What are the Short Term Effects of Alcohol?

The short term effects of alcohol can be different for everyone, depending on the amount and concentration of alcohol that was consumed in a certain time period, and the amount of food and water the individual had that day. The short term effects of alcohol are considered to be varying degrees of intoxication, depending on the amount of alcohol present in the blood. These can include feelings of relaxation and euphoria all the way up to vomiting, coma, or death depending on the alcohol consumed. The short term effects of alcohol should not be taken lightly.

Put simply, alcohol is a depressant, meaning it slows the nervous system. When most people drink a small to moderate amount, they will typically begin to feel relaxed, perhaps more self-confident and talkative. Some find that their inhibitions are lowered, or that they are thinking more slowly than usual, and that muscle coordination is affected, which may lead to trouble balancing or walking. It may be difficult to concentrate on one thing, and blurred vision is common. These are the most common early short term effects of alcohol.


If one continues to drink, the short term effects of alcohol will become more pronounced. People may find that they are confused and dizzy, or that the room appears to be spinning. It is common to begin slurring words at this point and having extreme trouble walking. Many people who reach this stage of intoxication will experience nausea and vomiting, which can be potentially deadly if the person passes out and aspirates the vomit. If drinking continues, it is likely that one will lose consciousness and potentially experience a blackout, or the inability to remember what happened.

This stage in the short term effects of alcohol is very dangerous, because the combination of loss of consciousness and vomiting can easily be deadly. Alcohol poisoning can occur at this point, which can lead to a slower heart rate and difficulty breathing, coma, and eventual death. Anyone who is suspected of having alcohol poisoning should be taken to the emergency room immediately for treatment. For these reasons and others, it is important to monitor one's drinking and not to consume too much. Drinking plenty of water is a good way to prevent feeling ill, or hungover, the next day, and it is important to eat something while drinking to better absorb the alcohol in the system.



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