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What Are the Short-Term Effects of Alcohol Use?

Last updated on: Monday, 13 May 2024
  • What You'll Learn

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 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 other alcohol side effects. Keep in mind that these short-term side effects vary in intensity from person to person and are 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.

Immediate Effects of Alcohol Consumption

Euphoria

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.

Dehydration

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 in dehydration. This is also the reason why a person can experience headaches, nausea, and even dizziness the morning after.

Intoxication

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 could affect memory formation as well. In some cases, an intoxicated individual does not remember anything the morning after especially after he blacked out.

Ataxia

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 little 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!

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Nickolaus Hayes has been working with Drug Rehab Services for the past ten years. Over the past 15 years, he has remained connected to helping people who have been struggling with addiction. He first started working as an intake counselor at a drug rehabilitation center in 2005. During the five years as an intake counselor, he was able to help hundreds of people find treatment. Nickolaus was also fortunate to be able to work with professional interventionists, traveling across the country performing interventions.