People drink to socialize, celebrate, and relax. Alcohol often has a strong effect on people—and throughout history, people have struggled to understand and manage alcohol’s power. Why does alcohol cause people to act and feel differently? How much is too much? Why do some people become addicted while others do not? The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is researching the answers to these and many other questions about alcohol. Here’s what is known:
Alcohol’s effects vary from person to person, depending on a variety of factors, including:
How much you drink
How often you drink
Your health status
Your family history
While drinking alcohol is itself not necessarily a problem—drinking too much can cause a range of consequences, and increase your risk for a variety of problems. For more information on alcohol’s effects on the body, please see the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s related web page describing alcohol’s effects on the body.
NIDA does not conduct research on alcohol; for more information, please visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).