Many adults like to drink alcohol. Be it to relieve stress, to have fun, or because of peer pressure. Nigeria is no stranger to alcohol consumption. According to reports from the NBS, Nigerians spent as much as N208 Billion on alcohol. While alcohol consumption can be fun, there are consequences for over-consumption.
Alcohol consumption can lead to short-term or long-term effects. Some of the short-term effects include hangovers, vomiting, and lack of concentration/coordination.
Have you ever woken up to headaches, fatigue or muscles aches after consuming alcohol? You might be having a hangover. The main cause of a hangover is ethanol – which is the alcohol in your drinks. It is a toxic chemical that works in the body as a diuretic, that makes you urinate more. The frequent urination can cause dehydration. One of the causes for the headaches is your body trying to adjust to the dropping blood levels. Another reason could be the ethanol in your system getting converted into a chemical that triggers migraine.
Alcohol can go straight to your stomach and inflame your gastritis (stomach lining). This inflammation could cause nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting. Vomiting can also be a sign of alcohol poisoning.
3. Lack of Concentration/Coordination:
One of the most common effects of drinking alcohol is lack of coordination. This is why some police officers administer the “walk and turn” test for sobriety. Alcohol affects the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. This causes some brain cells to turn off which affects your coordination. So, if you cannot walk in a straight line, you are likely under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Causes of short term effects of alcohol vary from person to person. One person might start slurring after a glass while another will be stable after two bottles. These differences range from various factors. These include age, metabolism, drinking experience, and many others.
Long-term effects of alcohol are similar if you abuse alcoholic substances for long. Some of them include infertility, heart deficiencies, and damage to the immune system.
Excessive alcohol consumption, especially among men, can lead to infertility issues such as erectile dysfunction. Alcohol reduces the flow of blood to the penis, thus causing problems such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, reduction in the production of testosterone, or overall loss of sexual desire.
2. Heart Deficiencies:
Constant abuse of alcoholic substances could cause the heart to become weak, causing cardiomyopathy or irregular heart beat (arrhythmias), stroke or heart attack.
3. Damage to the Immune System:
Alcoholic substances can also weaken or slow down the immune system, causing the body to easily get infected with colds, flus, and even illnesses such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.
As stated earlier, alcohol has different effects on different people due to certain factors so there is no set amount of alcohol that can be generally recommended. However, as adults, it is important to know your body and drink moderately in order to prevent any of the short-term or long-term effects of alcoholic substances.