Harmful Effects of Alcohol


All people are aware to some extent that harmful effects of alcohol on human’s organism is dramatic. Consequences of long time alcohol consumption are always negative, starting with harmless at first glance short periods of blackouts and up to serious diseases and even lethal outcome.

Harmful effects of alcohol

According to the latest research in this area, even small amounts of alcohol have a dramatically affect your health. What is harmful about drinking alcohol?

Damaging effect of alcohol on human brain

The most obvious harmful effect on human body from alcohol is the way it affects human brain.  Confused speech of a drunk person, braided feet, unclear eyesight and slow reaction clearly show the alcohol effect on human brain. These symptoms usually vanish as soon as there is no alcohol in person’s blood. But if someone consume alcohol on a regular base, alcohol effect on human brain is obvious even when that person is not drunk and alcohol does not affect human brain directly. Irreversible changes in a human brain under the influence of alcohol  emergence is a widespread subject of researches for scientists.

The degree of alcohol effect on human brain is determined by several facts:

  • The dose of alcohol and the frequency of alcohol consumption
  • Age, when a person starts drinking alcohol
  • Longevity of the period when someone drinks alcohol regularly;
  • Person’s age, gender, level of education, inheritance to alcohol, the fact of having alcoholic among close relatives;
  • Experiencing of prenatal alcohol abuse, which makes the risk of developing alcohol abuse dependence;
  • The general condition of person’s health.

Even a small amount of alcohol can lead to confused consciousness and blackouts. This effect you can observe in all people regardless of their gender, age and the fact if they already suffer from alcoholism or not. Despite the fact that men in general consume alcohol more often than women, female alcoholics also experience blackouts and confused consciousness. This fact points out that alcohol affects women to higher extent than men.

The brain of the woman is more susceptible to alcohol and consequences of alcohol abuse women experience are much heavier, than those that  men have. For example, female alcoholics develop weakening of a cardiac muscle, cirrhosis and defeat of nervous system much quicker. Making conclusion from the above facts, it is possible to draw a statement that harm from drinking alcohol for a female organism is much more severe, than for the man’s.

As a result of a long period of drinking alcohol, a person can develop brain functioning disorders, because every time he drinks alcohol brain cells are destroyed. Brain functioning disorders can result from drinking alcohol itself, or become alcohol abuse consequence. For instance, if someone has serious diseases of liver or general worsening of one’s health condition after alcohol abuse, he can also experience brain functioning disorders.

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Alcoholism and lack of thiamin

Wrong diet and metabolism disorder in alcoholic’s organism lead to the state when there is shortage of vitamin B1 – thiamin in his organism. This vitamin is very important mineral for the work of all internal organs, including brain.

If a person experiences shortage of this mineral, he can develop serious brain disease – Wernicke-Korsakov syndrome. This disease has two stages – the first stage is short and  intense which is called Wernicke encephalopathy. The second stage has long periods of this disease and is called Korsakov psychosis. The second stage, despite being rather calm stage, exhausts the patient’s organism severely.

Wernicke encephalopathy has symptoms like confused consciousness, movements incoordination and optic nerve paralysis. Patients often do not find their  way out of the room or aren’t able to move at all. When the illness passes to the second stage, that is, Korsakov’s syndrome develops(and it happens in 80-90% of cases), memory blackouts and difficulties with memorizing new information are observed in those who suffer from this disease. Such patients are forgetful, are constantly in a state of depression, are quick-tempered, experience difficulties while walking and have uncoordinated movements. Even familiar information is reproduced with great difficulty (retrograde amnesia), and new  information is practically not acquirable (anterograde amnesia). For example, if some event was just being discussed, in 10 minutes, the patient remembers neither this event nor the discussion.

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Hepatic encephalopathy

It is well known that alcoholism leads to a serious disease of a liver, and even to its destruction. This organ, processing alcohol in a human body have no strength to neutralize a large amounts of alcohol for a long time, and gradually, regenerates. Hepatic encephalopathy itself is dangerous, because it often leads to a lethal outcome. Besides, not many people know that liver functioning disorders lead to brain dysfunction – hepatargia.Taking into account the research findings of the scientists who study problems of alcoholism, the fact that the cells of a liver struck with alcohol start allocating harmful substances in large amounts. Those substances get into human brain and destroy its cells. Here, we can make a conclusion that besides straight effect on human brain, alcohol has its side effect in human liver, destroying it.

Hepatic encephalopathy is characterized by sleep disorders, often mood swings, personality changes, experiencing anxiety and depression, cognitive function disorders, attention disorders and movement coordination disorders. In difficult cases of this disease the patients can have hepatic coma which usually results in lethal outcome.

