Alcohol is the most widely used drug in the United Kingdom. It only takes approximately five to ten minutes from the first sip for it to be released into your bloodstream. Alcohol affects everyone in different ways; although there are a number of factors which determine the extent of the effects. Including:
- The amount consumed (the exact concentration)
- The person’s size and body weight
- Whether or not you have eaten
- People’s tolerance to alcohol
- The mood felt before alcohol consumption (it can trigger different feelings in people – and can often be used as a crutch or coping mechanism).
- General health
- The effect of certain drugs made with the alcohol (prescription or illicit)Initially, alcohol may be consumed to help people let go of their inhibitions, unwind, and perhaps bond with one another. Although, like many drugs, alcohol is a depressant, whereby it works on the CNS (central nervous system) to make the individual slow right down.
Affects people differently
Obviously it affects everyone in different ways – it may make males become more antagonistic and confrontational. The consumption is often linked with violence, especially after a heavy night of it – and the victims are often vulnerable and unsuspecting. It’s always a good idea to know your alcohol limits, it maybe legal, but it’s still a drug. Think before you drink. Remember you have control and it is your duty to take care of your body. Know the impact alcohol has on your brain, and be aware of the potential damage. A healthy person will metabolise alcohol at a fairly consistent rate. Approximately, a personal will ‘eliminate’ one drink per hour. It’s not the quantity of what you drink, but the concentration of alcohol you consume.
The Blood Alcohol Concentration (or BAC) is the key to why we are affected by alcohol. Your blood alcohol concentration is the relationship between the amounts of alcohol in your system, divided by total body water. Alcohol is dissolved and diluted in water, which why drinking lots of water when consuming alcohol is critical and aids in a quicker recovery. The BAC and the effects of alcohol go up when the body is taking in alcohol faster than it can metabolise it. EG if you binge drink and consumer a 750 ml bottle of rum or 3 bottles of wine, that’s around 26 standard drinks.
In your system
Between 6pm and 2am, your body will need until sometime around 6pm the next day to process and get rid of the alcohol. That’s why driving or operating equipment the next day is not only illegal, but just crazy. Particularly when you consider what this is doing to your brain. Alcohol enters the body and ends up in the stomach at which point about 20% is absorbed immediately and the other 80% is absorbed in the small intestine.
The heart then pumps the absorbed alcohol into the every part rest of the body, including the CNS which consists of the brain and spinal cord, and it gets to the brain really fast. So that’s why even after one drink you can feel light headed or relaxed. Alcohol acts primarily on the nerve cells in the brain and interferes on the communication between the nerve cells and all other cells, slowing the system down. And that’s why when we drink even a little we experience the effects of alcohol on our emotions.