What are the Short-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse?
The signs of intoxication are fairly easy to spot—slurred speech, slowed response and reaction time, difficulty maintaining balance, and uncharacteristic changes in behavior such as talking loudly, aggressively, boasting, buying rounds, or ordering doubles. A person who is intoxicated may not be abusing alcohol regularly. To address the effects of alcohol abuse, we must begin by defining alcohol abuse.
Different Forms of Short-Term Alcohol Abuse
A typical definition of alcohol abuse is the habitual misuse of alcohol. There are different types of alcohol abuse through which the short-term effects of alcohol are experienced and can be intensified. These include underage drinking, binge-drinking, and heavy alcohol consumption. Risks are multiplied when someone combines alcohol consumption with medical or mental health concerns and medications. Turning to alcohol as a means of coping with mental illness, trauma, grief, stress, career, life and/or relational difficulties is considered alcohol abuse.
- Underage drinking significantly increases the risk of developing an AUD and longer-term health problems associated with alcohol dependence and/or addiction.
- Binge drinking is typically defined as consuming five drinks for men and four drinks for women in a period of two hours. Binge drinking significantly increases the risks of drunk driving, dangerous behavior and/or injury and alcohol poisoning.
- Heavy alcohol consumptionHeavy alcohol consumption is typically defined as binge drinking on five or more occasions in a month, significantly increasing the risk of liver disease, heart disease, depression, sleep disorders and stomach and intestinal bleeding.
If you or someone you love is abusing alcohol, we can help. At Honey Lake Clinic, we recognize that alcohol abuse doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Our licensed and experienced staff of recovery professionals can help you regain control of your life. Call and speak with someone confidentially, right now.
Short-Term Alcohol Abuse and the DSM-5 Criteria for AUD
In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association issued the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5), updating prior editions’ definitions. Whereas previous iterations of the DSM differentiated between alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, the latter edition combined the two into a single diagnosis, alcohol use disorder (AUD).
According to DSM–5, anyone meeting any 2 of 11 criteria listed below during a 12-month period would be diagnosed with AUD. Based on the number of criteria they meet, their AUD can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.
Do I Have an Alcohol Use Disorder?
The DSM-5 would ask: Have you …
- Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer, than you intended?
- More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
- Spent a lot of time drinking or being sick or getting over other after-effects?
- Wanted a drink so badly you couldn’t think of anything else?
- Found that drinking—or being sick from drinking—often interferes with taking care of your home or family, caused job troubles, or school problems?
- Continued to drink even though it is causing trouble with your family or friends?
- Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
- More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
- Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem or after having had a memory blackout?
- Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
- Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, or a seizure? Or sensed things that were not there?
According to DSM-5, saying YES to any 2 of these 11 criteria indicates you have an AUD. More specifically, YES to 2-3 questions is considered mild AUD, YES to 4-5 is considered moderate, and YES to 6 or more is considered severe.
How did you score? From medically supervised detox to helping you gather the education and tools you need to get sober, Honey Lake Clinic offers you the perfect environment in which to find freedom from alcohol use disorder. Let us help you recover health and wholeness.
Short-Term Effects of Alcohol Use Disorder
It is important to realize that even a person who doesn’t abuse alcohol regularly or have an AUD can experience its short-term effects of alcohol abuse NO FOLLOW NEW WINDOW. Alcohol is a depressant which means that it slows the functions of your mind and body. Things like coordination, judgment, reaction time, and decision making can be significantly affected.
The short-term effects of alcohol may include:
- slurred speech
- slowed reaction time
- loss of coordination
- loss of balance and stumbling
- injury and/or death
- sleepiness and/or passing out
- alcohol poisoning, coma and/or death
Contact Honey Lake Clinic today to learn about treatment for alcohol abuse
At Honey Lake Clinic, we believe that faith-based treatment, encompassing your spiritual, physical, and mental health, provides you with the long-lasting tools and knowledge needed for you to break alcohol’s grip on your life. Our experienced staff of doctors, therapists and counselors have walked this path with many people who, just like you, were ready to make a change.