Understanding the Immediate Effect of Alcohol | When Casual Drinking Leads to a Serious Problem

One of the most popular social drugs in our society is also one of the easiest to find. Walk into almost any restaurant or gas station and alcohol will be waiting. Alcohol is a staple of many gatherings, but even the first sip can transport the drinker into a dangerous or potentially deadly situation. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, around 88,000 people die every year from alcohol-related causes.

The Immediate Effects of Alcohol on the Body

The immediate effect of alcohol can be felt only a few minutes after consumption. Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it has a sedating effect on both the body and brain. After a drink of alcohol, immediate effects can include drowsiness, slurred speech, a decline in perception, blurred vision, clumsiness, and headaches. These symptoms can make daily activities like driving or walking riskier. If alcohol is mixed with a drug, the risk of an accidental overdose or a bad chemical reaction rises dramatically. If the individual consumes a lot of alcohol, immediate effects may become much more severe and include difficulty breathing, sudden coma, impaired memory, or death.

When Casual Use Becomes Addiction

Most people will notice the immediate effect of alcohol as soon as they begin drinking. However, if they drink regularly or to excess, it may take increasing amounts of alcohol to achieve the same feelings of relaxation and enjoyment that were initially obtained. As an individual consumes more and more alcohol on an increasingly frequent basis, their body becomes acclimated to the presence of the substance. This means that they will begin to experience harsher symptoms of withdrawal when alcohol is not present.

As use continues, the individual may find it increasingly difficult to function in a normal or comfortable way without alcohol. They may be unable to feel at ease or even to feel physically well. Their thoughts will increasingly turn to the next time they can drink, and their daily activities may revolve around the quest to find more alcohol. This can begin with a drink immediately after waking up and continue steadily throughout the day. At this point, drinking has become an addiction and may require professional care and a supervised detox to comfortably overcome.

How to Stay Safe or Get Sober

Understanding the immediate effects of alcohol on the body can be a powerful discouragement of its consumption, but there are still individuals who may imagine themselves to be immune to alcohol’s effects or who may simply be too chemically dependent to quit using easily. In this latter case, they may find it beneficial to pursue a medically assisted detox at a rehabilitation center. A detox ensures that patients can undergo the withdrawal process in a comfortable way and that accredited medical personnel will be available for any emergencies or necessary treatments.

At WhiteSands Treatment Center, our private rehab facility works with patients from across the United States to create a personalized treatment planfor every patient in our care. If you’d like more information on the effects of alcohol and how our high-quality, cost-effective rehab programs can help you, call our 24/7 phone line or fill out the form here.