This is the first in a two part series on drugs and behavior by Sammy Trick, Andrea Rognlien, Karina Johnson, Karlee McCoy, students at Concordia College for Psychology 324.
The following are snippets of information pertaining to the risk factors for potential alcoholism, information about alcohol consumption, and the categories of alcohol consumption. There are many facts out there about alcohol, but did you know:
It takes 30 minutes for the body to feel the effects of alcohol. Alcohol is eliminated slowly through the body. The liver can process about 1 ounce of alcohol in one hour. One standard drink is eliminated in one hour. Individuals with a higher risk of alcoholism may exhibit a higher tolerance to the effects of alcohol. That is, at a BAC where others may stop drinking due to feelings of intoxication, these persons are likely to continue consuming alcohol.
Since men and women metabolize alcohol differently, their advised behaviors of alcohol intake differ slightly.
Moderate drinking for women is no more than 1 drink per day and for men no more than 2 drinks per day. Binge drinking for women, is defined as 4 or more drinks on one occasion and for men is defined as 5 or more drinks on one occasion. Heavy drinking for women is categorized as, on average consuming more than 1 drink per day and for men on average, consuming more than 2 drinks per day.
Alcohol is a peripheral dilator which causes the blood vessels near the skin to enlarge. This may cause the feeling of warmth. However, it actually causes the body to lose heat more quickly.
Beginning alcohol use at a younger age increases the likelihood of an alcohol-related problem later in life. Scientific evidence has shown that the likelihood or risk of developing alcoholism has been correlated with both genetic factors, such as family history, and environmental factors. Some people exhibit unhealthy drinking habits in response to life stressors. A tolerance to the effects of alcohol may develop due to consistent excessive drinking from a young age. This can lead to harsh effects on the body later in life. A general tolerance to the effects of alcohol (not developed from excessive drinking) has been correlated with alcoholism risk later in life.
Children of alcoholics are about four times more likely than the general population to develop alcohol problems.
One can assess individual risk factors for possible alcoholism based on family history, alcohol tolerance and environmental factors. Those identifying themselves as having risk factors for alcoholism are encouraged to explore prevention approaches such as abstinence from the consumption of alcohol.
For additional information, please visit the following websites:
Alcohol Fact Sheet
CSPI: Alcohol Policy: Fact Sheet: Women and Alcohol