- Studies of alcoholics have found that
heavy consumption of alcohol can lead to neurodegeneration, death of brain cells
and reduced brain tissue mass, and subsequent damaging effects such as a lack
of impulse control and difficulty in setting goals.
affects people differently, depending on their size, sex, body build, and metabolism.
is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream from the small intestine, and less rapidly
from the stomach and colon. In proportion to its concentration in the bloodstream,
alcohol decreases activity in parts of the brain and spinal cord.
1996 90% of adults reported using alcohol at some time during their lives.
to eighty percent of alcohol is absorbed in the small intestine.
body systems are affected by alcohol. Side effects include dilation of blood vessels
and increased gastric secretion. Chronic alcohol consumption causes damage to
body organs such as the brain, liver, heart, stomach, pancreas, and intestines.
- In 1998, alcohol was a factor in more
than half of all traffic fatalities.
than 100,000 people die each year from alcohol related causes. Ranked independently,
alcohol related deaths would fall between the 3rd and 4th leading causes of death.
- Between 20% and 40% of all persons
admitted to urban general hospitals have coexisting alcohol problems and are often
misdiagnosed alcoholics being treated for the consequences of their drinking.
cirrhosis is the 9th leading cause of deaths; each year 28,000 lives are lost
to this disease.
- In 1997, 111 million
Americans ages 12 and older had used alcohol during the 30 days before an interview
conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration in 1997.
effects of drinking do not depend on the type of alcoholic beverage - but rather
on the amount of alcohol consumed on a specific occasion.
heavily over a short period of time usually results in a "hangover"
- headache, nausea, shakiness, and sometimes vomiting, beginning from 8 to 12
- A hangover is due partly
to poisoning by alcohol and other components of the drink, and partly to the body's
reaction to withdrawal from alcohol.
alcohol with other drugs can make the effects of these other drugs much stronger
and more dangerous.
- In severe cases
of alcohol addiction, sufferers may experience delirium tremens ('the DTs') when
they withdraw from alcohol. Delirium tremens is a serious medical condition that
can be fatal.
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- Drug Facts
- Methadone is a synthetic drug. It was first invented in Germany during the Second World War by scientists who, having discovered pethidine some years earlier, were developing other similar compounds.
- In 1998, alcohol was a factor in more than half of all traffic fatalities.
- The negative side effects of habitual cocaine use that was responsible for coining the phrase, "dope fiend".
- Smoking marijuana decreases blood flow to the brain.