When you drink alcohol, your brain cells communicate at a slower rate than normal. Yup, alcohol acts as a depressant. Alcohol also impairs the function of your limbic system, that part of the brain that controls your emotions. Your inhibitions may disappear making you become more social perhaps less fearful and anxious. You become less attune to potentially dangerous situations. Alcohol slows the functioning of your pre frontal cortex. The pre frontal cortex is associated with reasoning and judgment. So when you drink alcohol you may exhibit more impulsive behavior and have poor judgment.
Remember as the dose of alcohol increases brain function decreases.
Your cerebellum which plays a major part in muscle coordination is also impacted. That is why the more drunk you become, the more you may lose your balance, perhaps fall, and feel dizzy like the world is spinning. Neurons in the brain control both the heart and breathing rate, so id you drink large amounts of alcohol in either a short or over a sustained period of time, your neurons quite functioning and guess what? your heart and lungs stop working and guess what? you can die.
What is considered 1 drink?
Whether it be a cosmo, bottle of Bud, Yeungling or Coors, or a glass or white wine, each person will be affected differently. One mixed drink may contain 3 to 4 ounces of either the same or different liquors. That’s more than 1 drink! Body weight, body muscle and fat ratios, health status, and even your genetic makeup will affect the amount of alcohol that enters your bloodstream. Have you eaten? Whether or not you have eaten or a snacking while drinking may also affects the amount of alcohol that enters into your bloodstream. What has your mood have to do with drinking? Interestingly, your mood can also affect how you feel while drinking. Alcohol tends to make a bad mood worse.
Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the US.
The signs of alcohol poisoning:
- loss of coordination
- vomiting repeatedly
- cold, clammy hands & bluish skin
- Irregular, slow breathing
- Confusion, Unconsciousness
- Stupor- conscious but unresponsive-COMA
Alcohol poisoning is life threatening. If you suspect anyone of alcohol poisoning, dial 911 immediately.
Remember of you choose to drink, do so mindfully.
- Limit yourself to 1 drink every 1.5 to 2 hours
- Hydrate- alternate an alcoholic beverage with a glass of water or seltzer
- Plan ahead- decide if and how much you want to drink
- Avoid drinking games- they’re designed to increase your alcohol consumption
- Feel free to turn down a drink
- Ask friends to support your drinking limits
- Be careful if you are sleep deprived, stressed out or have alcohol misuse in your family or have a chronic medical condition
If you have additional questions, visit Health Services or Counseling