Do you remember your very first sip of an alcoholic beverage? What sensations did you feel? What happened to your body? To your senses? What happened to you? Tipsy or drunk, alcohol, as it enters the body, affects almost all of you. Do you remember having to pee every time after having drunk at least 3 shots of alcohol? Or have you felt the world spinning around you while you take that last sip of vodka? These are just some of the effects of alcohol and what it can do to your body as well as to your health.
Carbon and hydrogen are the main chemicals that makes up alcohol. It is the ethanol or commonly known as ethyl alcohol that serves as the active ingredient in alcoholic beverages. It is a colorless and nearly flavorless fluid that is easily and quickly absorbed by the body. Many people think alcohol is a stimulant, but actually it is a depressant. It wears down the purpose of all living cells, especially those in the brain. Alcohol belongs to the same group of drugs as anesthetics and tranquilizers.
Alcohol does not need to be digested after having been consumed. Alcohol quickly goes through our body, quickly affecting our tissues and organs. It quickly appears in the bloodstream, and its intoxicating effects are felt within a few minutes. That explains the heat you feel after having taken in several rounds of any hard drink. The body begins immediately to try to get free of the alcohol. It is absorbed through the stomach directly into the bloodstream. It then proceeds to the liver, where it is broken down. However, when it is took in at a quicker speed than the body’s metabolism can handle (about one 12-ounce can of beer per hour), alcohol builds up in the bloodstream and is scattered throughout the body. The higher the concentration of alcohol, the greater the disturbance it has on body cells. Severe disruption of function can occur and can cause death. The effects of alcohol on various organs will be discussed in more detail below.
The brain and most parts of the body are directly affected negatively by alcohol consumption. The organ most sensitive to alcohol is the brain. Alcohol affects the entire body, but its effects on the functions of the brain are the most visible -and to the person who is drinking, the most important. People drink alcohol because of the way it makes them feel, ignoring the damaging effects on the brain itself. The brain reacts to alcohol in stages. The first part of the brain to be affected is the cerebrum – the outermost layer, which is accountable for controlling the senses, speech, understanding, and judgment. Alcohol depresses first the parts of the brain that regularly control actions and emotions. It appears as if alcohol -although it is a depressant -is standing in as a stimulant because, as these higher centers of the brain are knocked out, the drinker feels liberated from moral and legal restrictions. The loss of these restraints can cause exhilaration and loss of inhibitions. The alcohol goes on to depress brain functions, resulting in slurred speech, unsteady walk, blurry vision, and loss of co-ordination. Drinkers habitually feel that their manual skills have been improved because their decision has been damaged, while in reality their reaction times are slowed and their muscle coordination is less efficient. Next, the drinker experiences different exaggerations of the emotions that can range from violence and aggressiveness to tearfulness and withdrawal. If a person continues to drink, the body protects itself from further damage by “passing out”. Alcohol destroys brain cells which, unlike the blood cells it also destroys, are irreplaceable.
Like most treatments, alcohol addiction treatment is never easy. Alcoholics would mainly deny the fact that they are alcoholics. Thus, the first step in treating alcohol addiction is letting the individual identify that he has turn out to be dependent with alcohol and that this dependency is a severe problem that requires treatment as soon as possible. Alcohol addiction treatment would entail medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Therapy is important in treatment because alcoholics need to have a change of lifestyle. They need to cope with life that is alcohol-free. Things will never be easy. The nonstop support of loved ones, and the willpower to change will always be necessary to succeed in this endeavor.
Alcohol addiction brings a great damage to our body specially the brain that is why it needs quick treatment.