Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down the system and brings its user a feeling of euphoria, but that’s not all the substance delivers. The drink is known for its ability to give its user a feeling that’s similar to a ‘high’, which many use as an escape from the realities and troubles of everyday life.
Short Terms Effects of Alcohol
Some of the short term effects of alcohol use include:
- Drowsiness, sleepiness, or loss of consciousness
- Loss of memory
- Loss of coordination and balance
- Poor judgement and decision making skills
- Blurred or double vision
- Loss of inhibitions
- Risky behaviour
- Slower motor responses and temporary loss of reflexes
- Short attention span
- Vomiting and nausea
- Headaches and dizziness
Many of those who drink alcohol do so in an attempt to get away from their stresses and anxieties. The short-term effects of drinking can temporarily erase problematic thoughts, thus making alcohol an easy and accessible escape for those who deal with various issues.
Long Term Effects of Alcohol
But over time, the constant use of alcohol can have severe effects on the system. These long term effects of alcohol can include:
- Liver disease
- Nerve damage
- Heart disease
- Vitamin B1 deficiency
- Permanent brain damage
- Increased risk of injuries and accidents
- Poor family relationships
- Increased likelihood of domestic violence
- Increased tendency to commit crimes
The Progression of Alcohol Addiction
Most people start out as experimental drinkers. These people will drink occasionally at parties, but will typically take more alcohol than their bodies can handle. Binge drinking is common among first timers, especially under the pressure from their peers and friends.
Once a person moves on from being an experimental drinker, they move on to occasional drinking. These people will drink once a week, particularly on weekends and use family gatherings or friends getting together as an excuse to drink alcohol. In some cases, alcohol might be used to combat loneliness, sadness, stress, or even boredom.
As the use progresses, people will likely move on to being problematic drinkers. These individuals feel far more confident and accustomed to their alcohol use, so they find the will to drive and engage in other hazardous activities while under the influence. These people are also more likely to encounter legal problems as a result of their drinking habit.
With frequent, constant alcohol intake, the body becomes accustomed to the presence of alcohol in the system. This is the time when they develop what’s called dependence. Individuals with alcohol dependence have a much tolerance than problematic drinkers, and might have to take copious amounts of alcohol to feel drunk. When there’s no alcohol in their system, they’re also likely to experience the symptoms of withdrawal.
The final stage of alcohol abuse is addiction. By this time, an individual will be so used to drinking, that the habit becomes a necessity. There will be physical cravings and a persistent psychological urge to consume alcohol. As they reach this phase, an individual might be completely consumed by the need to drink, which will be the main focus of their everyday existence.