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Alcohol Effects: Understanding What Happens When You Drink

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Understanding alcohol effects is pertinent to anyone who has ever before taken a drink or will end up drinking.  Misconceptions are associated with heaving drinking because many people are not fully aware of what happens when you drink alcohol.  This leads to people getting drunk when they had not intended on doing so, ending up behind the wheel of a vehicle under the impression that they have not surpassed the legal limit, and/or experiencing physical health issues down the line.

Alcohol Effects

When a person drinks more alcohol, the alcohol effects can become much more pungent.  However, people tend to underestimate how much alcohol it takes to reach intoxication. The blood alcohol content, or BAC, is the measurement of how much alcohol has been consumed, as determined by the percentage reached in your blood. Let’s take a look at a hypothetical situation of an average man drinking alcohol (this is only an example and should not be used a means to judge how alcohol will affect your body while drinking):

For an average man of 180 pounds, just half of a beer can bring his BAC to .02%.  With a BAC at this percentage, the man will begin to feel a reaction from the alcohol, where he may begin to loosen up and lose some ability to use good judgement.  It is not uncommon that people may like this feeling and so they continue drinking.  In this example, the man’s BAC would raise to .05% if he drank another full beer, in addition to the half a beer prior.  The relaxed feeling he was experiencing before would further be heightened, as the “buzz” develops.  A buzz can be defined as the beginning of sensing pleasure due to reaching light intoxication.

Now, if the man were to have reached a total of two beers and about one-fourth of a beer, he will have reached the legal BAC limit of .08%.  This is where if he continues to drink any form of additional alcohol, his motor coordination will plummet further.  At the consumption of three beers, the man would have a BAC of .10% where he is considered highly intoxicated and has become visibly sloppy with loss of judgement.  Three beers can normally be consumed within one to two hours – those are quick alcohol effects!

People commonly do not realize the onset of the alcohol effects, so they keep drinking, which in turn can bring their BAC extremely high.  If a person’s BAC gets anywhere between .15% and .25% they can put themselves at risk of great injuries and blackouts.  A person can even lose consciousness or increase their chances of death at a BAC between .25% and .40%.  A lethal dose of alcohol would be when a person has a BAC between .40% and .45%.

Alcohol Effects: Drinking to Get Drunk

In today’s society, most people are drinking to get drunk more than they are drinking for the taste.  With the full blown alcoholic and the college drinker who binge drinks, alcohol is one of the most widely abused substances in the country, especially due to it being easily accessible and legal to purchase at 21 years of age.  When the point of drinking becomes to get drunk, the drinker is either not entirely aware of the effects of alcohol or does not care because they want to “feel good.”  This can lead to disastrous events where they continue on with their drinking spree and reach a high toxicity.

The dangers associated with alcohol effects should not go ignored.  If you or someone you know has a drinking problem, contact The Watershed today for help .




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