Alcohol depresses your central nervous system. In some people, the initial reaction may be stimulation. But as you continue to drink, you become sedated. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and affects your thoughts, emotions and judgment. Too much alcohol affects your speech and muscle coordination and affects vital centers of your brain. A heavy drinking binge may even cause a life-threatening coma.
Excessive drinking can cause a number of problems
Some of these include:
- Reduced judgment and lowered inhibitions, leading to poor choices and dangerous situations or behaviors
- Motor vehicle accidents and other types of accidents
- Domestic problems
- Poor performance at work or school
- A higher likelihood of committing violent crimes
Excessive drinking can cause health problems.
Some of these problems include:
- Liver disorders. Drinking heavily can cause alcoholic hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver. After years of drinking, hepatitis may lead to the irreversible and progressive destruction and scarring of liver tissue (cirrhosis).
- Digestive problems. Alcohol can result in inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis) and can interfere with absorption of B vitamins and other nutrients. Heavy drinking can also damage your pancreas, which produces the hormones that regulate your metabolism and the enzymes that help digest fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
- Heart problems. Excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure and increases your risk of heart failure or stroke.
- Diabetes complications. Alcohol interferes with the release of glucose from your liver and can increase the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This is dangerous if you have diabetes and are already taking insulin to lower your blood sugar level.
- Sexual function and menstruation. Alcohol abuse can cause erectile dysfunction in men. In women, it can interrupt menstruation.
- Eye problems. Over time, excessive alcohol use can cause weakness and paralysis of your eye muscles.
- Birth defects. Alcohol use during pregnancy may cause fetal alcohol syndrome, resulting in giving birth to a child who has physical and developmental problems.
- Bone loss. Alcohol may interfere with the production of new bone. This can lead to thinning bones (osteoporosis) and an increased risk of fractures.
- Neurological complications. Excessive drinking can affect your nervous system, causing numbness of your hands and feet, disordered thinking, dementia, and short-term memory loss.
- Increased risk of cancer. Chronic alcohol abuse has been linked to a higher risk of numerous cancers, including mouth, throat, liver, colon and breast cancer.
Excessive drinking can lead to alcoholism.
Risk factors are:
- Steady drinking over time. Drinking too much on a regular basis for an extended period can produce a physical dependence on alcohol.
- Age. People who begin drinking at an early age are at a higher risk of alcohol dependence or abuse.
- Sex. Men are more likely to become dependent on alcohol than are women. However, women are at greater risk of developing some medical complications linked to drinking, such as liver disease.
- Family history. The risk of alcoholism is higher for people who have a parent who abused alcohol.
- Depression and other mental health problems. It’s common for people with a mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression to abuse alcohol or other substances.
- Social and cultural factors. Having friends or a close partner who drinks regularly could increase your risk of alcoholism. The glamorous way that drinking is sometimes portrayed in the media may also send the message that it’s OK to drink excessively.
Excessive drinking is unsafe and may lead to many serious problems. It affect our sense of well-being, and damages our health. Anyone engaging in excessive drinking is at a high risk for developing and alcohol dependence and alcoholism.