- It’s a central nervous system depressant.
- It is the active ingredient in wine, beer and distilled liquors.
- It is a substance formed by the fermentation of sugar in grapes, cane, grains, agave, etc.
- It is a transparent and flammable liquid with intoxicating effects for the human organism.
- The type of alcohol found in drinks is ethyl alcohol or ethanol, a drug that can produce sedative effects, intoxicants, unconsciousness or death, depending on the amount and speed with which it is ingested.
- Technically it can be considered a food, since it contains many calories, but it is a “food” without any nutritional value.
- No matter how it is presented, the same amount of alcohol is found in a beer, a glass of table wine, a tequila horse, a free vat or any drink prepared with the same size (a horse).
What are the effects of alcohol on the body?
Unlike real foods, alcohol does not need to be digested. When someone drinks an alcoholic beverage 20% of the alcohol they ingest is absorbed directly and immediately into the bloodstream through the walls of the stomach. The remaining 80% is processed in the gastrointestinal tract and reaches the bloodstream almost as fast.
After ingestion, alcohol is deposited in all tissues of the body. Immediately it begins to act on the central nervous system, decreasing or depressing its activity.
In most people, alcohol has a mild tranquilizing effect when you have had a single drink and have a low blood alcohol level. Although basically sedative, alcohol seems at first to have stimulating effects; this is because it initially acts on the parts of the brain that regulate self-control and sociability. By doing so, it can upset us by making us lose our inhibitions and give us a sense of boldness that induces us to do risky things, including having unprotected sex with the danger of contracting AIDS or other serious illnesses.
Higher levels of alcohol depress (decrease) brain activity to the extent that memory, muscle coordination, and balance are temporarily affected. If the person continues to drink, alcohol can anesthetize the brain completely or deeply, causing respiratory collapse, cardiac collapse, coma or death.
Why do people drink?
People drink for various reasons that can be social (parties and gatherings), cultural (traditionally to accompany food), religious (in rites and offerings) or therapeutic (high or low pressure, etc.). However, there are people who drink not for these reasons but because they use alcohol to evade reality, to instill courage or face daily tensions. These people use alcohol as a drug and are in danger of depending on it.
What is a drunkenness?
A drunkenness is characterized by the temporary loss of physical and mental faculties caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. Symptoms are variable and may include distorted vision, loss of depth perception, poor coordination, slurred speech, lack of memory, and poor judgment.
Legally in the U.S., a person is considered drunk when he or she has 0.1% alcohol in the blood. This happens, for example, when someone weighs 70 kg and has had 4 drinks in a period of 1 hour after having eaten. The same concentration is achieved with fewer drinks if you weigh less, or with more drinks if you weigh more.
Contrary to what they say about myths, some people do not “let down” drunk drinking coffee, with cold water showers or breathing pure oxygen.
What is a hangover?
It is the reaction of the body when drinking excessively, which manifests itself with ailments such as nausea, gastritis, anxiety and headache and great fatigue. Scientifically it has not been proven that drinking coffee, chili, raw eggs, vitamins or beer (more alcohol!) cure raw. It is better to rest, aspirin and solid food. However, the definitive way not to suffer the discomfort of raw is by not drinking.
What damage does it cause the body to take too much?
Drinking too much alcohol can cause severe physical damage, such as cirrhosis of the liver, heart problems, malnutrition, hypertension, gastrointestinal problems, and cancer. If heavy drinking continues, nerve and mental problems, or even permanent brain damage, occur over the years.
Alcohol, like many other drugs that affect the central nervous system, can be physically addictive, leading to withdrawal symptoms. However, it does not take years of heavy drinking for alcohol to cause accidents or even death. Even small amounts such as two drinks limit coordination and increase the risk of traffic or home accidents.
Who’s an alcoholic?
Alcoholism is the compulsion to drink alcohol; it is dependence on this substance and loss of control when using it. This loss of control develops imperceptibly over a long period of time.
When someone continues to drink despite the serious mental, physical, and social problems this brings with it, it means that alcoholism is developing or is already present.
The stereotype that being an alcoholic is being on the sidewalk is incorrect, as only a small percentage of alcoholics correspond to these “death squads. The alcoholic may be rich or poor, young or old, man or woman, worker or businessman. Most have a job and family and can rarely be distinguished only by appearance.
People close to you, however, may notice symptoms of your friend’s or family member’s alcoholism when you notice an increase in your dependence on drinking, for example when you serve a drink saying you have problems, when getting drunk has become a frequent situation, or when you neglect your work because it is “raw.
Continued drinking affects the alcoholic’s ability to reason as well as his ability to examine himself critically; this explains why the alcoholic lies to himself and honestly believes that he controls the drink when it is exactly the other way around. “I can stop drinking when I want to” is a phrase that should warn that there is a problem at the bottom.
Is alcoholism a disease?
Alcoholism is a disease, even if it doesn’t seem like one. Since 1956 alcoholism has been recognized as a disease by Professional Medical Organizations (OMP). This institution defines it this way:
“Alcoholism is a primary, chronic, progressive and sometimes fatal disease. It is a mental obsession that causes a physical compulsion to drink.
The progression of this disease is so subtle and usually occurs over such a long period of time that the sick person does not realize that he or she has become an alcoholic. That is why denial is the universal symptom of the disease: vehement denial that he is an alcoholic and not stopping drinking is a very clear symptom.
How can I help an alcoholic?
Most alcoholics can be helped at any stage of the illness. Help can come from a doctor, a religious, a general or psychiatric clinic or hospital, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, alcoholism therapists, directly at an Alcoholism and Addiction Treatment Center.
The primary goal of the treatments is to help the grieving person overcome his or her dependence on alcohol, and develop a lifestyle that does not revolve obsessively around this drug.