Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant. It slows down parts of the brain, including the part that controls breathing. It changes how you act, feel, and think.

Alcohol affects people differently. Some people find it makes them feel more calm and relaxed, more talkative, less shy, warm, and less coordinated. Others find it makes them depressed or aggressive.

Remember, it takes time for the liver to break down alcohol and get rid of it from your body.

Binge Drinking:

Drinking a lot of alcohol in a short time is harmful to your health. This is called binge, heavy or risky drinking. Binge drinking means drinking 4 or more drinks (for females) and 5 or more drinks (for males) at a single event or party.

The most common short-term risk of binge drinking is a hangover, which can include fatigue, nausea, vomiting and headache.

Binge drinking can also lead to alcohol poisoning, violent behaviour, risky sexual behaviour, and poor decision-making. Vomiting is your body’s response to the dangerous levels of alcohol that are in your body. It is also a sign of alcohol poisoning.

Extreme intoxication:

Can lead to alcohol poisoning which is also considered an overdose. This is a medical emergency and you need to call 9-1-1 for help. If a person with alcohol poisoning does not get immediate medical attention, the person could lose consciousness, go into a coma, or die.

Signs of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Bluish, cold, clammy skin
  • Vomiting without waking up
  • Not waking up when pinched (meaning the person is unconscious)
  • Slowed breathing
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control

The gag reflex which prevents choking is also slowed so a person can choke on their vomit. If someone is really intoxicated (or "drunk") never leave them alone and assume "they are sleeping it off".

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