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Short-Term Effects of Alcohol

What Type of A Drinker Are You?

The Psychological Effects of Drinking Alcohol

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol

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Short-Term Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol is a potent central nervous system depressant with a wide range of effects. The amount you consume effects how drunk you will get.

The effects of alcohol change over time. When you first start drinking. You may feel relaxed. But the more you drink, the more side effects you begin to feel, like blurred vision and slurred speech.

Euphoria is an effect that alcohol has on people. Essentially, getting the euphoric effect means you will feel an overall mood improvement. You may be more self-confident when drinking. Your attention span shortens and you may feel more flushed. Whether your believe it or now, your judgment won't be as good as you think it is and you may well say the first thing that comes to mind or do things that you would not normally do. You will also start to have trouble with fine movements such as signing their name. With more alcohol, lethargy may start to set in. Lethargy is the side effect where you may become sleepy. You have trouble remembering things that happened, even recent things you have done. Body movements are uncoordinated and you may react to situations more slowly. Your vision becomes blurry and they have trouble seeing.

Confusion is also caused by drinking. You may get confused and very emotional, less likely to respond to pain. If you get in a fight while you are drunk, you will not feel the pain until the alcohol wears off.

Stupor is another short term effect of alcohol. In this condition movement is seriously impaired and you may lapse in and out of consciousness. You can slip into a coma and become completely unaware of your surroundings. At this point, the risk to the body is very high due to alcohol poisoning. Loss of body functions can begin like losing control of the bladder, breathing and heart rate.

Drinking large amounts of alcohol can lead to coma and even death. If you want to avoid these risks, the best way to do it is to avoid alcohol. You can start being effected by alcohol from the very first sip, whether you realize it or not.

Excessive doses of alcohol can cause long term as well as short-term side effects. Some of the long term effects are: slowing, blurred vision, vertigo, amnesia, ataxia, and hangovers.

The liver is part of the body's filtration system. This means when it is damaged it allows certain toxins to build up, leading to symptoms of Jaundice. This is what you are seeing when a person's skin begins to turn yellow.

Many people don’t think of alcohol as a drug but the fact is that it is a drug. It is just as lethal as any other drug can be. When you overuse any drug you can expect consequences. This is also true with alcohol. Many people think that it is okay to have a beer once in a while or that if you drink at home you won’t be hurting anyone.

Think again. You are hurting yourself and by hurting yourself you are hurting the ones that care about you. Whether you drink some at home or at a bar, alcohol can have the same effect on you. One sip and the process begins.

Find Out More:

In order to start making changes with your relationship with alcohol please visit the Alcohol Free Social Life website where you will learn specific techniques and examples of how to make changes now:

What Type of A Drinker Are You?

According to a recent UK Department of Health study, there are several reasons as to why people drink to excess on a regular basis.

They have identified nine main groups or reasons why people drink heavily. Heavy drinking is defined as 35 units per week for women and 50 units per week for men. This is twice the recommended limit.

Although this is obviously just a general guide, where do you think you fit into this? It may be you fit across categories or even have other reasons outside of the nine presented below. However, it is a useful guide to start looking at the causes for your heavy drinking.

Depressed drinker Your life is in a state of crisis, e.g. recently bereaved, divorced or in a financial crisis. Alcohol is a comforter and a form of self-medication to help you cope
Destress drinker You have a pressurised job or stressful home-life leading you to have feelings of being out of control and burdened with responsibility. You use alcohol to relax, unwind and calm down and to help with switching between your work and your personal life. Partners often support or reinforce this behaviour by preparing drinks for you.
Re-bonding drinker You use alcohol as the ’shared connector’ that unifies your friends and your social circle. You often forget the time and the amount of alcohol you are consuming.
Conformist drinker You use going to the pub or bar as what ‘men do’ and it is your second home and you have a sense of belonging and acceptance within this environment.
Community drinker You drink in fairly large social friendship groups. You have a sense of community forged through the pub group. Drinking for you provide a sense of safety and security and gives your life meaning and also acts as a social network with your friends.
Boredom drinker This is especially true if you are a single mother or recent divorcee with a restricted social life. Drinking is company, making for an absence of people. Drinking marks the end of the day perhaps following the completion of chores.
Macho drinker You often feel undervalued, disempowered and frustrated in important areas of your life. You have actively cultivated a strong alpha male identity that revolves around your drinking prowess. Your drinking is driven by a constant need to assert your masculinity and status to yourself and others.
Hedonistic drinker You are single, divorced and/or with grown-up children. Drinking excessively is a way for you to visibly express your independence, freedom and ‘youthfulness’ to yourself. You use alcohol to release your inhibitions.

