If you are like many Americans, you drink alcohol at least occasionally. For many people, moderate drinking is probably safe. But drinking too much can be harmful, so it's important to know how alcohol affects you and how much is too much.How does alcohol affect the body?
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. This means that it is a drug that slows down brain activity. It can change your mood, behavior, and self-control. It can cause problems with memory and thinking clearly. Alcohol can also affect your coordination and physical control.
Alcohol also has effects on the other organs in your body. For example, it can raise your blood pressure and heart rate. If you drink too much at once, it could make you throw up.Why are the effects of alcohol different from person to person?
Alcohol's effects vary from person to person, depending on a variety of factors, including:
In the United States, a standard drink is one that contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:
Some people should not drink alcohol at all, including those who
If you have questions about whether it is safe for you to drink, talk with your health care provider.What is excessive drinking?
Excessive drinking includes binge drinking and heavy drinking:
Binge drinking raises your risk of injuries, car crashes, and alcohol poisoning. It also puts you of becoming violent or being the victim of violence.
Heavy drinking over a long period of time may cause health problems such as
Heavy drinking can also cause problems at home, at work, and with friends. But treatment can help.
NIH: National Institute on Alcohol use disorder and Alcoholism
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