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What Are the Short-Term Effects of Alcohol Use?

Although you may not consider yourself a drinker and only engage in social drinking, you are still likely to experience side effects associated with alcohol consumption. You can actually expect the side effects of moderate alcohol consumption to be a bit milder compared to the effects of long term excessive consumption. Nevertheless, they can still take a toll on your health.

What happens when you drink alcohol?

Alcohol is a known central nervous system Definition of the word central nervous system depressant Definition of the word depressant , but once it enters your bloodstream via your stomach, it can pretty much reach all the other organs in your body. Primarily, you will feel sluggish, cheerful and relaxed after initial alcohol consumption. However, as you drink more, you will experience the other alcohol side effects. Keep in mind that these short term side effects vary in intensity from person to person and generally dependent on factors such as weight, age, gender and size. The amount of alcohol consumed is also a major factor as well as stomach food content.

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Immediate Effects of Alcohol Consumption


Individuals with a blood-alcohol concentration of up to 0.12 percent can experience a boost in their self-confidence. They tend to be more sociable and in a good mood. You will also notice these individuals have slightly impaired fine muscle coordination, short attention span and flushed appearance. On the other hand, a higher blood-alcohol concentration can result in lethargy, confusion, stupor and in extreme cases, coma.


Alcohol consumption, even a moderate amount, can also cause dehydration because of the mitigated production of the anti-diuretic hormone. Such mitigation prevents the kidney from re-absorbing water, leading to the production of excess urine, which in turn results to dehydration. This is also the reason why a person can experience headache, nausea and even dizziness the morning after.


On the other hand, excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to what is referred to as intoxication or drunkenness. A person can suffer from intoxication if he consumed alcohol amount exceeding his alcohol tolerance level. This results in physical and behavioral abnormalities. Inhibition of certain activities in the hippocampus Definition of the word hippocampus could affect memory formation as well. In some cases, an intoxicated individual does not remember anything the morning after especially after he blacked out.


Excessive alcohol consumption in one seating also results in ataxia, which is characterized by the uncoordinated or jerky movement of either the limbs or the trunk. If you look at someone who is intoxicated, you will certainly notice their increased clumsiness.

These short-term effects of alcohol consumption might not be immediately alarming. Even so, you still need to be aware of what alcohol does to your body. It is important you are conscious about the amount of alcohol you consume and if possible, consume as less as possible in order to avoid experiencing any of these short term alcohol side effects. If these side effects are out of control. Just attend a good alcohol treatment program and get your life back!

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short-term_effects_of_alcohol


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Marcel Gemme

More Info

Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people.

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