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 commit to memory having to pee every time after having drunk at least 3 shots of alcohol? Or have you felt the world spinning around you while you take that last sip of vodka? These are just a little of the effects of alcohol and what it can do to your body as well as to your health.
Carbon and hydrogen are the main chemicals that makes up alcohol. The active ingredient in alcoholic beverages is ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol. It is a colorless and nearly tasteless liquid that is easily and quickly absorbed by the body. Many people think alcohol is a stimulant, but actually it is a depressant. It wears down the role of all living cells, especially those in the brain. Anesthetics and tranquilizers belongs to the same group as alcohol.
Alcohol does not need to be digested after having been consumed. It moves with tremendous speed through the body, affecting every single tissue and organ. It quickly emerges 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 quickly to try to get rid of the alcohol. It is absorbed through the stomach directly into the bloodstream. It then proceeds to the liver, where it is metabolized. However, when it is consumed at a quicker pace than the body’s metabolism can handle (about one 12-ounce can of beer per hour), alcohol builds up 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 visible -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 responsible for controlling the senses, speech, understanding, and judgment. Alcohol slows down first the parts of the brain that usually inhibit actions and emotions. It appears 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 liberated from moral and legal restrictions. The loss of these restraints can cause exhilaration and loss of inhibitions. The alcohol goes on to depress brain functions, resulting in slurred speech, unsteady walk, blurry vision, and loss of co-ordination. Drinkers regularly feel that their manual skills have been improved because their decision has been impaired, while in reality their reaction times are slowed and their muscle coordination is less efficient. Next, the drinker experiences various exaggerations of the emotions that can range from violence and aggressiveness to tearfulness and withdrawal. If a person continues to drink, the body protects itself from further damage by “passing out”. Alcohol destroys brain cells which, unlike the blood cells it also destroys, are irreplaceable.
Treatment for alcohol addiction is not that easy. Alcoholics would mainly deny the fact that they are alcoholics. Thus, the first step in treating alcohol addiction is letting the person make out that he has become dependent with alcohol and that this dependency is a severe problem that needs treatment very soon. 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. This is not as easy as one, two, three. It entails hard work, commitment, discipline, and the unending support of family and friends.
Alcohol addiction is one of the very great problems being faced in by our society and it requires quick treatment in order to be solve.