Alcohol may be pleasant and relaxing if it is consumed responsibly. If not, the immediate and long-term effects of alcoholism can be deadly.
The immediate effects of alcoholism and over-consumption include:
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty walking
- Slurring of words
- Impaired memory
After just a few drinks, alcohol use can create memory impairment. When drinking a large amount or drinking on an empty stomach, the effects of alcohol can lead to memory loss of key details of an event or the situation as a whole. During these black-outs, if individuals are not in a safe environment they could be placing themselves in bad situations. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 51 percent of 772 college students have experienced black-outs and memory loss. During these black-outs, many students of the 51 percent learned that they participated in illegal and dangerous activities. These activities included vandalism, unprotected sex, and, last but not least, drunk driving.
Along with the short-term and immediate effects of alcohol use, there are also long-term effects that result in serious body and brain defects. A thiamine deficiency is a common effect of long-term alcoholics. This thiamine deficiency can result in WKS (Wernickes-Korsakoff Syndrome).
The effects of WKS are:
- Eye paralysis
- Mental confusion
- Difficulty with muscle control
- Problems with memory and learning
Another disease paired with alcoholism is liver disease. Long-term drinking can impair and destroy the liver. The liver’s failure to break down the alcohol can lead to serious or sometimes fatal brain dysfunctions. These dysfunctions are changes in mood and personality, inability to sleep or change in sleep patterns, depression, anxiety, shortened attention span, and inability to control muscles, resulting in shaking or spasms.
Alcohol addiction can be a very damaging, even life-threatening disease, causing damage to the gastrointestinal system, cardiovascular system, and nervous system.