Alcohol could be described as a colorless volatile liquid. It is known to be the intoxicating component of wine, spirits, beer and other drinks. Despite its depressant effect, it is used as an industrial solvent and as fuel.
Alcohol could also be referred to as a legal depressant substance that is capable of reducing the functions and/or activities of specific part of the body especially the brain. It is amongst the popularly known recreational drugs.
The type of alcohol that is usually present in alcoholic drinks is ethanol.
There are always variations as to the manner in which individuals react to alcohol. This is affected by factors such as gender, age, race, history of alcohol problems in the family, certain physical conditions (extent of fitness, weight), the quantity of food consumed prior to drinking alcohol, use of drugs and/or prescription drugs and sometimes the rate of alcohol consumption.
The chronic use/administration of alcohol can bring about alcohol tolerance. That is, if the subject always takes it for a particular effect, at this moment, more amount of the substance will be required to get the same initial effect when tolerance sets in. In a clearer term, alcohol tolerance is the response of the body to the functional effects of alcohol particularly the alcoholic beverages (ethanol).
Alcohol tolerance could be as a result of deficiency in the body’s alcohol metabolic enzyme (alcohol dehydrogenase). This is a major cause of alcohol dependence.
Non-alcoholics are usually predisposed to low tolerance to alcohol. This is because the atypical alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme levels are more frequent in non-alcoholics. The effect of this is that there will be higher rate of breakdown of alcohol into by-products.
What is alcohol used for?
Alcohol has both medicinal and industrial uses. Moderate consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages could have substantial health benefits.
More so, alcohol consumption and subsequent benefits varies depending on an individual’s body chemistry as well as body type. The health benefits are the effects of moderate alcohol consumption. The Dietary Guideline for Americans described moderate alcohol consumption as taking one drink daily for women and up to two (2) drinks daily for the men. This should be the quantity consumed daily and not the average quantity taken over several days.
Moderate alcohol consumption as described above can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, make one live longer (a study by the Catholic University of Campobasso), can improve one’s libido ( Journal of sexual medicine 2009), stop common cold, decrease the incidence of dementia, minimize the risk of developing gallstone and lowers the possibilities of having diabetes (results of a Dutch study).
Alcohol also has depressant effect which may be considered positive when consumed in moderate quantities. Industrially, alcohol (ethanol) is used in the manufacturer of wine, beer, spirit and other beverages as well as liquor. It is employed as fuel.
What effect does alcohol have?
The effect of alcohol in the body will strongly depend on the type and concentration of alcohol (ethanol) consumed. Some alcoholic drinks and/or alcoholic preparations are absorbed faster than others. An instance is the carbonated alcoholic drinks (they are absorbed faster).
The uncontrolled consumption of alcohol may have debilitating effect on one’s general body chemistry/function. It has been documented to slow down breathing rate, therefore affecting the normal brain function. This may be present within 10 minutes and reach its peak at around 40 minutes or thereafter.
What determines an alcoholic is the person’s blood alcohol level (the amount of alcohol in the blood). In alcoholics, there is usually a high blood alcohol level due to excessive alcohol intake. The legal limit of blood alcohol usually falls between 0.08 and 0.10. Alcohol negative effects and symptoms are linked to one’s blood alcohol level. Example 0.05 (depicts reduced inhibition), 0.10 (shows slurred speech), 0.20 (is a sign of euphoria and motor impairment), 0.30 (depicts a confused state), 0.50 (is a sign of coma) and 0.60 alcohol blood level could lead to respiratory paralysis and death. Other (health) effect of alcohol includes increased risk of dependence, accidents, cancers, unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, suicide and homicide.
Additionally, alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to severe birth defects. These effects are usually very serious with higher alcohol doses.
How does alcohol enter the body?
Knowledge of alcohol metabolic pattern is critical to understanding the several effects of alcohol. When alcohol is taken, the first place it goes to is the stomach and the small intestine where it is carried to the blood stream by blood vessels. 20% of alcohol consumed is absorbed through the stomach and the remaining 80% is absorbed through the small intestine.
The breakdown of alcohol occurs in the liver by the dehydrogenase enzyme.
Already addicted individuals should have to understand how to slow down drinking to avoid alcohol negative health complications. This could be referred to as alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal cannot be achieved as quickly as it sounds owing to life threatening withdrawal symptoms.
- The first step towards achieving this is by reducing the quantity of alcohol intake. This could be referred to as dose tapering.
- Eat before alcohol consumption. This will reduce a subject’s drinking interest.
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking a lot of water;
- Resort to other recipes (non-alcoholic beverages);
- Alter your drinking routine to drink less quantities of alcohol;
- Carry out the above procedure without guilt;
- Carry out the above procedure with the consent of a healthcare professional.
Merck is known to be a US based pharmaceutical company with a world standard. Merck medications/major product includes Januvia (sitagliptin), Zetia (ezetimibe), Ramicade (infliximab), Gardasil (a recombinant human papilloma virus vaccine), Isentress (raltegravir), Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and others. They are amongst the largest makers and distributors of legal products such as vaccines, antihypertensives, statins, antibacterials etc. Other Merck medications are Vioxx (rofecoxib), Mectizan and Fosamax (alendronate).
Effects of drinking blood
Drinking of blood, if necessary authentication are not done, can predispose a subject to diseases like Cholera, HIV/AIDS, Influenza, Filariasis, anthrax, Lyme disease, Echinococcus leptospirosis, Meningitis, Tuberculosis, Rabies, Black plague etc. Drinking of blood, otherwise intended, is usually done intravenously in so many cases. An example is I the case of anemia. Therefore, the right blood bank, sample and blood group should be given to avoid disease influx through the blood sample.
Alcohol intake and alcoholism has both positive and negative effects. The health benefits are experienced when used moderately and vise versa.
We have to take the supposed quantity of alcohol if at all we have to; so as to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.