Alcohol Action Ireland, the national independent advocate for reducing alcohol harm, will today (Thursday 16th June) mark Men’s Health Week 2022 by encouraging men to take up the challenge of the week that mission is possible and the action starts with you.
In Ireland, most of the messages men get about alcohol emphasise a positive picture – relaxing and having fun with friends. But too often we don’t talk often about the negatives, but the risks are real. The more you drink, the greater your risk of alcohol-related harm.
Men’s Health Week 2022 offers all men who drink the opportunity to rethink their drink and reflect on the harm they may be doing to themselves, and others.
Alcohol affects endurance, muscle development and recovery, aside from the obvious
problems of trying to train or function with a hangover. It affects how proteins are made and reduces muscle build-up and cancels the benefits of a workout. We often don’t think about the calories in our alcoholic drinks the way we do with food, but a pint of beer can contain the same amount of calories as a bar of chocolate.
Alcohol lowers inhibitions, makes us more impulsive and causes us to do things we may not do if we were sober. Men are far more likely than women to engage in risk-taking behaviour after drinking; alcohol is a factor in one in four deaths of young men aged 15-39 in Ireland. Alcohol also increases your risk of several types of cancers such as mouth, throat, bowel and liver cancer. Each year in Ireland an estimated 670 men are diagnosed with alcohol attributable cancers
Dr Bobby Smyth, Board member with Alcohol Action, said:
Our message today is a simple one, after two let’s rethink the next one. Drinking within low-risk guidelines will reduce your risk of harm from alcohol. There is no ‘safe’ or ‘healthy’ amount of alcohol, but the less you drink, the lower the risk to your health. Drinking more than the low-risk guidelines roughly doubles your risk of cirrhosis of the liver and also increases your risk of liver cancer. Many men see alcohol as a way to relax and de-stress. However, alcohol can make it harder to cope with day-to-day stresses. At first, alcohol can seem to lessen symptoms of low mood and anxiety, but continued drinking will cause these feelings to worsen.
Men will find more information about alcohol and the risk to their physical and mental wellbeing and take the HSE alcohol test to find out more about what type of drinker they are and the impact of their drinking.: