Moderation, as ever, is the best response

A LECTURE on the destructive evils of alcohol abuse might not immediately gather a large audience on the weekend before Christmas reaches a festive climax, but a warning from a liver specialist on the consequences of excessive drinking cannot be wisely ignored.

Consultant hepatologist at Cork University Hospital Dr Órla Crosbie, who has seen significant growth in the number of women trying to cope with a life-threatening liver disease because they drink too much, has said that the drinking game, the Twelve Pubs of Christmas, is “one of the worst inventions” and that it puts those who undertake it in jeopardy socially and medically.

Dr Crosbie also warned that alcohol-driven liver disease was manifesting itself in ever-younger patients — her youngest patient in 2015 was just 26.

Even the most enthusiastic social drinker must find such an early onset of a self-inflicted disease sobering.

She also pointed to the shifting gender balance among cirrhosis patients. Once, these were predominately male, but 38% of those she treated last year were female.

There have been myriad campaigns, and legislation is proposed to try and make our relationship with alcohol a better, more balanced one.

Despite that, the best way to have a good relationship with drink is to drink moderately and have the courage to stick to that habit in all circumstances.


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