April is Alcohol Awareness Month and April 7th is Alcohol Screening Day. During this month, on this day, and always, we seek to increase outreach, education, and awareness regarding the dangers of alcoholism. Knowing all about alcohol and its effect on the body is key.
Short Term Effects of Alcohol
The effects are drinking are largely dependent on how much is taken and the condition of the individual partaking. Still, short term alcohol use can cause drowsiness, impaired speech, hearing, coordination, and vision, and diarrhea, vomiting, and upset stomach. It can also cause headaches, difficulty breathing, decreased perception, anemia, coma, blackouts, and difficulty with judgment.
Long Term Effects of Alcohol
Long-term and binge drinking is associated with a number of more severe health problems including unintentional and intentional injuries both on and off the job, broken relationships, high blood pressure and other heart-related diseases, and nerve damage. Likewise, long-term effects of alcohol consumption also include sexual problems, liver disease, permanent brain damage, vitamin B deficiency, gastritis, ulcers, malnutrition, and some cancers.
If someone consumes a toxic amount of alcohol over a short period of time, alcohol poisoning may occur, which can cause confusion, unconsciousness, shallow breathing, and even coma. Typically, those with alcohol poisoning in more serious cases may experience:
- Heart attack
- Risk of choking
- Severe dehydration
Alcohol abuse can detrimentally affect the body and cause many serious health problems. From liver disease, damage to the lining of the stomach, pancreatitis, central nervous system damage, and erectile dysfunction or irregular menstruation, prolonged use of alcohol is particularly damaging. Alcohol abuse can also cause calcium imbalances in the body and cancer.
Alcohol acts as a depressant. This means that some users may experience several mental illnesses like major depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Likewise, chronic alcohol abuse can lead to sleep disorders, psychotic disorders, and symptoms of withdrawal. Even inconsistent alcohol use can cause a number of psychological effects including difficulty with memory, decreased inhibitions, and confusion.
Ultimately, alcoholism is on a spectrum, but there are effects regardless of your use. Remembering to consume substances in moderation is key. That said, if you or someone you know is ready to discuss treatment, it’s necessary to take the steps to find support. Additionally, if you or a loved one needs assistance accessing medical transportation for an appointment with a psychologist or doctor, contact ABBA Medical Transportation.