How does alcohol affect your health?

Drinking alcohol can be harmful to your health. It can damage your liver and other organs. Alcohol can also interfere with your ability to think straight and make good decisions, which can put your life in danger. If you become pregnant, alcohol at any time during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects. That is why it’s important for people of reproductive age to know about the dangers of using alcohol in case they become pregnant.

If you drink alcohol and you get pregnant, can it hurt the baby?

Yes. If you drink alcohol while pregnant, it affects the baby too. Alcohol use during pregnancy is a major cause of mental retardation and birth defects. These effects happen very early in pregnancy, before you may know you are pregnant. If there is any chance that you could become pregnant, stop drinking alcohol now. If you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to use an effective form of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider about what kind of birth control is best for you. There is no safe level of alcohol during pregnancy. People who drink alcohol during pregnancy may have babies with serious alcohol-related birth problems. Learn about how alcohol can affect a pregnancy...

Resources that can help

If you need help to give up drinking, talk with your doctor or other health care worker. They can help you find local resources. For information about support groups for alcohol abuse, visit the Alcoholics Anonymous or American Addiction Centers Resource.

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