Effects of Alcohol
Probably the most popular drug in the world, alcohol, is also the oldest drug in recorded history. It’s been a part of every culture in the world for centuries and in many countries, it is their worst drug problem. According to the World Health Organization, there are 3.3 million alcohol-related deaths each year, compared to an estimated 207,400 drug-related deaths reported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Alcohol is essentially a poison. The one thing that all types of alcohol have in common is that they are fermented—or more simply put—food that is rotten. When alcohol enters the body it has a toxic effect and begins to cause the body to burn up vitamins and minerals. This includes vitamin B1 which is important for proper function of the nervous system. Thus you have an array of physical effects and impairment on the body that are seen rather quickly, along with other long-term effects that may not become evident right away.
Alcohol may affect each person differently, whereas one person can build up a tolerance and appear to “handle” their alcohol well, while another may completely lose control after just a few drinks. This is due to a number of factors relating to a person’s physical and mental condition including how much nutrition is in their system at the time. Yet no matter how much a person tries to counteract the negative effects created by alcohol consumption, sooner or later it catches up with them, particularly if they build up tolerance and continue to increase the amount they drink. Over a period of time, the long-term effects can create some very serious conditions.
The following is a guideline to some of the short and long-term effects of alcohol:
Short-term effects of alcohol:
- Loss of motor control
- Impaired judgement
- Slurring of speech
- Upset Stomach
Long-term effects of alcohol:
- Alcohol poisoning
- Cirrhosis and other liver damage
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage due to death of brain cells
- Loss of productivity
- Destroyed relationships