than four drinks in one session,” says Dr. Suzuki.

Almost half of the male population — 40 percent — becomes an at-risk drinker at some point in their lives, “many during their college years,” Dr. Suzuki says. They may or may not become alcoholics, but at-risk drinkers pose plenty a danger on their own.

“Hospitals are full of at risk drinkers who have gotten into a car accident. Also, falling over [is a big problem]: They break a leg, or hit their head. Trauma units are required to screen for alcohol use. … Many of these folks just keep coming back.”

And the damage could spiral out to affect others, too.

“Alcohol leads to a lot of disinhibition and men say or do things they wouldn’t normally do,” Dr. Suzuki says, noting alcohol’s heavy use as a date rape drug. “Every year, thousands of sexual assaults occur due to questionable consent after binge drinking.”

Though alcoholism presents itself in many ways, someone extremely dependent on alcohol may drink every day and suffer withdrawal symptoms if he stops suddenly. Liver cirrhosis or brain degeneration can also occur. Dr. Suzuki says that education and awareness prevents most men from reaching that point.

“You don’t get cirrhosis at age 25, but if you keep it up, it catches up with you eventually,” he says.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.