General Information

Alcohol is a CNSCentral Nervous System depressant that acts through the GABAa receptor, and is one of the most common strong psychoactives used by humans. It has a long history of use and its intoxicating effects are well-studied and -documented.

Effects

Positive

  • Relaxation
  • Mood lift, happiness, giddiness
  • Increased sociability
  • Lowered inhibitions & reduced social anxiety
  • Analgesia (kills pain)

Neutral

  • Slurred speech
  • Flushed skin
  • Drowsiness, sleepiness
  • Nystagmus, difficulty focusing eyes
  • Changed (often increased) response to sexual stimuli
  • Tolerance with repeated use within a few days
  • Changed aesthetic appreciation: Normally beautiful things can seem *ugly, things normally seen as ugly judged beautiful
  • "Beer goggles" — Others appear more attractive
  • Mild visual distortions at high doses

Negative

Negative side effects increase with higher doses

  • Decreased coordination
  • Nausea, vomiting (vomiting while unconscious can be fatal)
  • Reduced impulse control
  • Emotional volatility (anger, violence, sadness, etc)
  • Reduced ability to attain/maintain erection in most males
  • Increased difficulty in achieving orgasm in some females
  • Frequent urination (more with beer or wine), diuretic effect
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Blackouts and memory loss at high doses
  • Coma and death at extreme doses
  • Brain and liver damage (cirrhosis) with heavy use
  • Lowered inhibitions and increased confusion can lead to unwanted and *negative sexual encounters (date rape)
  • Hangover, lasting 12-36 hours, from mild to severe after heavy use
  • Fetal damage in pregnant women at high dose or frequency

Harm Reduction

  • Avoid driving and operating heavy machinery.

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