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November 20, 2019

Beware of health hazards of drinking in summer

Myanmar has a hot season from March to May with scorching daytime temperatures. During this period, drinking too much alcohol can damage health. Drinking impairs both physical and mental abilities and it also decreases inhibitions.
Alcoholic beverages contain different percentages of alcohol. A standard beer contains about 5 percent alcohol; wine contains 12 percent and spirits have 40 percent. Distilled alcohol is classified by “proof,” with 100-proof alcohol containing 50 percent alcohol, 80-proof containing 40 percent and so on.
Medical experts say a standard drink is considered to be 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of wine cooler, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled liquor. Doctors recommend men limit daily alcohol consumption to two drinks, while women should have no more than one drink per day.
However, all need to assume responsibility not only for health, but also the safety of others in terms of driving and other actions under the influence of alcohol, as consumption can cause mental and physical problems.
Some effects of drinking to excess are not reversible and can cause permanent damage to health. Health problems include high blood pressure, liver disease, cancer, particularly breast cancer, cancer of the gullet, mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, infertility, heart disease, stomach ulcers, damage to an unborn child, osteoporosis (thinning of the bones), pancreatitis, stroke, dementia and brain damage.
As alcohol is a powerful chemical, organs known to be damaged by long-term misuse include the brain and nervous system, heart, liver and pancreas. In the long term, alcohol can weaken the immune system, making heavy drinkers more vulnerable to serious infections.
Alcoholics are more likely to have relationship problems, particularly with their immediate families. This often makes life hard for their dependents. Many young people have lost their lives in vain due to excessive drinking. Some ASEAN countries have already limited the time for selling alcohol. The move has seen some benefits such as reducing traffic accidents and criminal cases. Myanmar should also consider something similar, while also taking action against producers of substandard beverages.

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