Drinking over a lifespan

Drinking over a lifespan

  • Introduction

    This website shares a lot of information designed for an average person. However, over the span of your life, your decisions about drinking will likely change to some extent. Did you know that the effects of alcohol on you will change too? Below are a few life stages during which you may want to consider or reconsider your decisions about drinking.

  • Underage and young people

    Views on alcohol and children or young people vary by culture. However, there are a few universal concepts to consider carefully: Drinking, and particularly heavy drinking, may have negative effects on the growing body, particularly on the developing brain. Physical and emotional reactions to alcohol may be quite different from the reactions of an adult. Alcohol may bring about increased risk for negative emotional, physical, and sexual experiences. Decision-making can be impulsive and emotional, particularly with adolescents who may have… read more

  • Starting a family

    Conception. If you are starting a family, speak with your healthcare provider about your specific situation to identify what is right for you. Prolonged heavy drinking by men is associated with sexual performance issues and reduced sperm count. For women there seems to be an association between alcohol abuse and infertility, although exactly how alcohol makes women less fertile isn’t clearly understood. Pregnancy. Research studies have not established a safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy or even among women who… read more

  • Parenting

    You are a role model. Research shows that parents are the strongest influence on their children’s drinking decisions – even if young people don’t want to admit it. Your children are watching your behavior, which has a tremendous influence on them. If you choose to drink, model healthy decision-making when it comes to alcohol. Be clear that it is not acceptable to drink and drive or to drink to excess. Regardless of your best efforts, your child may witness unhealthy alcohol… read more

  • Middle-aged drinking patterns and health

    The body’s ability to process alcohol slows with age. Periodically, it is important to reconsider how much or how often you drink alcohol. You may find that a smaller amount of alcohol has a more significant effect than before, and that there are increased health risks with excessive drinking. There can also be benefits to moderate consumption, including control of your blood cholesterol and reduction of the risk for coronary heart disease and adult onset diabetes for middle-aged and older… read more

  • Alcohol and the elderly

    Physical effects. The body’s ability to process alcohol declines with age. Body water retention declines and reduces the amount of blood in the body; therefore, a smaller amount of alcohol can have a bigger effect. Also, there is evidence that moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and dementia, the leading cause of disability in old age. Take the time to reconsider how much and how often you drink alcohol from time to time to be… read more