You are probably aware of the problems associated with long term alcohol abuse and addiction. When drinking becomes a habit and you can no longer control when or how much you drink, the possibility of developing a long term dependency to alcohol is inevitable.
Short term alcohol abuse also comes with its own dangers, drawbacks and problems. Short term alcohol abuse can include drinking more than you should, drinking at an inopportune times or places, or binge drinking – drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. The consequences of short term alcohol abuse can have serious, devastating ramifications one might not consider.
Losing Control Of Yourself And Your Situation
When you get drunk, your judgment is often the first thing that is affected. While sober, you may be a very responsible person; conscious of how your actions and words affect yourself and those around you. Sometimes, drinking is your way of losing inhibitions, allowing yourself to “let down your hair,” relax or forget about your responsibilities and problems for a short period of time.
But this can be taken much too far. Abusing alcohol in spurts can result in misdeeds and misfortunes you might not have encounter if you were in control of your faculties.
This lapse of judgment can result in problems such as:
- Losing A Job or Being Fired – Having a “few too many” the night before work can have dire consequences. You might oversleep and end up late for work. You might still have a trace of alcohol in your system that can make you smell of it and result in a mandatory drug test. Even if you pass, the stigma of having had to do the test in the first place can haunt you in the workplace. You might even go so far as to go to work still intoxicated. If this alters your behavior for the negative, you can find yourself fired altogether.
- Belligerence – When under the influence of alcohol, even the most soft spoken or polite person can find themselves blurting out things they shouldn’t say, sometimes angrily. You may find yourself confronted by someone you hurt by oversharing something they told you in confidence. Or maybe you made hurtful remarks about someone while your discretionary filter was out of commission.
- Inappropriate Behavior – Alcohol impairs our ability to restrain our impulses. How many times have we heard about someone getting drunk at a holiday office party, making passes as the boss’s wife, or otherwise acting like a fool? When inhibitions are artificially freed, one can find themselves in all sorts of inappropriate and unfortunate positions. Some of which can range from wearing a lampshade on our head to getting in bed with a potentially dangerous stranger.
- Driving Drunk – This deserves its own mention. Studies have suggested that as many as half of all drunk drivers pulled over were occasional drinkers who would not be categorized as alcoholic. The hazards of drunk driving are obvious and inescapable. Drinking too much in a single sitting or drinking binges, result in the impaired functions necessary to drive safely.
Bouts Of Alcohol Misuse Can Cause Illness, Injury, And Even Death
The physical impact of drinking too much wreaks havoc on the body. Ingesting alcohol into your system affects not just your cognitive abilities and behaviors, but also your organs, bloodstream, digestion, etc.. Just about every part of your body can be affected in some way by drinking in excess.
The Effect Of Alcohol On The Body
Illness can result from the effect of alcohol has on lowering your body temperature. That St. Bernard with its cask of brandy may make you feel warmer when you’re stuck in a snowbank in the Alps, but alcohol actually dilates your blood vessels, causing warmer blood to move closer to the surface of the skin. Meanwhile, you’re losing general, internal body heat, which can result in hypothermia, which can be fatal.
We’re often warned about potential interactions between prescribed medications. But alcohol can also interact with medications with harmful results. It can cause complications such as:
- Heart attack
It can also cause a medication to lose its effectiveness altogether.
Increased Susceptibility To Injury
People become more prone to injury when drinking alcohol. Loss of coordination can cause stumbling, loss of balance and falling. Impaired perception can cause one to misjudge stairway depth, inability to maneuver when getting out of a car, or how close the counter is when setting down a glass pitcher. Lapse in judgment can also result in injury when you stumble onto a slippery dance floor in high heels, or prove to yourself you can still go backwards on roller skates.
It is not uncommon for someone to pass out from drinking too much at one time. When passed out, a person becomes exposed to potential danger from which they cannot defend themselves. At the very least, this can mean waking up with permanent marker tattoos all over their body, however at worst, they may find they have been sexually assaulted.
Death: The Ultimate Price To Pay For Getting Drunk
Besides the potential risk of death from drunk driving, alcohol can result in other fatalities in other. These include:
- Aspiration – Choking to death by breathing in vomit when passed out.
- Poisoning – Consuming so much alcohol in a short period of time that it becomes toxic, impacting and even shutting down organs.
- Accidents – Falling from a fatal distance, walking into traffic, driving drunk, swimming while intoxicated and drowning, etc..
As you can see, the opportunities for injury and/or death from even an occasional bout of heavy drinking, are countless.
Impact Of Alcohol Misuse On Others
Not only are you susceptible to embarrassing, injuring or even killing yourself when drunk, you’re also more likely to affect those around you in similar ways.
The tendency for alcohol to lower inhibitions and encourage you to act impulsively, can lead you to interact with others improperly. You may hurt the feelings of someone by blurting out things about them publicly, they trusted you to keep private. You may get overly physical with them, touching them in ways they do not welcome. You may embarrass loved ones by acting obnoxiously in the company of others.
Some people are susceptible to blackouts when drinking. This generally happens when someone ingests enough alcohol to impair their consciousness and memory, but still function. While in a blackout, a broad range of improper behaviors can result including silly behavior to sexual or violent assault on another person.
Don’t Underestimate The Pitfalls Of The Occasional Drinking Binge
As you can see, short term alcohol abuse can cause you to say or do things you might sorely regret. When you drink inappropriately, you put yourself and others in danger of illness, injury and even death. Drinking too much can be the first step toward long term abuse and dependency. Contact us to find out how we can help.