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Alcohol

(is a Depressant)
Is a drug in certain beverages
that slows down the central
nervous system and harms body
organs.
Beverages containing alcohol:
Beer
Wine
Wine coolers
Mixed drinks

Blood Alcohol Concentration
(BAC)



Is the amount of alcohol in a
person’s blood.
BAC is given a percentage
(decimal)
The higher the BAC the greater
the effects
BAC depends on the below
factors:
How much a person drinks
 How fast a person drinks – alcohol is
broken down by the liver and is
excreted at a specific rate. Drinking
quickly will increase the BAC to lifethreatening levels
 How much a person weighs

BAC depends on several
factors:



How a person feels – alcohol is a
depressant
How much a person has eaten – alcohol
passes more quickly into bloodstream
when the stomach is empty than full
When other drugs are in the
bloodstream-the presence of a
depressant drug increases the effects of
alcohol
Oxidation



The process by which alcohol is changed
to carbon dioxide and water.
The liver can oxidize about onequarter to one-third ounce of pure
alcohol an hour.
Takes 2 hours for the body to fully
oxidize one ounce of alcohol.
Gastric ADH


Enzyme the liver needs in order to
oxidize or break down alcohol for
excretion.
Females produce less gastric ADH
Problem Drinking
A pattern of drinking that produces
difficulties in a person’s life.

Problem Drinker:
A person who causes problems for
themselves or others when drinking.
Alcoholism
Disease in which there is physical
and psychological dependence on
alcohol.
 Patterns in drinking and not able to
controlling their drinking.
 Blackout – a period in which a
person cannot remember what has
happened.

Enabler


A person who knowingly or
unknowingly supports the harmful
behavior of another person.
Enablers might develop
CODEPENDENCE – a mental disorder
in which a person denies feeling a
copes in harmful ways.
Effects of Alcohol
on the
body
Body Senses:
Taste, touch, smell, hearing, &
sight senses are dulled.
 Increased chance of having
accidents

Reaction Time & Coordination
Is slowed down because alcohol
effects the part of the brain responsible
for reasoning & judgment.

Over 50% of all fatal accidents &
More than 70% of all drowning deaths
involve people who have been drinking.

Immune System

White blood cell count
lowers, making it easier for
abnormal cells to grow
increasing the risk of
disease, including cancer
Mouth, Pharynx, Larynx, &
Esophagus

Damages the cells in the
lining, which increases
risk of cancer in these
organs.
Stomach
Increases flow of gastric
juices in the stomach.
 Increases risk of ulcers.

Pancreas


Can cause pancreatitis –
inflammation of the pancreas.
Increases risk of Diabetes
Liver
Alcohol causes most harm
 Cirrhosis – a disease in
which the liver tissue is
destroyed and replaced with
scar tissue.

Heart & Blood Vessels
Causes blood vessels to dilate,
causing a lower blood pressure
 Body heat lost
 Increases sugar in bloodstream
 Atherosclerosis – increased heart
disease
 Increase in irregular heartbeat, high
blood pressure and stroke

Brain & Nervous System
Affects BRAIN CELLS
 Alcohol Dementia – brain impairment
with overall intellectual decline.
 Affects on nervous system –
blackouts, seizures, & nerve
destruction

Reproductive System
Immediate effect during Puberty
In Females:
st
 Delay in the 1
menstrual
cycle, irregular
periods
 Affect breast
development,
increase risk of
breast cancer
In Males:
 Can affect the size
of testes and
development of
muscle mass
 Can affect the age
at which voice
deepens & the
amount of body &
facial hair.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


Severe birth defects in babies
born to mothers who drink during
pregnancy.
Small eye slits, small head,
mental retardation and slow
growth
Alcoholics Anonymous
(AA)
Self-help treatment group.
Attend meetings and
support each other from
drinking.
Al-Anon
support group for family
members & friends of
people with alcoholism &/or
other addictions.
Alateen

Support group for young
people who have been
affected by the behavior of
someone with alcoholism
&/or another addiction.