How alcohol affects your health
Although the legal age to consume alcohol in South Africa is 18, deciding whether to drink or not is a personal choice. Before you make this decision, it’s important to be aware of some of the long and short-term effects of alcohol on your body. Here’s more.
The effect of alcohol on your body
In very small amounts, alcohol can help you feel more relaxed or less anxious. The more alcohol you consume, the more likely your perception, emotion, movement, vision, and hearing will be changed.
Depending on your alcohol tolerance levels, being under the influence can make you more friendly, talkative, or aggressive and angry. These may be behaviours that are completely unusual or different for you to display.
When large amounts of alcohol are consumed in a short period of time, you can get alcohol poisoning, which is when the levels of alcohol in the body become poisonous for you. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning can range from vomiting and diarrhoea to extreme drowsiness, difficulty breathing and unconsciousness (which may result in seizures. It’s important to make sure that you see a healthcare professional if you experience any of these symptoms.
The effects of alcohol on your health
When you consume excessive amounts of alcohol, you’re more likely to engage in high risk or drunk sex, which usually doesn’t involve a condom. This can result in unplanned pregnancy. It also increases your risk of getting an STI/HIV infection.
It can also affect your ability to make responsible decisions, leading to risky behaviours such as drinking and driving. Remember, that it’s never a good idea to get behind the wheel when under the influence of any substance or get into a vehicle with a driver who’s under the influence.
Alcohol consumption and excessive drinking can negatively affect your body, resulting in serious health conditions or complications, which can result in death, if not treated. It’s important to make your health a priority, by watching the amount of alcohol you consume and knowing your limit.
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