How alcohol affects you in the short-term

Since alcohol reaches every part of your body, including your brain, its effects are both mental and physical. These effects include changes to how you feel and how you interact with others. The mental and physical effects of alcohol increase the more you drink. For example, alcohol can change the way you feel and interact with others.

Most people who drink do so in a way that enhances their enjoyment of life, but there are others who may drink irresponsibly – occasionally or regularly – and create health and social problems for themselves and others. That’s why risk is not just a result of how much you drink, but also of when and how you drink. It is quite different to have one drink with dinner every day of a week, for example, than to quickly down seven drinks in rapid succession in a single evening. Health experts call this rapid and excessive consumption “binge drinking,” which is potentially dangerous. A repeated pattern of binge drinking is especially bad for your health.


How alcohol affects you in the longer term?

Regular heavy drinking is associated with a range of health and social harms, including damage to your internal organs, risk of accidents and injuries, and difficulties in functioning positively in family, work, and community life. Liver damage is strongly associated with long-term heavy drinking and may culminate in cirrhosis.

Scientific studies have associated heavy drinking over long periods of time with an increased risk of certain forms of cancer. This includes evidence of some increased risk of breast cancer, even in women who drink moderately.