Men and Heavy Drinking: The Risks

When it comes to alcohol consumption, you may not be surprised to learn that men are bigger drinkers than women. Yet, men face serious risks related to heavy drinking; risks that shouldn’t be ignored.

Men Drink More Than Women

According to information put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority (63 percent) of men will consume some alcohol during any given month. Over the course of one year, men will binge on alcohol (defined as having five or more consecutive drinks) more than 12 times on average. During that same year, women will binge on alcohol an average of less than three times. Men drink larger quantities and more often than women, and this puts them at greater risk for alcohol-linked problems and more in need of treatment for alcohol use. Despite the number of times that a majority of men binge on alcohol, most do not become alcohol-dependent. Just 17 percent of men fit the criteria for alcoholism compared to 8 percent of women. Nevertheless, heavy drinking is a problem for men.

A Greater Chance of Violent Death or Injury

Men who drink take more chances than women. Men are more apt than women to drive recklessly after drinking and also less likely to put on their safety belt when they get in the car. As a result, men are two times more likely than women to be killed in an alcohol-related car accident. Even when they survive, they wind up in the hospital more often than women as a result of their drinking. Men also run a greater chance of committing suicide after drinking.

More Alcohol Means Less Sexual Ability

Although men may sometimes drink socially in order to feel more comfortable talking with women, having too many will make it difficult for them to do much else. Research shows that heavy drinking lowers a man’s hormone production in ways that increase his risk of impotence or infertility. And whereas young men often feel older and more mature with a drink in their hand, the reality is that drinking in youth can hinder the production of male sex traits such as hair on the face or chest.

Cancer Risks Related to Heavy Drinking

Drinking can make a person feel invincible, but when men drink too much, alcohol increases their risk for cancer everywhere that it travels in the body–including the mouth, esophagus, throat, colon and liver.

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