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Exploring Alcohol’s Effects: Insights into Diverse Drinking Patterns

effects of alcohol


There is a very thin line between drinking responsibly and beyond. Most of the effects of alcohol on our overall health depend on the way we choose to drink it.

There is enough medical evidence to prove that the positive effects of alcohol when drunk in moderation, eg, approximately 50 ml of hard liquor or a glass or two of red wine daily contribute to improved cardiovascular health. However, this article goes beyond this point to explain different patterns involved in alcohol consumption.

Social drinking

This is pretty much a self-explanatory way of drinking alcohol. Much of the prevalent drinking community belongs to this category.

These are the people who typically drink merely to raise a toast during times of celebrations like a party here or there, with friends & family.

Such individuals do not have any compulsion to drink alcohol & have a strong grip on their alcohol consumption & most importantly, they drink responsibly.

Casual drinking

It is the most common type of drinking pattern where an individual drinks light to moderate amounts of alcohol once or twice a week to unwind from the stress & boredom of daily routine.

Such a pattern is hardly a cause of concern unless the individual is gradually increasing the intake of alcohol because the human body gets accustomed to the same amounts of repeated alcohol intake which later on, doesn’t provide the same level of intoxication.

A person with such a mindset should depict a strong will over the drinking habit or else he loses grip over his drinking pattern.

This is generally the first alarm or a symptom of a person drifting slowly but gradually toward alcoholism. In this category, an individual may have an erratic & unpredictable way of alcohol consumption.


In this mental disease… yes, it is a mental disorder for those who don’t know it yet, a person drinks on a regular basis with no dry days in between.

Since the body keeps getting tolerant to the effects of alcohol on the mind, a person has to increase his alcohol intake each time to reach the same level of intoxication that he once used to reach by consuming considerably less amount of alcohol in the past.

If an alcoholic abstains from alcohol abruptly, he may face a variety of alcohol withdrawal symptoms varying from mild to severe.

These individuals may indulge in light drinking sessions which gradually transform into moderate to heavy drinking with time.

The most common peculiar observation reported in these individuals if they have a dry day is insomnia.

A person suffering from this disorder is said to be an ‘alcoholic’. This is a mental disease but most alcoholics remain in denial or are not aware of it at all.

At this point, the family & friends of such individuals need to step in to help an alcoholic realize that he has a mental condition & that, it is treatable if prompt & timely action is taken.

If this condition is left untreated for a long period, it gives way to a number of serious health complications, most of which are irreversible like damage to the brain, liver, kidneys, pancreas, etc.

At that point, it becomes a matter of life & death for an alcoholic. The quality of life & its expectancy get reduced & the only way to survive is to completely give up alcohol with a prolonged admission to an alcohol rehabilitation center, following it up with attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings.

Ensuring regular physiatrist & psychologist consultation & medication can further help to maintain sobriety for a consistent time.

Alcohol Abuse

An alcohol abuser (AA) is an individual who keeps abusing their body by drinking continuously beyond the point of getting even highly intoxicated.

Their alcohol intake pattern differs significantly from a person suffering from Alcoholism. Alcohol abuse involves drinking alcohol to the point of getting drunk to dangerously high levels of intoxication.

The only time they stop their drinking spree is by passing out.

At times, under the influence, they can drink themselves to death by alcohol poisoning, which is to choke on their own vomit in an unconscious state. It happens when the vomit enters the windpipe resulting in sudden abruption of the respiratory reflex. If the individual doesn’t wake up with a time of his side, alcohol poisoning leads to sudden accidental death.

These individuals are rarely seen to be daily drinkers. Some mental health professionals suggest that a majority of these individuals suffer from a mental illness: OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

Ironically, an alcohol abuser can go without alcohol for weeks & sometimes even for months, unlike an alcoholic.

Alcohol abuse is an extreme & very hazardous way of drinking& due to their stretch drinking session, the whole body from head to toe takes a heavy toll.

To prevent escalating this mental condition further, the line of treatment remains the same as it is for an alcoholic. 

Binge Drinking (AM Drinking)

It is perhaps the most deadly & volatile way of drinking. According to NIAAA (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism), any person drinking more than 5 shots (1 shot ~ 30ml) of hard liquor (ethanol ~ 42%) in about 2 hours is a binge drinker.

This is how it is classified by NIAAA in the books. However, the more contemporary definition of binge drinking has evolved with time.

The persons indulge in heavy drinking out of curiosity to experience the rewarding & euphoric effects of alcohol on their bodies & minds.

Such individuals generally do this in their early stages of drinking. This type of drinking also happens in a group of individuals, occasionally with other substance abuse.

These individuals drink for days & days together continuously without eating anything much. Binge drinking is a habit that has the most devastating effect on the human body, much more than an alcoholic or an alcohol abuser.

Such drinkers can be classified as a subset of alcohol abusers, with the difference that their drinking session can stretch for many days & at times, for weeks.

Ironically, if such individuals don’t binge drink repeatedly, they can still refrain from alcohol for days & weeks once their binge is over but if they start indulging in binge drinking over & over again, then it becomes the only way they know ‘how to drink alcohol’.

Eventually with time, with the amount of toll on their body, they find themselves in a helpless situation & at that point, an intervention is required to save the lives of such individuals.

An intervention can be a prolonged admission to an alcohol rehabilitation along with regular physiatrist & psychologist consultation.

The effects of alcohol through alcoholism, alcohol abuse & binge drinking can be devastating. It can be collectively classified as an abnormal mental condition or worse, mental illness.

Once they develop these conditions, they find themselves in a very lonely & isolated dark place both when they are drinking and even worse, when they are weaning off it & facing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

It is primarily their willpower that eventually decides the avenue & longevity of their lives. if they fall susceptible to their drinking urge, unfortunately, most of them drink themselves to an untimely death in a few years’ time.

Road to Recovery

Individuals who are lost & don’t exhibit willpower (who want to leave but don’t know how) don’t need to lose heart as they still have some tools that can save their lives.

First, of all, it is of utmost importance to keep their mind away from drinking by indulging in some form of physical & breathing exercises.

Secondly, they need to revive their mental balance by practicing some kind of meditation, preferably yoga, as it not only rejuvenates the mind but its postural form, and also boosts physical flexibility in a way that helps in activating several vital body glands.

If an alcoholic somehow inculcates yoga (with time in hand) in his or her lifestyle, the most adverse effects of alcohol can be reversed. Although no medical book can make similar claims.

It is necessary to develop this routine to break the chain of regular or abusive alcohol consumption.

All those who take this path need to holistically follow this routine along with regular visits to physiatrists & psychologists.

The family of such individuals needs to show a soft corner for them & support them in all possible ways.

By following this healthy regime, such alcohol-dependent individuals can develop the mental strength to refrain from alcohol and can find themselves leading a normal & healthy life again!



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Navjot Singh
I'm an independent healthcare analyst with a passion for exploring and researching overall well-being. From cutting-edge medications to time-tested traditions, I delve into various perspectives. My extensive analysis covers health, alternative treatments, nutrition, fitness, herbs, and parenting. Every write-up on Bloomposts is churned thoroughly from authentic & published mediums. My aim is to provide valuable information for those who seek it. Now, let's dive into the articles - I hope you find them enjoyable and valuable.

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