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Pregnancy and harm from alcohol

Drinking alcohol by women who are pregnant is unacceptable, because alcohol severely affects the baby in future. For a developing foetus the consequences of his mother’s alcoholism in future life can be expressed in physiological, cognitive and behavioral aspects. In the most heavy cases, the fetal alcoholic syndrome can develop (fetal) when children have pathologies of external organs, slow growing and developing.  They can have smaller brain size, which is called micrencephalia, and at the same time the number of the brain cells will be less, than the number of brain cells in healthy children brains. Neural cells of a brain of such children are also not capable to function normally.


A lot of women lightheartedly think about the health of their future babies and keep drinking alcohol being pregnant. Some women ask themselves if they should exclude alcohol completely while pregnant or just consume less? The answer is if you want your future baby to use his abilities only 50% of what he can use, cut alcohol consumption in half. And do not full yourself that beer is a light alcohol drink and does not harm pregnant woman health.

Despite the state in which alcohol comes into your organism, the harm it has on it is the same. either beer or wine, vodka or cognac, they all have ethyl in them and this alcohol comes to the baby’s organism and provokes blood circulation disorders and hemorrhages. Alcohol can prevent useful for a baby minerals from absorbing into oxygen and getting to the foetus, as a result in future the child can experience development delay. Alcohol can also cause  peeling of  placenta, and even death of a foetus.

Alcohol is dangerous because it does not show its harmful effects immediately. Internal organ functioning disorders can become obvious in several years after the person was born. For example, it is proved that, mothers, who consumed alcohol during pregnancy get stupid and impudent children in puberty period, although they were nice and precocious as babies. It happens because during  hormones maturation, all negative genetic information, which was spoiled by mother’s alcohol addiction, releases.

The problem of a drunk conception is very serious, because in this case mechanism of fetus organs and systems suffers on a genetic level. The problem worsens with the fact that most women are aware of their pregnancy only in a month after conception. During this period she keeps drinking alcohol and smoke. If you take in account that the period of the first weeks of pregnancy is when the base of all systems in organism is formed and placenta, protecting the fetus is not formed yet, one can only imagine the baby to be born to this woman.

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How alcohol harms organism of a teenager?

In spite the fact that information about the harm of the alcohol is available to anyone to learn, many teenagers start getting acquainted with “adult drinks” too early. The reasons, provoking young people to taste alcohol can be different. But one cannot underestimate the harmful effect of alcohol on a young organism, and it does not really matter if it is beer or light alcohol drinks.

It will not be useless for parents to talk to their son or daughter, before they become teenagers, about the harmful effects of alcohol. They should point out all negative effects, drinking alcohol can have on a teenager’s organism.


Firstly, ethanol, that is a in any alcohol drink, severely affects teenager’s brain, and his brain is on the stage of structural and functional development and therefore is very susceptible to chemicals. The research findings show that even a small amount of alcohol causes chemical process dysfunctions in human brain, which results in educational problems, mental development delay, decrease in already formed abilities and ethical norms developing and behavior disorders. Under the alcohol effect teenager degrades emotionally and mentally, and his not fully formed brain develops alcohol dependence faster and easier that adult brain.

We should talk about how alcohol affects teenagers as often as we can, because the harm of it is enormous. Alcohol affects internal organs of young people, teenager’s liver is being destroyed much more faster, because it has higher level of permeability of vascular cells and ferments producing to neutralize toxins in not completely formed yet.

Alcohol causes liver cells mutations and destroys synthesis of vitamins and ferments. Also there are failures in a digestive tract functioning, the quantity and properties of gastric juice changes, the pancreas starts functioning poorly. These facts lead to development of pancreatitis and diabetes.

Many teenagers abuse beer which causes strong diuretic effect. drinking beer on a regular base causes  washing away of minerals and the nutrients which causes on its turn irreplaceable losses for the growing organism. Besides, ethanol – the poison damaging functioning of cardiovascular system and therefore teenagers who drink alcohol have blood pressure swings and tachycardia.

The real killers of young organisms are popular among teenagers so called light cocktails. It is a dangerous mixture of alcohol, colorings, caffeine and sugar, which have negative effect on teenager’s nervous and cardiovascular systems.

The sexual system of the teenager also suffers from alcohol. In a state of alcohol intoxication they have a majority of unprotected sexual contacts. Those casual contacts may lead to  sexually transmitted diseases— to hepatitis C and B, HIV. Girls who have sex without contraception often suffer from early, undesirable pregnancy, abortion and the subsequent gynecologic problems.

About the harm of alcohol at teenage age both social services, and pediatricians, and experts in narcology «blow an alarm». Only the younger generation seldom listens to similar «notations», doing irreparable harm to their organisms. Usually the child thinks of harm of alcohol for the health only when it develops some  disease. Only then a teenager is ready to have a conversation, and it is necessary not to lose the moment and to urge him to listen for «a voice of reason».

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