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The Science of Getting Drunk

THE SCIENCE OF GETTING DRUNK PLASTERED, WASTED, THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND; WHATEVER YOU CALL IT, ALL DRINKERS GO THROUGH PRETTY MUCH THE SAME BIOLOGICAL PROCESS TO ARRIVE AT THE DESTINATION OF INTOXICATION. WHAT'S HAPPENING INSIDE YOUR BODY A drink is consumed; it passes down the esophagus, through Un-metabolized alcohol is distributed throughout the body, causing the drunkenness you feel until the alcohol makes its way through your system. the stomach and into the small intestine. The bloodstream rapidly transports the ethanol throughout the body, where it is absorbed into the body tissues in proportion to their water The liver detoxifies and removes the alcohol from the blood. A minute amount is excreted unchanged in the breath, in the sweat and in urine. content. How quickly it's absorbed and metabolized by the liver depends on the alcoholic content of the drink and whether you have eaten. The kidneys direct fluids straight to the bladder, making you urinate excessively and speeding up the loss of fluid from the body, causing dehydration, which can lead to a hangover. The vast majority of alcohol enters the bloodstream through the walls of the small intestine. Your blood alcohol content goes up when your body begins taking in alcohol faster than it can release it. WHAT'S HAPPENING INSIDE YOUR BRAIN THE PHYSICAL SIGNS OF DRUNKENNESS ARE FAMILIAR: Slurred speech, memory lapses, falling down. All occur because of the way alcohol affects the brain and central nervous system. NEUROTRANSMITTERS Inhibitory Excitatory Decrease brain Stimulate brain electrical activity electrical activity GABA Alcohol increases the effects of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, causing sluggish movements and slurred speech Glutamate Dopamine Alcohol inhibits the excitatory Alcohol increases the amount neurotransmitter glutamate; by suppressing this stimulant, alcohol causes a similar type of physiological slowdown to GABA. of the chemical dopamine in the brain's reward center, which creates the feeling of pleasure that Occurs when someone takes a drink. REGIONS OF THE BRAIN CEREBRAL CORTEX Alcohol depresses the behavioral inhibitory centers, making the person less inhibited; it slows down the processing of information from the eyes, ears, mouth and other senses; and it inhibits the thought processes, making it difficult to think clearly. CEREBELLUM Alcohol affects this center of movement and balance, resulting in the staggering, off-balance swagger we associate with the so-called "falling-down drunk." HYPOTHALAMUS AND PITUITARY The hypothalamus and pituitary coordinate MEDULLA By acting on the medulla, alcohol induces sleepiness. It can also slow breathing and lower body automatic brain functions and hormone release. Alcohol depresses nerve centers in the hypothalamus that control sexual arousal and temperature, which can be life threatening.g. performance. Although sexual urge may increase, sexual performance decreases. WHY DO I FEEL SHAKY AND SLEEPY? > WHY DO I WANT FRIES? Low blood glucose levels are responsible for that shaky feeling, heavy sweating, dizziness and blurred vision. Low glucose levels also result in feeling tired To overcome this feeling of lethargy and tiredness, the body will be craving a carbohydrate boost, which is why many people feel hungry when they have been drinking. WHY DO I FEEL SO SICK THE NEXT DAY? WILL I REALLY SLEEP BETTER? Though some people feel a "nightcap" helps them fall asleep, much scientific evidence When the liver is metabolizing alcohol, it produces acetaldehyde, a vinegar-like substance that has toxic effects on the liver, brain and stomach lining, resulting in severe headache, nausea, vomiting and heartburn and the feeling of being unwell. suggests the quality of sleep will drop due to dehydration. Alcohol also plunders our stores of vitamins and minerals, which need to be in the correct balance for the body to function normally. People are