Remember the very first time you sip an alcoholic beverage. What sensations did you feel? What happened to your body? To your senses? What happened to you? Whatever are the different manifestations of taking in alcohol, it is a fact that alcohol really affects you as it enters your body. Do you remember having to pee all the time after having drunk at least 3 shots of alcohol? Or have you felt the world turning around you while you take that last sip of vodka? These are just some of the effects of alcohol and what it can do to your body as well as to your health.
Alcohol belongs to a family of chemicals that contain carbon and hydrogen. The active ingredient in alcoholic beverages is ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol. It is a neutral and nearly flavorless liquid that is easily and quickly absorbed by the body. Many people think alcohol is a stimulant, but actually it is a depressant. It slows down the purpose of all living cells, especially those in the brain. Anesthetics and tranquilizers belongs to the same group as alcohol.
After being take in, alcohol is not being digested. It moves with tremendous speed through the body, affecting every single tissue and organ. It quickly comes out in the bloodstream, and its intoxicating effects are felt within a few minutes. That explains the heat you feel after having taken in several rounds of any hard drink. The body starts immediately to try to get rid of the alcohol. It is absorbed through the small intestine directly into the bloodstream. It then proceeds to the liver, where it is broken down. However, when it is consumed at a quicker speed than the body’s metabolism can handle (about one 12-ounce can of beer per hour), alcohol accumulates in the bloodstream and is distributed throughout the body. The higher the concentration of alcohol, the greater the disturbance it has on body cells. Severe disruption of function can occur and can cause death. The effects of alcohol on various organs will be discussed in more detail below.
Alcohol undeniably has undesirable effects towards the brain and other parts of the body. The human brain is most sensitive to alcohol. Alcohol affects the entire body, but its effects on the functions of the brain are the most obvious -and to the person who is drinking, the most important. People drink alcohol because of the way it makes them feel, ignoring the damaging effects on the brain itself. There are stages on how our brains react to alcohol. The first portion of the brain to be affected is the cerebrum – the outermost layer, which is accountable for controlling the senses, speech, understanding, and judgment. Alcohol slows down first the parts of the brain that usually control actions and emotions. It shows as if alcohol -although it is a depressant -is acting as a stimulant because, as these higher centers of the brain are knocked out, the drinker feels free from moral and legal restrictions. The loss of these restraints can cause exhilaration and loss of inhibitions. The alcohol goes on to slow down brain functions, resulting in slurred speech, unsteady walk, blurry vision, and loss of co-ordination. Drinkers often feel that their physical skills have been enhanced because their decision has been damaged, while in reality their reaction times are slowed and their muscle coordination is less efficient. Next, the drinker experiences different exaggerations of the emotions that can vary from violence and aggressiveness to tearfulness and withdrawal. If a person don’t stop drinking, the body protects itself from further damage by “passing out”. Alcohol disrupts the memory as well as the ability to learn new things.
Like most treatments, alcohol addiction treatment is never easy. Alcoholics would always deny their condition. Thus, the first step in treating alcohol addiction is letting the individual make out that he has become dependent with alcohol and that this dependency is a severe problem that needs treatment as soon as possible. Alcohol addiction treatment would entail medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Therapy is important in treatment because alcoholics need to have a change of lifestyle. They need to cope with life that is alcohol-free. Things will never be easy. The nonstop support of loved ones, and the willpower to change will always be necessary to succeed in this endeavor.
Alcohol addiction although not considered as an illness to some society deserves the right amount of treatment to control it’s negative effects.