Short-term Effects of Alcohol

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Short-term Effects of Alcohol

While expectations can help shape ones reaction to drinking it is clear that alcohol has its own direct effects. It is a powerful drug, capable of affecting body and behavior. The determining factor is how much ethanol is in the blood stream, because it is via the blood that alcohol is carried to the brain, nervous system, and bodily organs and systems where its direct actions take place. Alcoholic beverages differ in the concentration of ethanol they contain: beers average 4.5%, wines about 12%, and straight distilled spirits (hard liquor) approximately 40%. The effects mainly reflect the action of the alcohol as a general depressant of the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal
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The liver may develop Fatty Liver Disease. This disease is 100% reversible with abstinence from alcohol. If this disease continues it will eventually develop into Alcoholic Hepatitis and then Cirrhosis. Alcohol causes disturbances in the heart rate. If you already have heart problems, this could kill you. Alcohol is the major cause of acute inflammation of the pancreas that results in increasing death of the pancreas and increasing dysfunction and poor health. Urinary function increases due to changes in the hormone aldosterone, which regulates water in the body. Alcohol causes an increase in the fluid accumulation in the lungs and can lead to chronic lung infections (“Effects of Alcohol on Your Body”). Alcohol requires no digestion. Once in the body, it enters the bloodstream immediate through the stomach lining. Food in the stomach slows this process down, but does not impede intoxication. Metabolism of alcohol occurs in the liver. It requires a specific enzyme known as “alcohol dehydrogenate”, as well as the B-complex vitamins, niacin and thiamin. The liver can process about ½ ounce of alcohol every hour or hour-and-a-half. Unprocessed alcohol circulates through the bloodstream until the liver can process it. Alcohol passes through the three main areas of the brain via the bloodstream. These are the forebrain, the midbrain, and the hindbrain. The forebrain controls judgement and reasoning, the midbrain controls muscular control, and
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