still likely to feel tired after sleeping following drinking as they will have missed out on quality sleep. The tox of alcohol can irritate the stomach, causing stomach upset, often resulting in vomiting. THE TOXIC EFFECT OF ALCOHOL CAN ALSO CAUSE INFLAMMATION OF THE ESOPHAGUS, THE TUBE THAT CARRIES FOOD FROM THE THROAT TO THE STOMACH, CAUSING HEARTBURN. It seriously disturbs the appropriate balance of minerals in the blood including potassium along with calcium, and sodium which are known as ions, is maintained by the kidneys. The liver needs water to get rid of toxins from the body but as alcohol acts as a diuretic there will not be sufficient amounts in the body, so the liver is forced to divert water from other organs, including the brain, which causes the throbbing headaches. The level of each ion must be maintained within narrow limits but dehydration caused by drinking, can affect the concentration of ions by draining potassium from the body, resulting in thirst, muscle cramps, dizziness and faintness. KNOW YOUR DRUNKS Blood Alcohol Concentration's (BAC) EUPHORIA (BAC 0.03 TO 0.12) They become more self-confident or daring. Their attention span shortens. They may look flushed. Their judgment is not as good -- they may say the first thought that comes to mind, rather than an appropriate comment for the given situation. They have trouble with fine movements, such as writing or signing their name. EXCITEMENT (BAC 0.09 TO 0.25) They become sleepy. They have trouble understanding or remembering things (even recent events). They do not react to situations as quickly (if they spill a drink they may just stare at it). • Their body movements are uncoordinated. They begin to lose their balance easily. Their vision becomes blurry. They may have trouble sensing things (hearing, tasting, feeling, etc.). CONFUSION (BAC 0.18 TO 0.30) They are confused -- might not know where they are or what they are doing. They are dizzy and may stagger. They may be highly emotional -- aggressive, withdrawn or overly affectionate. They cannot see clearly. They are sleepy. They have slurred speech. They have uncoordinated movements (trouble catching an object thrown to them). They may not feel pain as readily as a sober person. STUPOR (BAC 0.25 TO 0.4) They can barely move at all. They cannot respond to stimuli. They cannot stand or walk. • They may vomit. • They may lapse in and out of consciousness. COMA (BAC 0.35 TO 0.5) They are unconscious. Their reflexes are depressed (i.e. their pupils do not respond appropriately to changes in light). They feel cool (lower-than-normal body temperature). Their breathing is slower and shallower. Their heart rate may slow. DEATH (BAC MORE THAN 0.50) The person usually stops breathing and dies. HOW MUCH DOES IT TAKE TO GET DRUNK? DRINKS BODY WEIGHT IN POUNDS 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 .04 .03 .03 .02 .02 .02 .02 .02 .08 .06 .05 .05 .04 .04 .03 .03 3 .11 .09 .08 .07 .06 .06 .05 .05 4 .15 .12 .11 .09 .08 .08 .07 .06 .19 .16 .13 .12 .11 .09 .09 .08 .23 .19 .16 .14 .13 .11 .10 .09 .26 .22 .19 .16 .15 .13 .12 .11 8 .30 .25 .21 .19 .17 .15 .14 .13 .34 .28 .24 .21 .19 .17 .15 .14 10 .38 .31 .27 .23 .21 .19 .17 .16 Blood Alcohol Concentration's (BAC) MEN DRINKS BODY WEIGHT IN POUNDS 90 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 .05 .05 .04 .03 .03 .03 .02 .02 .02 .10 .09 .08 .07 .06 .05 .05 .04 .04 3 .15 .14 .11 .10 .09 .08 .07 .06 .06 4 .20 .18 .15 .13 .11 .10 .09 .08 .08 5 .25 .23 .19 .16 .14 .13 .11 .10 .09 .30 .27 .23 .19 .17 .15 .14 .12 .11 .35 .32 .27 .23 .20 .18 .16 .14 .13 .40 .36 .30 .26 .23 .20 .18 .17 .15 .45 .41 .34 .29 .26 .23 .20 .19 .17 10 .51 .45 .38 .32 .28 .25 .23 .21 .19 Blood Alcohol Concentration's (BAC) WOMEN

The Science of Getting Drunk

shared by TheVisualizer on May 22
Whether you’re a guy or gal, big or small, or a liquor or beer drinker, the consumption of alcohol has the same biological effects on a person. Check out the following infographic and see for yourse...



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