After you drink alcohol, it gets absorbed right into your bloodstream and it affects every part of your body. So if you drink more than two standard servings of alcohol a day, you’re going to see both short-term and long-term effects on your behavior and your health.
Read on to see if it is worth the risks.
When you’re out with friends and have more than a couple of drinks, your central nervous system will be slowed down after the alcohol affects the balance of neurotransmitters (chemicals that send messages between nerves). You will experience the following symptoms:
- Slurred speech
- Breathing difficulties
- Distorted vision and hearing
- Impaired judgment
- Decreased perception and coordination
- Anemia (loss of red blood cells)
- Blackouts (memory lapses, where the drinker cannot remember events that occurred while under the influence)
You may even lose consciousness, or run the risk of a serious accident or injury. All of these factors leave you at risk when you’re drinking, even when you are in a private setting. If you drive after drinking—which of course you know you’re not supposed to do—you’ll be more likely to speed, hit another vehicle, or not wear a seat belt.
Alcohol and Driving
Alcohol is a depressant that affects your vision, coordination, judgment, reaction time, multitasking ability, and decision-making. How can you drive safely if you can’t see, think, and move around well and react quickly? Alcohol scales down your ability to identify dangerous situations and make good decisions when you face danger, and it restricts your reaction time even if you do make a good decision. Furthermore, having alcohol in your blood while you’re driving confuses your distance and speed perception, making you see things farther or closer than they really are, or makes you feel like you’re driving the speed limit when you’re really speeding.
In continuation to the obvious effects caused by alcohol use, there are also additional changes inside your body. These may include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Inflammation of your stomach lining
- Lowered immune response
- Respiratory infections
By all means, these hidden effects will worsen if you continue to drink excessively over a long period of time. Short-term effects from drinking usually reverse themselves once the alcohol has been processed by and eliminated from your blood. But frequent and continuing alcohol use can not only worsen these effects worse but make them permanent. The following conditions will be part of your everyday life:
- Slower processing of information and learning disability.
- About 25% of people who drink heavily will develop early onset cardiovascular disease, such as cardiomyopathy, where the heart becomes bigger and loses some of its ability to contract; then there are coronary heart diseases, increased blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia and a higher risk of stroke.
- A history of heavy drinking also increases the risk of mouth, throat, breast, esophageal, bowel, and liver cancer, and not to mention musculoskeletal damage.
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