SHORT-TERM EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ABUSE
• Slurring of speech.
• Emotional changes.
• Sleep disruption.
• Lowering of body temperature.
SYMPTOMS OF EXCESS ALCOHOL INTAKE
• Nausea and vomiting.
• Loss of bladder and bowel control.
• Blackouts, in which a drinker does not remember what happened while he or she was drinking.
• Temporary loss of consciousness.
• Coma and death.
Depression of the immune system.
Reduced sexual performance.
Long-Term Effects of Alcohol
Long-term overconsumption of alcohol causes death of brain cells, which can lead to brain disorders as well as a lowered level of mental or physical function.
Liver damage from alcohol can result in cirrhosis, a severe medical condition that can require a liver transplant to treat.
Long-term overconsumption of alcohol can cause pancreatitis, a very dangerous inflammation of the pancreas, and it can also cause nerve damage.
Tolerance, a long-term effect of alcohol in which the body becomes accustomed to higher and higher doses of alcohol after a long period of overconsumption. This makes it possible for long-term drinkers to consume amounts of alcohol that are dangerous without experiencing short-term effects that might otherwise convince them to stop. Tolerance can lead to dependence and then to addiction or alcoholism in some individuals.
Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism, occurs when the body cannot function without alcohol. Alcohol affects certain neurotransmitters in the brain. When the brain becomes accustomed to the way that alcohol affects these brain chemicals, it can no longer send proper signals to the rest of the body without the presence of alcohol.
Once someone has developed a dependence on alcohol, he or she will continue to drink regardless of any serious physical symptoms caused by alcohol. In addition, a person who has developed alcohol dependence will continue to drink even if he or she suffers social or personal circumstances such as the loss of a job or career, breakup of personal relationships, or arrests for behavior related to alcohol consumption.
Excerpts taken from http://www.drugabuse.com