This story is the best reason on the internet to stop drinking today!

If we asked you to produce an after-action review of how much alcohol you drank in the last fortnight, chances are you don’t know. Doctors say, you are not the only one.

Youngesters everywhere are slipping into an indisciplined drinking pattern, losing count of how much they have downed.

Mirror asked a 35-year-old marketing executive from Brooklyn to keep a tab on the booze he consumed over a week. Here’s what he said:

“After getting home from work, I usually switch on the TV and enjoy about four pegs of whiskey with some fried chicken. This is a sort of routine, four days a week. On weekends, friends come over for a drink. I end up drinking about six large pegs in one evening. This is how it’s been for the last five years.”

“Do you believe you are hooked to alcohol?” we ask.

“No. It’s just how I unwind after a day at work. I’m perfectly healthy,” he says.

We asked Patrick, alcohol de-addiction expert and founder of Living Free Foundation, if he agrees with the young professional. Pat said, the young man is in denial. He is addicted to alcohol, although he cannot be classified as an alcoholic because he is not physically dependent on it. “When alcohol starts to affect your life, and you experience a breakdown of relationships and problems at work, you are defined as an alcoholic. Although an addict, the young man continues to fulfil major responsibilities at work and home, and is therefore best described as an indisciplined drinker,” said Pat.

A week in the life of the young drinker’s liver

Whether alcoholics or indisciplined drinkers, excessive drinking causes equal damage to your vital organs, says Dr. Richard, liver transplant surgeon at St. Frank’s Hospital. The danger with denial drinkers is that they are unaware of the damage to their health, risking sudden organ failure. “In most cases, regular drinkers don’t notice subtle signs such as fatigue, drowsiness, and fluid build up in the abdominal cavity,” says Dr Richard. “Drinking over a long period cause healthy liver cells to die. These are replaced by scar tissue, changing the smooth liver surface into lumps that obstruct blood flow out of the liver. This leads to excessive pressure build-up in the liver tissue, causing fluid leakage from its surface into the abdominal cavity,” he explains.

You are hooked if

You drink alone: The young man is single, and shares an apartment with two other youngsters who don’t share his passion for alcohol.

You shy away from socializing: On weekends, the young man prefers meeting friends at home, rather than outside. Television and alcohol is a dangerous duo.

Your face develops puffiness: Alcohol causes dehydration, signalling a water crisis to the body’s cells. The cells react by retaining water, resulting in enlarged blood vessels and bloating, especially on the face.

You have put on weight: Dietician Dr Tina says 100 ml of any spirit including rum, whiskey or vodka, contains 200 calories, while 100 ml of wine packs in 74 calories. A 100 ml of beer has 30 calories. “Alcohol contains empty calories with no nutritional value. Most of it gets stored as fat,” she says. No wonder then that our young drinker weighs 95 kgs, 15 kgs more than he should, given his height.

Easy ways to cut intake

Make up an excuse: If you are in the company of indisciplined friends who insist you have another peg, tell them you are hungover from last night.

Change the clock: If you drink at the same time every day, start an hour later. This one hour can cut down as many as 10 alcohol units, assuming you drink every night.

Drink water: Experts say you drink more when you are thirsty because when booze enters your body, your brain recognises it as fluid, not alcohol and soaks it all in.

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