Everybody drinks sometimes. Well, almost everyone. Some people drink socially, having a beer or two with a few friends. Others prefer hard liquor, like vodka or gin, tequila or rum, maybe as a shot or two, maybe in a mixed drink or two. And then some choose to have a six pack or two, while others prefer a six-shooter or a multitude of mixed drinks.
Whatever your choice, know that there are dangers when ingesting hard liquor in larger volumes. Hard liquor contains not less than 20% alcohol by volume. That means that at least 1/5 of the drink is alcohol, and the higher the percentage, the higher the alcohol content. Some have an alcohol content of as much as 51% by volume, and then there's moonshine, but that's a whole other story. Comparatively, beer has between 4% and 6% alcohol by volume. So, as you can see, having one hard liquor drink can just blow right past beer all day long. But that doesn't mean drinking beer in excessive quantities is advisable.
What does alcohol do to your body and mind? We are all very aware of DUI offenses. We know alcohol clouds good judgment, reduce inhibitions, and makes for fun people. It can also make for angry people, which is the œnot so fun people.
But what about the biological effects? While alcohol is largely carbohydrates, it needs almost no time for absorption by the body. It is absorbed into the bloodstream quickly and ahead of most other nutrients. Roughly 1/5 of the alcohol consumed is absorbed through the walls of an empty stomach and can reach the brain within one minute. Once in the stomach, enzymes break down the alcohol, reducing the amount of alcohol absorbed into the bloodstream by about 20%. About 10% of the alcohol is expelled through breathing and urinating. Rapidly absorbed through the small intestine, the blood carries the alcohol to the liver, affecting nearly every cell in the liver.
The liver is the only organ we have that can properly metabolize alcohol. The liver also metabolizes fatty acids, which is its preference. When alcohol is present, however, the liver prioritizes the alcohol over the fatty acids. The result is the fatty acids accumulate. The liver cells are permanently changed, and the ability to metabolize the fatty acids is impaired. This leads to fatty livers, a common problem among heavy drinkers. This results in an accumulation of fat in the liver, which can happen as quickly as after only one night of drinking.
The process of decontaminating the blood through the liver takes about one hour for a 1/2 ounce of alcohol. When more than that is consumed, the alcohol is distributed throughout the body, circulating until the liver can handle it. The liver removes the hydrogen in two steps, disabling the ability of the body to use certain enzymes in the processing of other bodily needs.
Alcohol may increase your desire to eat, but chronic drinkers may find the opposite, so drinkers tend to eat poorly and have poor nutrition. The liver's ability to distribute oxygen and nutrients to the liver cells becomes impaired. Over a sufficient time period, it can kill liver cells, forming fibrous scar tissue known as fibrosis. With proper nutrition and no alcohol, some cells may regenerate, but if they have reached the final stage of deterioration, cirrhosis, the damage is generally not reversible.
Alcohol has other effects on your health. It increases your risk of gout and arthritis; it increases your risk of cancer of the liver, pancreas, rectum, breast, mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus; it raises blood pressure and increases the risk of stroke and heart disease; it enlarges your kidneys and increases the risk of kidney failure; causes alcoholic hepatitis; can cause neuropathy and dementia; and can cause depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
If these reasons are not sufficient to make it clear as to how dangerous alcohol can be, especially when consumed in large quantities or with great frequency, then you are most likely suffering from denial. Denial is not a river in Egypt, it's an inability or lack of desire to see what is really there. If you suffer from denial and alcoholism, you should consider getting help from a group that focuses on recovery. It could save your life.
Unintentional drug overdoses is a serious matter that has led to many family tragedies and loss of loved ones. The notion of losing someone, whether it's a friend, a parent, a sibling, or a son or daughter, is a devastating one. Florida Center for Recovery has been dedicated for ever ten years in providing addiction treatment services and programs for thousands of families nation-wide, and has saved numerous lives as a result. Our mission is not only to treat individuals who suffer from various drug addictions, but also those who suffer from mental disorders such as ADD or ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Post traumatic Stress Disorder.
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