Consuming alcohol can have very negative effects on the health, both short and long term. The consequences of alcohol consumption depend partly on how much is consumed within a short period of time. This determines the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and often determines what their behavior might be and what side effects they may suffer.
BAC .03-.12: A person experiences impaired judgment that may affect their personality. They can become more daring and confident. Their attention span shortens and their coordination is hampered.
BAC .09-.25: A person may begin to feel tired and their memory and reaction time will be impaired. Their vision becomes blurry and their balance is off.
BAC .18-.30: Confusion sets in as a person becomes unaware of their surroundings. This can lead to heightened emotions such as aggression or an increase in affection. They will have slurred speech and dulled senses. They may be unaware of their actions.
BAC .25-.40: Intoxication is becoming very dangerous at this point and the person’s body may react by vomiting or slip into unconsciousness. They may not be able to stand, walk or even respond to their environment.
BAC .35-.50: Drinking this amount of alcohol can cause a person to lose consciousness and slip into a coma. They may be completely unresponsive to stimuli. Their heart rate and breathing may slow and death can occur.
These symptoms are just an example of what can occur with excessive drinking and won’t apply to every case. If a person drinks large amounts of alcohol on a continual basis, they may build up a tolerance that will dull its effects. When this happens, damage to the body can be occurring without the regular symptoms, unbeknownst to the drinker.
Besides the short-term effects of alcohol consumption like intoxication, dehydration and damage to the liver and brain, a person who drinks excessively over time can also develop alcoholism. This is an addiction to alcohol and can cause a person to be unable to refrain from drinking. This can cause continual damage to the body that worsens over time. People who suspect they are suffering from alcoholism should seek help at a rehabilitation center.