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Alcohol's Physical And Emotional Effects. Essay

1736 words - 7 pages

Many people look upon the consumption of alcohol differently. Occasional drinkers think it is a fun, harmless act in which to celebrate or just have a good time. Non-drinkers look at it as a sign of weakness or stupidity. Alcoholics, however, look at is as a way of life. Although people have different views about the subject, in the end, alcohol has the same damaging affect to anyone involved.The following information was derived from The Information Series, 2003. For starters, lets look to see what constitutes a drink. The typical amount of absolute alcohol in a drink is 0.5 ounces. The following beverages contain approximately equal amounts of alcohol:A shot (1.25 ounces) of spirits (80 proof whiskey or vodka- about 40 percent alcohol).A 2.5-ounce glass of dessert or cocktail wine (20 percent alcohol).A 5-ounce glass of table wine (10 percent alcohol).A 12-ounce bottle or can of beer (4.5 percent alcohol).When alcohol is consumed, there is a specific path throughout the body that it goes through. The path is as follows:1.Alcohol is drunk.2.Alcohol goes right into the stomach. A little of the alcohol goes through the wall of the stomach and into the bloodstream. But most of the alcohol goes down into the small intestine.3.Small Intestine. Alcohol goes from the stomach into the small intestine. Most of the alcohol then goes through the walls of the intestine and into the bloodstream.4.Bloodstream. The bloodstream then carries the alcohol to all parts of the body, such as the brain, heart, and liver.5.Liver. The liver changes the alcohol to water, carbon dioxide, and energy. This process is called oxidation. The liver can oxidize only about one-half ounce of alcohol in an hour. This means that until the liver has time to oxidize all of the alcohol, the alcohol keeps on passing through all parts of the body, including the brain.6.Brain. Alcohol goes to the brain almost as soon as it is drunk, and it stays there until the liver has had time to change (oxidize) all the alcohol to carbon dioxide, water, and energy. (The Information Series, 2003)The speed of alcohol absorption affects the rate at which one becomes intoxicated. Intoxication occurs when alcohol is absorbed into the blood faster than the liver can oxidize the alcohol. There are five factors that determine how fast one becomes intoxicated. One is body weight, second is the speed of drinking, third, the presence of food in the stomach, fourth, the amount of alcohol the person drinks, and the fifth is drinking history and body chemistry. (Claypool, 1997)When intoxicated, there are many symptoms that come in any combination. "Most people who drink to the point of drunkenness will experience some of each of these acute aspects: loss of coordination, stumbling over small objects or being unable to perform routine tasks such as pouring water into a glass or catching a football may be some of the first signs of drunkenness" (Claypool, 1997, p. 78). Other signs include slurring or loss of speech,...

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