Is Alcohol More Powerful Than You?

It seems alcohol has been a staple in people’s homes for thousands of years, but according to Live Science, “Human ancestors may have begun evolving the knack for consuming alcohol about 10 million years ago, long before modern humans began brewing booze, researchers say.”

Matthew Carrigan, a paleogeneticist at Sante Fe College in Gainesville, Florida told Live Science, “We wanted to understand more about the modern human condition with regards to ethanol,” referring to the alcohol that’s found in rotten fruit and used to produce liquor.

In modern society, people drink alcohol to relieve stress, relax, get over their inhibitions, celebrate, and socialize with friends and family. Unfortunately, alcohol in certain quantities – has a strong effect on the human body and always has.

Throughout history and especially since man invented automobiles, airplanes, boats and other sophisticated machinery, we’ve struggled to understand and manage the powerful effects of alcohol. The effects of alcohol vary from person-to-person, but these are the factors to understand and be aware of:

  • Your age,
  • Your gender,
  • If you recently ate a meal (food slows alcohol absorption),
  • Your health (illness can enhance the effects of alcohol),
  • How much alcohol you drink,
  • Rate of consumption (how fast you drink),
  • The strength of the drink, and
  • If the drink was carbonated or if it was mixed with a carbonated beverage, (carbonation speeds alcohol absorption).

What Happens When You Drink ‘Too Much’

Believe it or not, once you take your first sip of alcohol, it enters your bloodstream. The immediate effects of alcohol can show in just 10 minutes. As you continue to drink, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) raises accordingly – BAC refers to the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream.

The problem is, as your BAC rises, you become more impaired and you start to lose control, succumbing to the effects of alcohol. One of these “effects” includes the urge to continue drinking despite a high BAC. As your BAC rises, you can experience these negative effects:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Memory problems (called blackouts or periods of no memory)
  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Impaired motor skills
  • In worst cases, coma or death

Other risks of consuming too much alcohol include engaging in risky behavior, engaging in violent behavior, drunk driving, and getting into accidents, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

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