2015-02-19 20:07:58

While you're walking down the sidewalk with your friends, you see a man slumped against the inside wall of a bus stop. There are several single-serving bottles busted around him on the ground. The 24oz can of malt liquor is slowly spilling onto the pavement from beside him on the bench.

Even this far away, you know he smells pretty bad. He's dressed like a homeless man, and a passerby is calling 911 because they are concerned.

You keep walking down the street until you get to the bar. It's time to have a few drinks with your friends. You'll never be like that guy, right?

Harm Caused by Alcohol and other Drugs

Effects of Alcohol on Your Body

Anyone who drinks alcohol has probably experienced that skull crushing headache the morning after a night of over indulging. That headache makes you immediately regret drinking as much as you did, even if it wasn't as much as the man at the bus stop must have had to drink. The fact of the matter is that alcohol has a major effect on your body, no matter how much or how frequently you drink.

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World defines binge drinking as the practice of consuming large quantities of alcohol in a single session, usually defined as five or more drinks at one time for a man, or four or more drinks at one time for a woman.

That's not very many drinks, especially for those of us who have used drinking as a hobby. Binge drinking can be an early sign of future alcoholism, a physical dependency on alcohol that results in withdrawal symptoms if you don't drink.

Binge drinking doesn't just put you at risk for dependence. It also has a number of harmful effects on the body. Studies have shown that it can:

  • Trigger the formation of cancerous tumors in the mouth and esophagus due to its potential to act as a carcinogen
  • Block your body's ability to absorb essential nutrients, leading to vitamin deficiencies
  • Weaken the pumping ability of the heart, leading to poor circulation that robs organs and extremities of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood
  • Hamper your immune system by interfering with white blood cells
  • Lead to serious scarring of the liver, which becomes overtaxed by constantly filtering alcohol out of your blood
  • Cause sudden bleeding and inflammation of the pancreas
  • Irritate the urinary tract, resulting in stretching and swelling and increasing the risk of kidney failure
  • Pose a risk for coma or even death due to its sedative effects on the brain
  • Make the heart beat irregularly
  • Raise your risk of suffering a stroke
  • Long Term side effects of Alcohol

    Effects of Alcohol on Your Mind

    Alcohol is to blame for the temporary lapses in memory that people refer to as "black outs" or "brown outs". Alcohol impairs the function of the hippocampus, the part of your brain that is responsible for memories. That impairment is what causes the "black outs". It also impedes hormone release, depleting a person's sexual drive and performance. It can cause slurred speech and affect your equilibrium. Long-term use can cause physical shrinking of your brain, which can lead to mental disabilities and learning problems.

    Alcohol should be used responsibly. It has many effects on your body, both in the short term and long term. You don't have to drink like the man at the bus stop or be homeless to end up in the hospital.

    Every year, many young and otherwise healthy people die from over indulging. Take the necessary steps to protect your health and always drink responsibly.


    Alcohol and your Brain

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    References
  • Drugfreeworld.org
  • Liverfoundation.org
  • Psychcentral.com
  • DrugaBuse.com Effects of alcohol

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