Short-Term Effects of Alcohol: The Risks

There are many short-term effects of alcohol. Since alcohol is a depressant, it slows down the body’s systems when it reaches the brain. It also puts a lot of strain on the liver as well as the digestive system and cardiovascular system.

Short-Term Effects of Alcohol: What They Are


Right after drinking alcohol, a lot of things start to happen. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream by blood vessels in the stomach lining and small intestine. From there, the alcohol goes to your brain. This is where is starts to affect your body.

The short-term effects of alcohol have many factors. For example, how much alcohol you consume and how quickly you consume it will directly affect the impact. Additionally, your gender and weight, as well as whether you have eaten, can affect this as well. You will be less intoxicated if you drink with a meal, as it slows the rate of absorption.

Progression of Intoxication

Initially, you may feel happy, silly and care-free. After drinking more alcohol, things start to change. For example, slurred speech, clumsiness and inability to walk steady, vomiting, headache, and drowsiness can occur. Eventually, even a loss of consciousness can result. These are some of the short-term effects of alcohol.

Alcohol Poisoning

At a certain level, the amount of alcohol in the blood can lead to alcohol poisoning. This is a very dangerous short-term effect of alcohol. Alcohol can slow your breathing which can cause your brain to not get enough oxygen. This can cause confusion, seizures, loss of consciousness or coma. In some cases, it can even lead to death.

Alcohol Intolerance

It is possible to have an alcohol intolerance. People with this will experience  negative short-term effects of alcohol immediately after drinking it. Symptoms of this can include facial flying, nausea or vomiting. Also, it can cause diarrhea, worsening of asthma or low blood pressure.


One of the most well known short-term side effects of alcohol is a hangover. This is mainly caused from the dehydration that alcohol causes. It takes a while for your body and liver to absorb and process all of the alcohol. During this time, your body can remain saturated with the remaining alcohol. You may have a headache, feel restless, or even nauseous.

While there are both long-term and short-term side effects of alcohol, you now know some of the ones that don’t last as long. In short, alcohol can have a negative effect on your body. If you are going to drink, do so responsibly and in moderation.