Find Out More:

In order to start making changes with your relationship with alcohol please visit the Alcohol Free Social Life website where you will learn specific techniques and examples of how to make changes now:

The Psychological Effects of Drinking Alcohol

Many people believe alcohol is a stimulant and is a 'social lubricant'. A good way of relaxing and freeing yourself from shyness and being more able to socially communicate and interact with new potential friends or romantic partners.

However, as we have already seen, alcohol is both a poison and a drug. In this section we will learn how alcohol affects you emotionally and socially, causing you to become dependent and reliant on its effects.

Unless you deal with the underlying causes of your emotional and social impairment e.g. low self-esteem, a stressful job, feeling of social awkwardness, and anxiety in social situations, you will have an additional problem to deal with, i.e. the serious effects of alcohol rather than just the issue at hand. And it can also exacerbate these negative emotional feelings and magnify them.

So, if you are in a good emotional state and then drink you are more likely to be able to moderate your drinking. If you are using alcohol to change your emotional state then excess is a likely possibility as well as frequently drinking in order to get back to the change in emotional state.

Emotional Effects

The most recognised form of emotional effect of drinking alcohol is the reduction of inhibitions you feel upon drinking. This is because of its role as a depressant. This means that alcohol starts to change how you act and speak, and it is these behaviours that cause problems for you emotionally and socially.

Drunk people can put both themselves and others in danger through aggressive or inappropriate behaviour. The lack of awareness can put drunk people in danger of physical and sexual violence. In the US, UK and Canada, researchers found that most domestic violence incidents (spouse and child abuse) occur when the perpetrator has been drinking excessively.

Excessive drinking also affects chemical balances within the brain. Such as the production of serotonin, which regulates moods. So depressive feelings, insomnia, and a loss of concentration can be the results.

Heavy drinking interferes with the balance of chemicals in the brain. It lowers the production of serotonin, which regulates to mood - this leads to mild symptoms of depression, including insomnia, sluggishness, anxiety and loss of concentration.

Magnifying Your Existing Emotions

Alcohol is like a magnifier. If you are depressed, it will make you more depressed. The same goes for angry people who can become angrier and more violent.

Psychological Impacts of Drinking

There are also other likely problems that result from excessive drinking:

  • Addiction/dependence
  • Cravings can develop as you rely on alcohol for mood change and also to divert attention away from life problems
  • Psychiatric issues e.g. clinical depression, dementia, and/or anxiety and impulse control disorders
  • negative thoughts and patterns can be developed and exacerbated by reliance on alcohol
  • Distorted sense of judgement
  • Anti-social behaviour and negative social relationships can be the consequence of excessive drinking

Find Out More:

In order to start making changes with your relationship with alcohol please visit the Alcohol Free Social Life website where you will learn specific techniques and examples of how to make changes now:

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol

Long-Term Physical Effects of Drinking

In terms of the body, it is the liver that is the most likely organ for long-term damage as it is responsible for breaking down the ethanol in alcohol. Frequent and excessive drinking will overload the liver and lead to the development of a fatty liver and usually to hepatitis and cirrhosis.

Another issue is skin damage - you can often tell someone who is a heavy drinker because of their red cheeks and nose due to broken capillaries. In addition, there are physical signs - the “beer belly” from the excess calories in beer, particularly.

Drinking too much too often will cause physical damage, increase the risk of getting some diseases, and make other diseases worse. Excessive drinking over time is associated with:

  • Hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver
  • Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) or pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • High blood pressure/Hypertension (which can lead to stroke)
  • Certain types of cancer, including mouth, oesophagus, and throat
  • Permanent damage to the brain
  • Heart failure
  • Neurological problems such as epilepsy and peripheral neuropathy (lack of feeling in the hands and feet)
  • Certain types of vitamin deficiency leading to malnutrition

Emotional Long-Term Effects of Alcohol

We also know about the emotional long-term effects; the primary effect is the likelihood of alcohol addiction or dependence. Using alcohol as a drug to change your mood, making you feel, in the short term, good about yourself will lead in the long term to an addiction. This is because it becomes your strategy; you are psychologically reliant on alcohol to feel good.

Over the long-term, it becomes a habit to drink and therefore the body and mind expects it. It can also signify boredom because over a long period you have the same behaviours; variety is often needed for enjoyment and excitement in life, a task which alcohol can no longer do for you.

The other issue is hopelessness which can lead to feelings of helplessness and suicidal thoughts. You come to believe that you cannot help yourself or anyone else. Only alcohol can do this for you; you believe that you can never change your destructive alcohol addiction.

Denial of the problem can lead to both guilt and shame and make it harder to admit you have a problem, especially because the problem has gotten worse over time.

So, the earlier you can deal with any issues with alcohol the better - for you both emotionally and physically.

Find Out More:

In order to start making changes with your relationship with alcohol please visit the Alcohol Free Social Life website where you will learn specific techniques and examples of how to make changes now: