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  • Drinking Gin Straight | Effects & Risks

    Published on September 27, 2021
    Drinking Gin Straight | Effects & Risks

    Gin is a distilled liquor that is most commonly mixed with tonic water or in cocktails but can also be consumed straight. Drinking gin can lead to intoxication, including slurred speech, impaired coordination, and drowsiness. 

    Consuming gin frequently and in large amounts can have long-term effects on the brain and body. Alcohol misuse increases the risk of health problems, alcohol poisoning, and brain damage. 

    Gin is addictive, like other types of alcohol, and long-term alcohol abuse can progress into alcohol use disorder (AUD).

    What Is Gin?

    Gin is a type of distilled liquor infused with juniper berries and other botanicals, herbs, and spices. 

    There are several types of gin, including London dry gin, Plymouth gin, Old Tom gin, and genever. The types of gin are differentiated by their flavor profile and how they are produced. 

    Common brands of gin include:

    • Beefeater
    • Tanqueray
    • Bombay Sapphire
    • Hendrick’s

    Taste & Use

    All gin begins with a base of grain alcohol (usually rye) that is distilled. After distilling, different botanicals or other ingredients are steeped in the alcohol to add flavor. 

    The most prominent flavor in most gin is juniper berries but the following ingredients may also be added during the flavoring process:

    • orange peel
    • cinnamon
    • coriander seeds
    • cardamom
    • angelica root
    • anise
    • lemon peel
    • licorice

    Gin is a major ingredient in several cocktails, like an old-fashioned, a gin martini, or a gin and tonic. However, it can also be drunk straight up over ice cubes with a lemon or lime wedge. 

    Effects Of Drinking Gin Straight

    Drinking gin neat (straight) can be harmful if it is consumed in large amounts or in a short period of time. Initially, you may feel relaxed, more outgoing, and experience decreased inhibitions. However, alcohol use can also cause adverse physical effects and behavior changes. 

    Short-term effects of gin include:

    • slurred speech
    • impaired judgment
    • impaired coordination
    • memory loss
    • drowsiness
    • slowed reaction time
    • mood changes
    • nausea/vomiting

    Gin has a high alcohol content, which means drinking a lot in a short time can raise your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to dangerous levels. If your BAC is raised too high, you can lose consciousness or have difficulty breathing. 

    These are signs of alcohol poisoning and may require immediate medical attention. 

    Health Risks Of Drinking Gin Straight

    If you drink gin frequently or in large amounts, it increases the risk of serious long-term health effects. 

    Alcohol misuse can lead to several health complications, including:

    Long-term alcohol use can also impact brain function and mental health. 

    Brain damage can occur, including memory and cognitive impairment, that continues even in sobriety. In addition, alcohol abuse can worsen or bring about symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. 

    Other risks of alcohol use include:

    • car accidents 
    • injury to yourself or others
    • engaging in high-risk behaviors
    • difficulty with personal relationships
    • missing work, school, or other responsibilities

    Dependence & Addiction

    Gin is an addictive substance and long-term misuse can lead to dependence and alcohol addiction. Alcohol dependence is a condition that can cause you to experience withdrawal syndrome if you suddenly stop drinking. 

    Alcohol withdrawal is dangerous and can result in strong cravings, which can lead to a cycle of alcohol abuse. Over time, alcohol dependence can progress into alcoholism. 

    Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a brain disease that results in difficulty controlling alcohol use. 

    If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, please contact Ark Behavioral Health to learn about treatment options.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) - Alcohol Use And Your Health
    National Center For Biotechnology Information (NCBI) - Worldwide Production and Use of Alcoholic Beverages
    National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism (NIAAA) - Alcohol's Damaging Effects On The Brain
    National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism (NIAAA) - Alcohol's Effects On The Body

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