Article: - Alcohol: what does being drunk do to you?
Getting drunk at parties is something which is pretty standard for most teenagers. It is sometimes fun, sometimes not so fun and can sometimes get messy. It is really easy to see the effect that alcohol has on your body and your brain; it gives you confidence (maybe the boost to speak to that guy or girl you really like), releases some of your self control (when you wake up the next morning and think “did I REALLY do that?!”), and makes you feel excited and slightly off balance. It is very powerful stuff.
However, as everyone who has ever suffered a hangover knows, the effects of alcohol aren’t all good. The day after drinking too much, your head pounds and you’ll probably feel sick, tired and generally quite unwell, not to mention all the hazy memories of what you may have said/done/broken. Never a nice way to feel!
The Oy! team has put together some info on the other effects the alcohol has on the body, some of which you’ll no doubt know, but some of which aren’t so obvious and may surprise you...
Skin and hair
- Makes you flushed (adding to the embarrassment of any photographic evidence of the evening)
- Can lead to permanent flushing and red lines under the skin
- Makes conditions such as acne rosacea and psoriasis worse (and we spend so much money on products avoiding acne, why suddenly go out and spend even more on undoing all that work!)
- Increases bruising -hence UPI’s (Unexplainable Party Injuries) normally caused by walking into a table… or somebody.
- Causes dehydration which can lead to brittle hair and dry skin - the scaly scarecrow look will scare away all the birds!
- Absorbs calcium which can lead to brittle nails
- Memory loss – ever remember waking up and everyone saying “I cannot believe you did that?” and you're sitting there thinking… “Did what?!!! AHHH!!”
- Confusion - (see above!)
- Loss of intellectual ability – and no the dumb look is not generally appealing, at least not to anyone worth dating.
- Higher risk of dementia in the long term
- Short-term euphoria
- Panic attacks
- Increased risk of psychiatric problems
- Makes you less sensitive to others’ feelings – which could lead to you really upsetting your best friend by some silly drunken comment, and no one wants to do that.
- Causes arguments and increases violence – think drunken football hooligans
- Can lead to infidelity (cheating)
- Reduces communication abilities – basically meaning its difficult for you to explain yourself or your actions, leading to misunderstandings that you might not be able to fix
- Dehydration leads to reduced energy levels – falling asleep in the corner/ middle of a conversation/ front garden
- Temporarily slows down metabolism
- Very low energy the day after drinking – leading to the even lower standard of daytime T.V
- Will eventually give you a beer belly – in no way attractive
- Liver damage
- Stomach ulcers
- Alcohol poisoning
- High blood pressure
- Gout (swollen, painful joints) – Usually associated with old men.
- Weaker bones
Whilst a lot of these effects are the result of long-term alcohol use, this is by no means true of all of them. Alcohol poisoning is particularly common in teenagers, and can be very serious – in some cases leading to coma or death. Usually resulting from drinking a lot of alcohol in one night, its symptoms include clammy skin, breathing problems and falling unconscious. If this happens to any of your friends, make sure to put them in the recovery position and call 999.