Understanding the Impact: Physical and Mental Effects of Alcohol
What’s the world’s second most popular drug?
Why is it creating one of the top health concerns facing students on college campuses nationwide?
Alcohol has both lipid- and water-friendly nature, so it goes to every space in your body. It doesn’t absorb to your stomach so fast as it does your small intestine, and we have enzymes designed to immediately start to toxify, so it’s identified as a toxin, but that happens slowly enough that alcohol makes it through your stomach to your small intestine and eventually to your brain. If there’s food in your stomach, it goes a little slower, so you slow the rate of rising alcohol. If you drink on an empty stomach, it shoots through your stomach to your small intestine right to your brain and then exaggerates the dose you get, and it will change some of the effects. Once it’s in your bloodstream, it circulates to all your cells.
Effects of Alcohol on your body:-
- Aggressive and violent behaviour
- Increased risk of accident and injury
- Disrupts sleep
- Severe anxiety
- Depression and suicide
- Cognitive problem
Aggressive and violent behaviour
Drinking alcohol has an important effect on social behaviours such as increased aggression, self-disclosure, etc. Alcohol impairs the information processing needed to inhibit response impulses- the ability to foresee the negative consequences of the response etc.
Increased risk of accident and injury
The more we drink alcohol, the more we are likely to have an accident, as alcohol affects our judgement and slows down our reactions. It impairs our vision and hearing, making us lose concentration and feel drowsy.
Alcoholic hallucinosis is chronic alcohol abuse in which auditory hallucinations occur during or after heavy alcohol consumption. It can occur 24 hours after the last drink and continues for about 24 hours.
People with alcohol use disorders commonly experience insomnia symptoms. Studies say that sleepers who drink large amounts of alcohol before bed are often prone to delayed sleep onset, i.e. they need more time to fall asleep.
Excessive drinking can lead to the rewiring of the brain. This can make an individual more susceptible to the development of anxiety problems. While alcohol abuse can increase a person’s risk for a traumatic event that could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, the changes that can occur in an individual’s brain can be enough to increase their risk for anxiety issues.
Depression and suicide
An individual with alcohol who attempts or completes suicide is characterized by major depressive episodes, stressful life events, particularly interpersonal difficulties, poor social support, living alone, high aggression, hopelessness etc.
Most alcoholics exhibit mild-to-moderate deficiencies such as diminished brain size and regional changes in brain-cell activities. The most prevalent alcohol-associated brain impairments affect remembering thinking capabilities.
Both human and animal researchers say that someone who drinks binges drink heavily when they are in their mid-teens, 14-15, some of the brain’s systems, particularly the dopamine system, the brain’s pleasure centre. People who drink at an early age heavily have been shown to have significantly smaller brains and reduced cognitive ability. Someone who binges drinks when they are in their mid-teens has a 50% chance roughly of being alcohol or other substance dependent as an adult. Someone who didn’t binge drink in that age range has a 9% probability that they will be dependent.
A question to all :
Are you an alcohol addict?