Recognizing the Effects of Alcohol

Posted: November 7, 2017

Whether it makes you sleepy, energetic, giggly, relaxed or adventurous, we all have a way to identify how alcohol affects us. To avoid a car accident or any long term health problems. The Foundation for a Drug-Free World has summarized short-term versus long-term effects of alcohol.



Depending on how much is taken and the physical condition of the individual, alcohol can cause:

  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Distorted vision and hearing
  • Impaired judgment
  • Decreased perception and coordination
  • Unconsciousness
  • Anemia (loss of red blood cells)
  • Coma
  • Blackouts (memory lapses, where the drinker cannot remember events that occurred while under the influence)



Binge drinking and continued alcohol use in large amounts are associated with many health problems, including:

  • Unintentional injuries such as car crash, falls, burns, drowning
  • Intentional injuries such as firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence
  • Increased on-the-job injuries and loss of productivity
  • Increased family problems, broken relationships
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • High blood pressure, stroke, and other heart-related diseases
  • Liver disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Sexual problems
  • Permanent damage to the brain
  • Vitamin B1 deficiency, which can lead to a disorder characterized by amnesia, apathy and disorientation
  • Ulcers
  • Gastritis (inflammation of stomach walls)
  • Malnutrition
  • Cancer of the mouth and throat

Heathline mentions that an occasional glass of wine with dinner is not a cause for concern, but the cumulative effects excessive alcohol take a toll. Having one glass may do little damage. If you find yourself unable to stop after one glass or notice a habit developing, the cumulative effects can add up.

It can be hard to determine exactly how much you should have and when negative side effects start to kick in. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism was able to define drinking levels.



A moderate level of drinking is up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.



  • NIAAA defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after four drinks for women and five drinks for men—in about two hours.
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which conducts the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), defines binge drinking as five or more alcoholic drinks for males or four or more alcoholic drinks for females on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on at least one day in the past month.




SAMHSA defines heavy alcohol use as binge drinking on five or more days in the past month.





  • Plan to drive a vehicle or operate machinery
  • Take medications that interact with alcohol
  • Have a medical condition that alcohol can aggravate
  • Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant


If you or someone you love was in a car accident where the driver was intoxicated, visit our website or call us for a free consultation with one of our Buffalo car accident lawyers.

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