Alcohol consumption is commonplace. It can be used as a beverage with dinner, to relax, to socialize, or to celebrate. However, alcohol has been known to have strong effects on some who consume it. Many people fail to recognize the risks and manage the power that alcohol has on them. Alcohol is defined as a colorless liquid that is volatile and flammable. It is made from a natural fermentation of sugars. The intoxicating liquid can be used to manufacture various drinks for consumption, such as beer, wine, liquor, whiskey, and other spirits.
The Effects of Alcohol
What's In This Article?
The effects alcohol has on a person can vary significantly from one individual to another. There are several things that come into play regarding alcohol consumption. The factors that might impact the effects alcohol has on an individual might include:
- The health status of the individual
- Genetics or family history
- How much alcohol is consumed
- The frequency of alcohol consumption
Alcohol is not a problem alone but drinking too much alcohol can lead to various problems and increase the chances of suffering from various consequences.
What Happens When Someone Drinks Too Much
There are consequences for drinking too much alcohol. As soon as someone takes a drink of an alcoholic beverage, alcohol enters the bloodstream. When someone continues consuming alcohol, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level climbs. The BAC is the amount of alcohol in an individual’s bloodstream. As the BAC increases, the individual becomes more impaired. The effects from alcohol in the bloodstream might include:
- Reduced response time
- Slurred speech
- Impairment of motor functions
- Difficulty concentrating
- Problems with memory
- Breathing difficulty
- Even death
There are several other risks associated with alcohol consumption. Some of those include:
- Car accidents
- Criminal activity
- Violent behavior
- Risky behavior
When an individual consumes too much alcohol for a long timeframe, long-term effects could be suffered, such as:
- Increased odds of certain kinds of cancer
- Liver disease
- Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (brain disorder)
- Alcohol use disorder
Symptoms Of Alcohol Abuse
There are several symptoms associated with the abuse of alcohol. An individual who abuses alcohol does not have a physical dependence for it, but they have serious problems regarding alcohol use. Alcohol abuse can lead to social problems, difficulty at work, school and home, and lead to the tendency of more risky and dangerous behavior. Often, those who abuse alcohol face serious legal problems.
Another problem with alcohol use is binge drinking. Binge drinking men consume five or more drinks within in two hours while binge drinking women consume four or more drinks within that timeframe.
Risks Of Consuming Too Much Alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol is dangerous and can cause harm to the individual. Certain cancers are related to excessive alcohol consumption, so the risk of being diagnosed with those cancers increase when someone abuses alcohol. Too much alcohol can affect the organs, including the brain and liver. Alcohol consumption while pregnant can harm the fetus. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of death from suicide, homicide, accidental injuries, and car accidents.
What Are The Signs Of Alcohol Abuse Disorder?
There are several signs of alcohol abuse disorder. If one meets two or more of these criteria, he or she might be suffering from the condition:
- Had to increase alcohol consumption to feel the effects of the alcohol
- Had risky behavior or gotten into dangerous situations after drinking, such as driving while drunk or unsafe sex
- Cut back on enjoyable activities to drink
- Continued drinking despite it causing trouble with friends and family
- Continued drinking although it made you anxious or depressed
- Had symptoms of withdrawal when the alcohol is wearing off
- Found that drinking or its after effects interfered with school, work, or your family life
- Tried to cut down on drinking, but could not do so
- Felt the strong urge to drink
- Spent a lot of time either drinking or recovering from drinking
- Drank more than you planned or drank longer than you planned
Any of those symptoms are cause for concern. Anyone suffering from two or more of those symptoms should consult with their healthcare provider.
Alcohol dependence, also called alcoholism, is a disease that causes the individual to have a strong need to drink, suffer from a physical dependence that has withdrawal symptoms, the inability to control drinking and cannot stop consuming alcohol after starting, and increasing tolerance, which involves drinking more to get the same effects. Alcoholism can be effectively treated by a healthcare provider.