Where is the boundary between health and disease, in terms of alcohol consumption ?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an interesting question.  I think that the answer to this depends on whom you are asking.  In my mind, I think that there is a very tenuous boundary between health and disease because of the addictive elements within alcoholic consumption.  It seems to me that part of what makes alcohol so dangerous, outside of its impairment of judgment, thought, and reaction time, is that it can become such an easy, yet physically destructive habit over time.  This means that the line between health and disease can become blurred because the former can erode silently over time, while the latter takes strong hold.  I think this is why so many people recognize the dangers in alcohol far into their pattern of drinking.  It is also why older drinkers who have been engaged in the habit find it a difficult need to have to stop when health problems arise.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The boundary occurs in the level of dependency that one creates and the purpose for the consumption of alcohol. Like the previous posters said, there are benefits to alcohol consumption as long as it is done in moderation. However, this is assuming that you consume the alcohol for the sake of consuming and enjoying it, not to self-medicate, or to alter your psychological state. If the latter is the case, then it is a dangerous type of consumption that might lead to addiction. Addiction to alcohol, or alcoholism, brings with it a terrible series of maladies that would take years of behavioral therapy and detox to fix..

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What a good question, especially from someone in 9th grade. First, I would say that there is a boundary. Second, I would say that this boundary will differ from person to person, since people are different in their biological makeup. Third, I would draw the line at addiction. If there is an addiction, there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. The problem though is that people who are addicted rarely will admit it. Finally, the ancient Greek had a great adage: "Nothing in excess." If we follow this, then I think we are on solid grounds.

giorgiana1976 | Student

For alcohol to cause us a sense of well or have beneficial effects on sexual life, is enough to drink 330 milliliters of beer, wine 100-150 ml or 30-50 ml of spirituous liquors.

World Health Organization (WHO) defines moderate alcohol consumption as follows: Women should drink no more than two alcoholic beverages per day, men should not drink more than three alcoholic beverages a day, and when special occasions such as Christmas or New Year should avoid drinking more than four alcoholic beverages a day. In addition, WHO recommends that persons who  alcohol abused in a special occasion,to avoid drink a week, for the liver to work back to normal.

Specialists in nutrition say that wine contains antioxidants,  which has an important role in thinning the blood. In addition, moderate alcohol consumption protects the heart. However, doctors do not recommend alcohol consumption for cardiovascular protection.

Alcohol may give dependence, and excessive consumption risks outweigh the benefits. So abusive consumption of wine or any other alcoholic beverages lead to liver damage, or cirrhosis development, the development of osteoporosis, stomach ulcers, the acute or chronic pancreatitis. In addition, people who drink alcohol daily than the recommended dose had an increased risk of throat cancer, esophagus, liver and even breast cancer, doctors notice.

versatilekamini | Student

Alcohol affects central nervous system. It has wide range of  side effects. The side effects depend on the amount of consumption. For example, consuming alcohol after a heavy meal causes alcohol to absorb more slowly.

The concentration of alcohol in blood is usually measured in terms of the blood alcohol content. After excessive drinking, unconsciousness can occur and extreme levels of consumption can lead to alcohol poisoning and death. Because of the chronic and continuous consumption of alcohol, the increase in fatty acid levels results in forming of plaque in the hepatic capillaries. This situation leads to Liver Cirrhosis. As liver performs vital role in filtration mechanism of body, malfunctioning of liver often leads to jaundice (Hepatitis).