Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol affects different people in different ways and the effects of alcohol depend on many factors. Small amounts of alcohol can result in a relaxing, enjoyable state of mind. But we also know that too much alcohol can result in a host of negative effects such as blurred state of mind, confusion, dizziness, vomiting, passing out, and even death from alcohol poisoning.

People absorb alcohol at different rates due to weight, body type, metabolism, gender, whether they have eaten before drinking and any medication being taken. The strength and size of a drink and how quickly the drinks are consumed also play into how drunk someone becomes.

Alcohol makes us think, move, and react slower. After one drink a person may feel more relaxed. As they continue to drink, their coordination, balance and reaction time become more and more impaired. Judgment and ability to make decisions are also affected. 

The effects of drinking alcohol are dependent on the person's state of mind (whether they are stressed out, bummed out, or feeling good).

Alcohol often lowers a person's inhibitions - it helps people to loosen up. Some find it easier to talk to other people or be with a group. Others might say or do things they probably wouldn't do if they weren't drinking. This is where they can get into trouble, as they may take risks that could harm them.

Taking risks when you've been drinking can lead to:

  • Physical injury and possibly death - alcohol-related injury is the major cause of death in young people

  • Sexual risk-taking - this can include unwanted sexual contact, unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases

  • Suicide and self-harm - both of these are higher in young people who drink heavily or frequently

Being knowledgeable about the effects of alcohol can help you to better understand how alcohol affects you and what you can do to reduce the likelihood of something bad happening to you. 
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