Effects of Drinking Alcohol
Drinking alcohol has many different effects on the human. Depending on the type of alcohol, the amount used and within what time-frame it was consumed, not forgetting your metabolism and other bodily factors, it may have completely different effects on completely different people. Some people are known to appear almost fully intoxicated after a few bottles of beer, where others have been able to consume half a bottle of vodka without losing their senses.
Immediate and Short Term Effects
The immediate effects of consuming alcohol are usually, on the first few gulps, a warming sensation in the belly area. This has been described by most people as a relaxed, enjoyable feeling of the beverage flowing into the stomach and the alcohol beginning to enter the blood. Some people may also feel a small sensation of itching, although this is not very common. For many, drinking a beer or two is associated with relaxation after a hard day’s work or during a football match on their free day.
As consuming continues, a person is likely to start feeling more relaxed and at most times, also more talkative. One of the distinctive effects of continuous (over a few hours) alcohol consumption is the human tendency to open up verbally and say more what’s on their mind. In many other individuals, increased consumption over time also usually brings about a more free course of actions and the individual being willing to do more than they would have been ready to when sober. During this stage, which in most people is reached after half a dozen shots of vodka or other strong drinks, or a few dozen cans of beer, maybe also involve the increased reduction of motor skills also associated with alcohol. A person may try to get hold of his beer may miss it by a few centimeters, and the door handle may be harder to grasp. Despite the ‘loose tongue’ state and the reduction of motor skills, most people are still aware of what they’re saying and doing at this stage – they just care less.
Past this stage, things may start to get a little bit shaky – taken literally. Continued, dedicated consumption even past the stage of “lightly intoxicated“ normally, and in most cases, causes the individual to reach the state we commonly term “drunk”, which involves increased phenomena from the former stage. People have been known to be free with their language in this stage, saying mostly what is on their minds at the moment – whether positive or negative. Others have been known to perform acts they would never have dreamed of in sobriety – including inventing new things that their minds may have been too entangled to arrive at under normal conditions. Others yet have shown themselves to become very quiet in this stage and even introverted, sinking in their own world of thoughts and searching their own souls during this ultimate state of release.
This state is sometimes, though not always, followed by unconsciousness. Most people who do not become unconscious through the use of alcohol simply go to sleep instead – but there are rare cases where you neither become unconscious nor go to bed. It is a scientific fact that the body needs some rest after such heavy consumption – unconsciousness is simply the body forcing it, while sleep means the individual realized themselves they need it.
Depending on whether a state of unconsciousness has been arrived, or whether the individual decided themselves to go to sleep, the effects of alcohol may be different. Many people report a so-called ‘hangover’ after a night of heavy intoxication. This is the state of feeling a strong headache as well usually nausea and sensitivity to several factors such as light and noise. Others have reported diarrhea and thirst, usually after the alcohol begins to wear off.
Hangovers can be attributed to several factors, including dehydration or several types of alcohol poisoning – which basically means there is too much alcohol in the blood and too little water or other elements normally contained. Many recommend drinking at least a few glasses of water during a night of heavy consumption to negate such effects – a tip which is generally positive with most recreational drugs, which render the body’s liquid equilibrium out of order by replacing water or consuming too much of it (the body is mostly made up of water).
Medium and Long Term Effects
Constant consumption of alcohol on the long term is known to have completely different effects depending mostly on the daily, weekly or monthly amount of consumption, times of consumption as well as volume consumed within a given time-frame, and last but not least the type of drink consumed. In Germany, for example, beers brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot (The German Beer Purity Law) which dictates beer should only be made from water, barley and hops, are considered to be pure (‘rein’) and thus more healthy for the body, not containing any extra chemical elements or additives. Similarly, a glass of wine a day or every few days, as in common in France, has actually shown to be beneficial for health.
On the other side, long term, repeated consumption of heavy alcohol beverages, for example vodka, is known to lead to alcoholism and harm several key body functions. Alcoholism, although not known to many, is an actual disease which may have genetic roots. Having developing alcoholism, a person usually has no control anymore over their consumption of alcohol, even if it causes their health negative effects and they’re completely aware of it, they’d still continue – it is an addictive disorder, combining physical and mental elements.
Amongst the effects of long term heavy consumption are most commonly liver disorders and malfunctions, cardiovascular diseases, strokes, as well as several psychological effects such as anxiety and depression. Countering that, there are several key medium to long term light consumption positive effects on the body, including lower risk of diabetes, higher bone mineral density as well as reduced risk of developing kidney stones.
In conclusion, alcohol, like every other recreational drug, can be used and abused, depending on the individual and their tendencies, but also strongly depending on the amount consumed and type of beverage. As with everything in life, moderation is considered a key element in healthy alcohol consumption.