Deciding whether to drink is a personal decision that we each eventually have to make. This section of the website provides some information on alcohol including some facts about alcohol and how it affects your body so you can make an educated choice. When enjoyed in moderation, alcohol can bring pleasure and relaxation. However, alcohol can be misused and lead to dependency in some and there are certain times when it should be avoided completely, such as when driving, pregnant and on certain medications.
What happens to alcohol in the body?
Once alcohol is swallowed it then absorbs into your bloodstream through the tissue lining the stomach and the small intestine. Food, water and fruit juice help to slow this absorption-that’s why alcohol affects you more quicly on an empty stomach.
Once alcohol is in your blood stream, it is carried to all the organs in your body- heart, brain, muscles and other tissues. The affects of alcohol on your body will vary according to the individual: their gender, size, health, their amount and type of alcohol consumer and the presence of food in the stomach.
Alcohol is a drug which must be changed into a non harmful substance; your body can not store alcohol, so it has to get rid of it mostly via the live. 10% of alcohol is eliminated through sweat, breath and urine. Your liver detoxifies the remaining alcohol at a rate of one half an ounce per hour. When the rate of alcohol consumed exceed the liver’s detoxification rate, the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream continues to increase, further impairing of the brain, causing intoxication, coma or possibly death.
Alcohol and the next day
The next day after drinking, many people suffer from hangovers; hangovers usually affect people in the form of headaches, stomach sickness, dizziness and the lack of concentration. Hangovers are the result of your body being dehydrated as all your bodily fluids are being used to counteract the toxins that are taken in with alcohol.
You should be aware of how your body is affected the next day after drinking. How much alcohol you have taken in will affect you the following day so be cautious when you are carrying on with your regular routine especially when driving.
It takes 1 hour for your body to breakdown 1 unit of alcohol, only once all units are broken down will your body be free from alcohol again and continue with your regular daily routine again.
1 pint is no = to 1 unit!
1 pint of beer = 2 units!
1 measure of spirits=1 unit!
Example calculating units.
2 pint + 2 vodkas= 4 units + 2 units= 6 units
This equations means it will take your body 6 hours to break down this amount of alcohol in your body so if you go to bed at 3 o’ clock and you wake up at 8 o’ clock then there still is alcohol in your system.
Facts about alcohol
Did you know that…
- 30% of college failure is alcohol related
- Every 7 hours, someone in Ireland dies from an alcohol related illness.
- 3 in 10 crash deaths are alcohol related
- Alcohol is a mood altering substance. It affects the nerves that pass messages round the body by slowing them down
- There is no two ways about it – heavy drinking especially on a regular basis can lead to serious health problems
- Many cancers, including cancer of the mouth, liver and female breast have a casual relationship to alcohol consumption
For more information and facts on alcohol visit the drink aware website on http://www.drinkaware.ie