The Short- and Long-Term Effects of Alcohol On the Body

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Alcohol consumption affects your overall health because when alcohol enters your body, it’s first absorbed by your stomach and small intestine. Then, it flows through the bloodstream throughout the body, reaching your heart, brain, muscles and other tissues. This article will present the short-term as well as long-term effects alcohol has on both your behavior and your health in case you have more than two servings a day. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth the risk.

Short-Term Effects

A few drinks with your friends will slow down your central nervous system because alcohol has adverse impact on the balance of neurotransmitters, which are the chemicals responsible for communicating information between nerves. The most common symptoms you will experience are:

The Short- and Long-Term Effects of Alcohol On the Body




-Slurred speech

-Upset stomach


-Distorted vision and hearing

-Impaired judgment

-Decreased perception and coordination

-Breathing difficulties


-Anemia (loss of red blood cells)


-Blackouts (memory lapses or not being able to remember events that happened while under the influence)

You also run the risk of blacking out, which may lead to a serious injury. Driving after drinking, which is the last thing you should do in this case, is extremely dangerous as you are more likely to speed, hit another vehicle, or not wear a seatbelt. Moreover, alcohol use has been related to fire injuries, dangerous falls, drowning and industrial accidents.

Alcohol and Driving

Alcohol lowers neurotransmission levels, thus reducing your vision, coordination, reaction time, multitasking ability, judgment, and decision-making. So, if all your cognitive abilities are impaired, how can driving be safe? Plus, alcohol prevents you from identifying dangerous situations and making good decisions about an impending danger, slowing down your reaction time even when you make a good decision. In addition, distance and speed perception are distorted when you are under the influence of alcohol, which makes you see things farther or closer than they truly are, or makes you feel you’re driving the speed limit when you’re actually speeding.

Hidden Effects

Alcohol consumption also affects your proper body function, and the most common alcohol-induced changes include:

– Lowered immune response

-Irregular heartbeat

-High blood pressure

-Inflammation of your stomach lining

-Irregular heartbeat

-High blood pressure

-Shortness of breath

-Respiratory infections

Long-Term Effects

Surely, long-term alcohol consumption can further aggravate these hidden effects. While the short-term effects from drinking generally disappear once the alcohol has been metabolized in and thrown out from your body, regular use of alcohol will not only make these effects worse, but will also make them permanent.

Thus, over time you will experience cognitive difficulties, such as acquiring and processing new information as well as problem-solving difficulties.

Moreover, many heart conditions result from frequent use of alcohol, including cardiomyopathy – enlargement of the heart muscle which makes it more rigid and harder to contract, then coronary heart disease, increased blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia and a higher risk of stroke. Approximately 25% people who regularly consume alcohol are affected with some of these conditions.

Continuous alcohol consumption can also lead to a higher risk of mouth, throat, esophageal, bowel, breast, and liver cancer, along with musculoskeletal damage.