As well as the recognised immediate effects of drinking too much, such as nausea and vomiting, binge drinking and prolonged heavy drinking over longer periods of time can affect you in many different ways.
Binge drinking can cause blackouts, memory loss and anxiety. Long-term drinking can result in permanent brain damage, serious mental health problems and alcohol dependence or alcoholism. Young people’s brains are particularly vulnerable because the brain is still developing during their teenage years. Alcohol can damage parts of the brain, affecting behaviour and the ability to learn and remember.
Drinking alcohol is the second biggest risk factor for cancers of the mouth and throat (smoking is the biggest). People who develop cirrhosis of the liver (often caused by too much alcohol) can develop liver cancer.
Heart and circulation
Alcohol can cause high blood pressure (hypertension), which increases t
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