Lowered inhibitions when drinking alcohol can lead to impulsive behavior—engaging in behaviors without considering the potential consequences of your actions. The impairing effects of alcohol on cognitive functioning—including concentration, thinking, reasoning, and decision-making—play a role in increased impulsivity while drinking. The context of drinking plays an important role in the occurrence of alcohol-related harm, particularly as a result of alcohol intoxication. Alcohol consumption can have an impact not only on the incidence of diseases, injuries and other health conditions, but also on their outcomes and how these evolve over time.

consequences of alcohol

Risks, Dangers, and Effects of Alcohol on the Body

consequences of alcohol

This kindling effect can also occur after chemical stimulus to the brain or body, such as anti-convulsant medication. This means a person’s alcohol withdrawal programme needs to be carefully planned, with close monitoring of its effects. Kindling is a problem that can occur following a number of episodes of withdrawal from alcohol. The severity of a person’s withdrawal symptoms may get worse each time they stop drinking, and can cause symptoms such as tremors, agitation and convulsions (seizures). Heavy drinking can also increase your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, both of which are major risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. Too much alcohol affects your speech, muscle coordination and vital centers of your brain.

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consequences of alcohol

Organs known to be damaged by long-term alcohol misuse include the brain and nervous system, heart, liver and pancreas. Drinking any amount or type of alcohol has a wide range of short- and long-term consequences of alcohol effects on your physical and mental health. As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol slows the body’s systems and leads to noticeable changes in cognitive and physical functions.

  • It can affect your physical and mental health, your job, your finances, your family and your community.
  • While alcohol can initially boost your mood, these effects are temporary and wear off quickly.
  • The pandemic played a role in increased consumption, but alcohol use among people 65 and older was climbing even before 2020.
  • Here, over 200 million people in the Region are at risk of developing alcohol-attributable cancer.
  • Symptoms can vary from person to person, so it’s best to exercise caution and seek medical help if someone you are with shows signs of extreme alcohol intoxication.

Effects of Alcoholism on the Body

With each alcohol withdrawal episode, the brain and nervous system becomes more sensitised and the resulting side effects become more pronounced. Alcohol has a suppressing effect on the brain and central nervous system. Research has shown that when alcohol is removed from the body, it activates brain and nerve cells, resulting in excessive excitability (hyperexcitability). This amount of alcohol will begin to reach toxic (poisonous) levels. Your body attempts to quickly pass out the alcohol in your urine.

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consequences of alcohol

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to symptoms of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD can cause a range of neurodevelopmental and physical effects in the child after birth. Because women tend to have less water in their bodies than men, if a woman and a man of the same weight drank the same amount of alcohol, the woman’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) would likely be higher. This could help explain why women are more likely to have negative effects from alcohol.

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What does it mean to drink in moderation?

  • Alcohol poisoning can cause a person to fall into a coma and could lead to their death.
  • Lowered inhibitions when drinking alcohol can lead to impulsive behavior—engaging in behaviors without considering the potential consequences of your actions.
  • Pancreatitis can activate the release of pancreatic digestive enzymes and cause abdominal pain.

Signs of intoxication

  • But “that was the normal drinking culture of the time,” said Doug Nordman, now 63.
  • If alcohol continues to accumulate in your system, it can destroy cells and, eventually, damage your organs.
  • The support of friends and family is important in the journey to recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD).
  • Alcohol disrupts normal brain function, leading to lowered inhibitions, impulsive behavior, and difficulty focusing or making decisions.
  • That’s because alcohol can weaken your immune system, slow healing and make your body more susceptible to infection.