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Study shows that consuming any amount of alcohol has health risks Print
Alcohol is physically bad for you in any quantity; and the more you drink, the worse its health effects. The gigantic [Lancet] report on the subject published [on 23 August 2018] is unequivocal and authoritative…. The report was based on enormous amounts of data: 28 million people around the world were examined in 592 studies to estimate the health risks, while the prevalence of drinking was estimated using a further 694 studies. Some of the effects of large-scale drinking are really shocking. In Russia, after the failure of Gorbachev’s attempt to curtail the country’s vodka habit, alcohol caused 75% of the deaths of men under 55, at a time when life expectancy was actually falling. Around the world today, alcohol is responsible for 20% of the deaths in the 15 to 49 age group (the researchers include in this an estimate for the proportion of road traffic fatalities cause by drunk driving, though this is extrapolated from US data).

The variety of ways in which alcohol can kill or damage people comes as a shock. In the poorest countries, its primary means of damage is through TB; as countries grow more developed (and drink, on average, more) the damage shifts to cancer and heart disease. It is the trade-off between cancer and heart disease which leads the researchers to reject the notion that moderate drinking has health benefits compared with abstinence: they find that the increased risk of cancers outweighs the diminished risk of heart disease among middle-aged moderate drinkers.

Perhaps the most startling single finding is that two-thirds of the world’s population don’t drink at all. They manage without a drug apparently essential to civilised life in the west…

But the report’s concentration on the physical ill effects of alcohol consumption leaves two important questions unanswered. The direct physical effects of the drug are not the reasons for its popularity or use. It is the effect on mood and even intellect that many people take it for. This isn’t an entirely benevolent one. Drunken drivers, and drunken physical violence, cause immense suffering. The emotional damage that even high-functioning alcoholics do to their families is profound and lasting. Alcohol is bad for judgment and can promote a destructive solipsism.

SANHA Comments:
We thank Allah Who sent us a Book and Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) to guide us to a wholesome lifestyle.  We abstain from the impure upon His command whether there are studies to explain the harms or not. Alcohol is impure for Muslim consumption in any quantity and we should be aware of terms used for alcohol in various forms in a variety of foods and drinks, such as:
  •     Liquor (not chocolate liquor which is Halaal)
  •     Liqueur (found in chocolates)
  •     Kirsch
  •     Cointreau (e.g. in certain Lindt variants)
  •     Ethanol (depending on source and quantity)

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