So, it’s Friday night. You go out with your friends and hit the clubs. You drink, and then you drink some more. Sounds fun, right? Well, of course, the hangover next morning isn’t as fun as it sounds. Honestly, it’s okay to let loose once in a while. We lead strenuous lives – grinding everyday of the week, just waiting for the weekend to arrive.
Alcohol, however, irrespective of what one says, has both short term and long term effects on your health. This is all the more pertinent for heavy drinkers who indulge in alcohol almost every day. Look, a peg or two a day won’t do you much harm. As a matter of fact, research showed that a glass of wine is good for the heart. But gulping down a bottle every day surely doesn’t count? If you have been boozing a bit too much lately or a friend of yours seems to be partying too frequently these days, there are some things you need to remember.
Effects on the brain and cognitive health
You seem to get your wild side on after a drink or two. At a party, this helps break the ice. However, it must be remembered that alcohol is a depressant of the nervous system. This is precisely why people, under the influence of alcohol are not able to walk steadily or have really messed up limb coordination and have slurred speech. Alcohol hits the chemical messengers of the brain, known as GABA neurotransmitters. This causes the physiological effects as the ones mentioned above. But that’s not why people drink. People turn to alcohol for the feeling of euphoria that it promises.
Acts as a Sedative
Alcohol is a kind of stimulant but once the effects start wearing off, they work like a sedative. Now you know why some people pass out after a night of heavy drinking. Now the extent of the neurological and psychological effects of alcohol will depend on the levels of alcohol in blood. Blood alcohol content or BAC increases or decreases based on how much you’ve drunk. The dangers of heavy drinking aren’t just what happens on the outside, but on the inside as well.
Casual and Serious Side-effects
If you are an occasional drinker, common side effects are:
- Memory impairment
- Impaired decision making
For heavy and frequent drinkers, long term side effects include
- Reduced brain size
- Memory loss
- Attention deficit disorders
- Diminished visuospatial abilities
- Withdrawal symptoms
Yes, alcohol, like other drugs, could lead to addiction. And once it does, it will be a lot like being sucked into a black hole. Binge drinking is fun – but not every day. If you or someone you know might be heading towards alcohol addiction, take necessary precautions NOW. It is better to be safe than sorry.
DISCLAIMER: While we have taken steps to check the accuracy of information & practices shared here; it is not a replacement for a doctor’s opinion. it is important to first always check with your own doctor before trying any medication, practice or suggestion from this site.