SHORT-TERM EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL

 

Depending on how much is taken and the physical condition of the individual, alcohol can cause:

  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Breathing difficulties 
  • Distorted vision and hearing 
  • Impaired judgment 
  • Decreased perception and coordination 
  • Unconsciousness 
  • Anemia (loss of red blood cells) 
  • Coma
  • Blackouts (memory lapses, where the drinker cannot remember events that occurred while under the influence)

LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL

Binge drinking and continued alcohol use in large amounts are associated with many health problems, including:

  • Unintentional injuries such as car crash, falls, burns, drowning 
  • Intentional injuries such as firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence
  • Increased on-the-job injuries and loss of productivity 
  • Increased family problems, broken relationships 
  • Alcohol poisoning 
  • High blood pressure, stroke, and other heart-related diseases 
  • Liver disease 
  • Nerve damage 
  • Sexual problems 
  • Permanent damage to the brain 
  • Vitamin B1 deficiency, which can lead to a disorder characterised by amnesia, apathy and disorientation 
  • Ulcers 
  • Gastritis (inflammation of stomach walls) 
  • Malnutrition 
  • Cancer of the mouth and throat

 

My addiction built steadily and, before I realised it, I had become a morning as well as an afternoon drinker.

I decided to stop drinking. I lay awake most of that night, and by noon the next day every bone in my body ached. In a blind panic, I nervously poured a glass full of gin, my hands shaking so violently that I spilled half the bottle. As I gulped it down, I could feel the agony gradually lessening. Then I finally knew the terrible truth: I was hooked. I couldn’t quit.” —Faye

 

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