Facts About Alcohol
These facts about alcohol show that this practice and commodity has many harmful consequences on health, society and the economy as well. Though alcoholic consumption has been around since the dawn of human culture and is a means of pleasure and socializing, it’s important to know its effects and subsequently, take responsibilty for your actions after reading this list.
- Alcohol is a depressant drug. A depressant is a substance that slows and reduces the activity of the central nervous system, altering an individual’s perceptions, emotions, movement, vision and hearing.
- Alcohol is created through a fermentation process. Using yeast or bacteria that changes the sugars of foods such as grains, fruits or vegetables yields alcohol.
- Chronic alcohol usage damages the brain. Specifically, it damages the frontal lobes, reduces brain size and increases the size of ventricles. Due to alcohol causing a thiamine, or B-1, deficiency, impaired memory, coordination and confusion is likely to occur. Additionally, because the brain continues to develop into the early 20s, exposing the brain to alcohol in that period may impair brain development.
- Alcohol can result in serious to fatal side effects if consumed with medications. Hardly any medications exist that can be safely taken while drinking alcohol. Many prescription drugs and most over-the-counter medications carry a warning against using the drug while drinking.
- There is a staggering link between alcohol and poverty. In many countries, alcohol consumption only exacerbates socio-economic consequences of the poor. Aside from the little money available being spent on drinking, alcoholics and their families may be afflicted with lower wages, lost employment and increased medical and legal expenses.
- Fifty percent of traffic fatalities are alcohol-related in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 65 percent of fatal drunk-driving deaths involve drivers whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .15 or higher. Twenty percent of alcohol-related traffic deaths involve blood alcohol concentration levels below .10 percent.
- Alcoholism has a tendency to run in families. Studies and statistics have shown that the children of alcoholics have an increased risk of becoming alcoholics themselves, due to a combination of environmental and genetic factors.
- Drinking on an empty stomach may increase the likelihood and intensity of intoxication. Eating food, particularly proteins, fats and dense carbohydrates, will slow the absorption process and impact on the bloodstream.
- Only the passing of time can sober a person up. Alcohol dissipates at a rate of about 0.15 percent of blood alcohol content (BAC) an hour. No exercise, coffee or cold showers can alter this fact, regardless of sex, height and weight.
- Alcohol increases the risk of many physical injuries. These grievances include road accidents, falls and fires. Drinking is also the precursor to many violent incidents such as domestic abuse and self-inflicted injuries, and the severity of the violence equates to the amount of drinking beforehand.