Get informed : Drugs and addictions

Alcohol
   
The effects of alcohol

HOW TO PREDICT THE EFFECTS?

They is no real way of knowing in advance what effects one, two, or three drinks will have on you. It depends on many things.

Who are you? The effects of alcohol depend on your height, weight, physical state, psychological state, and drinking experience.

What did you drink? The effects also depend on the quantity drunk, the beverage’s alcohol content, whether different types of alcoholic beverages were drunk, whether other substances (medication, drugs) were consumed at the same time, the rate of drinking, and the food eaten.

What was the context?
The reasons we drink, the atmosphere in which we drink, the time of day, and the place also can modify the effects of alcohol.


GETTING DRUNK

There are unpleasant effects associated with drinking too much alcohol.

The room is spinning! You may become dizzy, find it difficult to stand up, and have blurred vision.

Everything’s mixed up! You may feel confused, and have trouble following conversations or remembering what you’re doing.

“What’s that you say?” You may find it difficult to articulate or say words you don’t use all that often.

Unfortunate actions. You may behave in a ridiculous way or make inappropriate gestures.

Seasick. You may get nauseous and throw up.

Other things you may regret. Since you’re not in your normal state of mind, you may forget to use a condom and have sexual relations that you won’t remember or will regret the next day.

Mechanical problems. Alcohol can also change the way your body reacts during sexual relations.

Behind the wheel. Drinking alcohol slows your reflexes and increases the risk of automobile accidents. Drinking and driving is dangerous for you and for others (learn more about zero tolerance!).

The morning after. Waking up may be especially painful. You may have a hangover, feel like someone is hitting you over the head with a hammer, be dehydrated, have memory gaps (have no memory of the night before), and wake up somewhere unexpected.

No “day after” at all… Drinking too much can lead to tragedy. More often than you might think, young people who drink too much faint, fall into a coma, and even die.


WHEN “ONCE IN AWHILE” BECOMES “ALL THE TIME”

If you drink alcohol more and more often, there are other risks that go along with it.

Becoming “hooked”. Alcohol is a drug and you can become addicted to it. Over time, you may notice that getting the same effects takes more alcohol than it used to. Or, you may more frequently look for occasions to drink and be around other drinkers. At this point, your life is beginning to revolve around alcohol.

Feeling more depressed. Alcohol is categorized as a depressant, just like some other drugs. Depressants slow down your body’s functions. Over time, alcohol can deaden you and affect your mood. You may begin to feel depressed.

Disturbed sleep.
Alcohol abuse can disturb your sleep. You may have trouble falling asleep, wake up frequently, and have an irregular sleep cycle.

Health risks. Heavy drinking can affect your many parts of your body, including your liver, heart, sexual organs, nervous system, and stomach.

Withdrawal. A person who consumes alcohol regularly and abusively may experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking. Alcohol withdrawal may cause anxiety, agitation, irritability, tremors, and nausea.


GLUG, GLUG, GLUG…

What is “chugging?” Chugging is the rapid consumption of large quantities of alcohol.

A dangerous game. Sometimes, people make alcohol-related dares, have chugging contests, or play “games” involving alcohol. These kinds of activities can quickly become dangerous, because rapidly drinking large quantities of alcohol can cause very serious intoxication, which can result in the loss of consciousness, coma, and even death.

In case of emergency. If you’re worried about a friend, don’t hesitate to call for help (Quebec Poison Control Centre, 911, or Info-santé) or to quickly inform an adult. You may feel like you want to wait — to see if your friend gets better on their own, or because you’re afraid your parents will find out you’ve been drinking. However, if your friend is in danger, they need your help right away.
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