Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Effects Of Alcohol

"Be wary of strong drink.  It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss"
Robert Heinlein

People drink to socialize, celebrate, and relax.  Alcohol often has a strong effect on people – and throughout history, we’ve struggled to understand and manage alcohol’s power.  Why does alcohol cause us to act and feel differently?  How much is too much? Why do some people become addicted while others do not?

Alcohol’s effects vary from person to person, depending on a variety of factors, including:
  • How much you drink
  • How often you drink
  • Your age
  • Your health status
  • Your family history
Consequences of drinking too much
Alcohol enters your bloodstream as soon as you take your first sip. Alcohol’s immediate effects can appear within about 10 minutes. As you drink, you increase your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, which is the amount of alcohol present in your bloodstream.  The higher your BAC, the more impaired you become by alcohol’s effects.  These effects can include:
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Slurred speech
  • Motor impairment
  • Confusion
  • Memory problems
  • Concentration problems
  • Coma
  • Breathing problems
  • Death
Other risks of drinking can include:
  • Car crashes and other accidents
  • Risky behaviour
  • Violent behaviour
  • Suicide and homicide
People who drink too much over a long period of time may experience alcohol’s longer-term effects, which can include:
·         Alcohol dependence
·         Health problems

Alcohol effects on the body
Drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health.  Here’s how alcohol can affect your body:
Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behaviour, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.  
Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:
  • Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
  • Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure  
Research also shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease.
Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:
  • Steatosis, or fatty liver
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis
Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion. 
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:
  • Mouth
  • Esophagus
  • Throat
  • Liver
  • Breast
Immune System
Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease.  Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much.  Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.

The startling reality of drinking and driving:

“Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it's compounding a felony”
Robert Benchley


  1. VERY Nice. People just don't understand how devastating alcohol can be. If were introduced today, it would be in the same category as the heavy narcotics. One of my favorite stats is that if you take alcohol into a vein, it only takes two days more to become addicted that Heroin. Also I love the video - even though it is HEAVY! On Hale Yes!

    1. Oops replied but my comment disappeared! I think the video is really important to bring about the dangers of drinking or drugging and driving and take responsiblity. Appreciate you reading my blog - thank you x

  2. Good post!You covered a lot here. This seems to be the season that tends to bring it all to excess. Thanks. ~Cathy

    1. "Tis the season to be jolly" - unfortunately people think that can only happen with everything in excess including alcohol. Thanks for commenting - much apprecitaed x