The Effects of Alcohol on the Body Essay

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The Effects of Alcohol on the Body

You are in college, you are at a party, and you are drunk. You, and the people around you, know you are drunk by your disorientated behavior but do they know what is causing you to act in this manner? Most likely not. Most people do not think about what the alcohol inside them is doing, the only thing they are worried about is the buzz that they get from it. Moderate drinking is alright but drinking excessively can wear out the body. Three important things to know about alcohol are how it enters and leaves the body, the effects of alcohol, and how the body responds to alcohol.

After the drink is consumed, the alcohol enters the blood stream. After it enters the blood stream it dissolves in the
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After the alcohol in the alveolar is exhaled, a breathalyzer can detect the blood alcohol content of the individual. Lastly, the liver takes care of whatever alcohol is left in the body. Alcohol in beverages is known as ethyl alcohol, more commonly known as ethanol. This ethanol is chemically broken down in the liver. The enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase, strips electrons from the ethanol to form acetaldehyde. Another enzyme, aldehyde dehydrogenase, with the help of oxygen, will convert the acetaldehyde into acetic acid. The acetic acid can be used for to form fatty acids or if further broken down into carbon dioxide and water.

The rate at which alcohol affects the body is determined by three things: the concentration of the alcohol, the type of drink, and whether the stomach is full or empty. The higher the concentration the faster the body absorbs it in the blood. When drinking carbonated beverages it tends to speed up the rate for the body to absorb the alcohol. Lastly, the more food in the stomach, the more time it takes for the alcohol to get absorbed. First off, the body responds to alcohol in a series of stages which correspond to an increase in the blood alcohol content (BAC). Blood alcohol content is the amount of alcohol that can be found in the bloodstream. The first stage is euphoria, which has a BAC of .03 to .12 percent. In this stage the person loses their judgment, they may
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