Taking drugs or alcohol can have numerous physical and mental consequences (weight loss or gain, sleep or behaviour problems, dependency, accidents, faster development or aggravation of certain mental illnesses, etc.). You may think you’re in control but drinking or drugging blurs your perception of reality. In addition, the effects of a drug or alcohol can be different from one time to the next.
You can’t really know in advance what effects 1, 2, or 3 drinks will have on you. It depends on several factors:
Who are you?
The effects of alcohol differ depending on your height, weight, health, psychological state, and experience with drinking.
What did you drink?
The effects differ depending on the amount, the percentage of alcohol the product contains, cocktails mixed with different kinds of alcohol or with other substances (medications, drugs), how fast you drink, and what you ate (or didn’t eat) during the day.
What context are you drinking in?
The reasons why you’re drinking, the mood, the time of day, and the place are all factors that can cause the effects of alcohol to vary.
This is why it is so important to remain alert and consume in moderation.
A few possible consequences
Even though it’s legal for adults, alcohol is a drug. You can become dependent on it. You might realize that you need more to feel the same effects. You might start looking for opportunities to drink and hanging out with people who drink. Your life starts to revolve around alcohol.
Feeling more depressed than before you drank regularly
Alcohol is a depressant, like some other drugs. Depressants slow down your bodily functions. Over time, alcohol can desensitize you and dampen your mood.
Alcohol consumption can impair your sleep. You might have trouble falling asleep, wake up often, or have an irregular sleep cycle.
Drinking a lot of alcohol can affect your body, including your liver, heart, sex organs, nervous system, and stomach.
Regular, abusive alcohol consumption can result in withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. Withdrawal can cause anxiety, agitation, irritability, the shakes, and nausea.
To sum up, you need to pay attention to how often you drink and see if you’re able to stop for a few days without feeling lousy. If you stop and you feel cravings or are more depressed than usual, that’s probably a sign that, over time, you’ve become dependent on alcohol.