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How Does Alcohol Affect the Body


Harmful use

Refers to alcohol consumption that results in consequences to physical and mental health. Some would also consider social consequences among the harms caused by alcohol.

Hazardous drinking

Is a pattern of alcohol consumption that increases the risk of harmful consequences for the user or others. Hazardous drinking patterns are of public health significance despite the absence of any current disorder in the individual user.

Alcohol dependence

Is a cluster of behavioural, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that may develop after repeated alcohol use. Typically, these phenomena include a strong desire to consume alcohol, impaired control over its use, persistent drinking despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drinking than to other activities and obligations, increased alcohol tolerance, and a physical withdrawal reaction when alcohol use is discontinued.

Binge drinking? The Hangover Effect

Binge drinking is a term used to describe an occasion when we drink too much. It is when we have 6 or more standard drinks. Binge drinking is a form of harmful drinking that is likely to increase our risk of accidents, injuries, violence and poisoning.

75% of all alcohol consumed in Ireland in 2013 was done so as part of a binge drinking session
Over half of all Irish drinkers have a harmful pattern of drinking, according to the SLÁN survey, that’s 4 in 10 women and 7 in 10 men who drink, which amounts to an estimated 1,453,250 adults.
Irish adults binge drink more than adults in any other European country, with 44 per cent of drinkers stating that they binge drink on a regular basis.
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Binge Drinking-Where it can lead

It can easily lead to alcohol poisoning, and this can be life threatening.

  • Those people who binge drink are far more likely to develop alcoholism.
  • Binge drinking can cause a great deal of damage to the body and mind. It is not necessary for the individual to become an alcoholic before they begin to experience the negative effects of this type of behavior – including alcoholic liver disease.
  • This pattern of drinking is most likely to lead to accidents. This is because when people are inebriated their judgment is impaired and so are there motor skills.
  • Those people who binge drink are far more likely to commit suicide. This is because alcohol increases impulsiveness and reduces the ability of people to reason properly.
  • Binge drinking can lead to symptoms of depression.
  • This pattern of drinking often leads to blackouts. This type of amnesia means that the individual is not able to remember periods of time when they were inebriated.
  • People who drink this way will usually suffer from a hangover the next day. This means that they will feel ill and will not be able to take care of their responsibilities effectively.
  • Binge drinking can encourage sexual promiscuity. This means that people may be more at risk of catchingsexually transmitted diseases or it could lead to unwanted pregnancies.

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