Know the Effects

There are several short-term and long-term effects of excessive alcohol use. One might be most aware of an individual under the influence by observing one of the following immediate side effects:

  1. Difficulty walking
  2. Blurred vision
  3. Slurred speech
  4. Slowed reaction time
  5. Impaired memory

The long-term health effects may not be as noticeable, but are extremely detrimental to a person’s health. Those health effects include: (Roll over for detail)

Increases risk of gouty arthritis Increases the risk of cancer in the liver, pancreas, rectum, breast, mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus Causes physical and behavioral abnormalities in the fetus Raises blood glucose Enlarges the kidneys, alters hormone functions and increases the risk of kidney failure Causes neuropathy and dementia, impairs balance and memory and brain damage Increases the risk of protein-energy malnutrition; low intakes of protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin B6 and riboflavin; impaired absorption of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D and zinc. Raises blood pressure, blood lipids and the risk of stroke and heart disease in heavy drinkers. Lowers blood glucose, especially for people with diabetes Causes fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis Increases energy intake, but not a primary cause of obesity Causes depression, anxiety and insomnia

Among these health effects, dependence on alcohol may also cause pancreatitis, insulin resistance, diabetes, gastritis and in extreme cases, alcohol poisoning and death.

Health effects are not the only issue concerning alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Alcohol substance abuse also has negative societal impacts. Including:

  • DUI
  • Trauma/abuse
  • Violence
  • Unwanted or unplanned pregnancies
  • STD contraction
  • Substance dependence
  • Vehicular/Motor accidents
  • Economic costs: health care costs, lost productivity, crime and social welfare administration

Truth Trivia
Studies have shown that overconsumption of alcohol can directly affect or cause which of the following?

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